As we reported Wednesday, two members of the so-called “Squad” – Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Cori Bush (D-Mo.) have made it clear in recent weeks that they are going to keep things like defunding the police, combatting “climate change,” and embracing other socialist policies front and center going into the 2022 midterms despite the fact that polls show that the top voter concerns are crime, education, the economy (inflation) and getting the country back to normal after two years of the coronavirus pandemic.
As it turns out, Tlaib and Bush aren’t the only members of the radical group that are poised to give President Biden and vulnerable Democrats more headaches in the coming months as the election draws near. Through her “Courage to Change” PAC, Squad leader Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) has a questionnaire that candidates who want her support have to answer. Among the questions are if they are committed to cutting funding for the police and defense spending:
AOC’s Courage to Change PAC sets litmus test for candidates who “reduce the annual budget for law enforcement and defense spending.” pic.twitter.com/PfXFW8aSnU
— Josh Kraushaar (@HotlineJosh) February 24, 2022
Outlined at the start of the questionnaire were the full set of priorities the PAC noted were necessary for a candidate to hold in order to be considered for the “Courage to Change Policy Pledge Distinction,” which while not an official endorsement from AOC is nevertheless kind of like the political equivalent of the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval for radical leftist candidates for public office:
Ultimately, a Courage to Change candidate: believes in ending the influence of special interest and corporations in campaign finance; expanding union power everywhere; increasing investments for infrastructure projects that emphasize sustainability, equity and access for everyone; adopting the Green New Deal, and its principles of jobs, justice, and decarbonization; increasing public safety through education, jobs, healthcare, and community-based programs; making housing permanently affordable, inclusive, and widely available; passing Medicare for All; making public colleges and universities tuition-free while cancelling all student debt; treating all immigrants with dignity and respect while creating a pathway to citizenship; and expanding voting rights to protect our democracy.
While wannabe Squad members would proudly boast of the PAC’s distinction, the problem here is that AOC has just enshrined as priorities many of the issues that hurt House Democrats in the 2020 election. Further, over the last year, her PAC donated $5,000 each to certain Democrats in vulnerable districts, including to Virginia Rep. Abigail Spanberger, who very explicitly blamed the Democrats’ embrace of the Defund the Police movement for the drubbing House Dems took in 2020 and her narrow reelection victory at the time. From an April 2021 Fox News report:
Many of the House members who received the funds, however, are viewed as moderate in comparison to Ocasio-Cortez, which may not sit well with swing voters in their competitive districts.
According to the filings, representatives such as Pennsylvania’s Matt Cartwright and Susan Wild, New Jersey’s Mikie Sherrill, Nevada’s Susan Lee, and Virginia’s Abigail Spanberger were recipients of Ocasio-Cortez’s cash.
Considering how being tied to AOC and the Defund the Police movement has in the past spelled doom for vulnerable Democrats, look for the NRCC and the prospective Republican opponents to these swing district incumbents to capitalize on that information and the PAC questionnaire in the weeks ahead as fears increasingly grow within DCCC ranks that their November losses could fall under the “historic” category.
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