Despite claims to the contrary, the internal strife among Democrats is growing more apparent as the midterm elections draw near and a million-dollar investment against the “squad” may signal the left is trying to put the toothpaste back in the tube on progressivism.
Ahead of the August 2 Democratic primary in Michigan, incumbent Rep. Rashida Tlaib poses a considerable lead against her challenger, Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey. That reality hasn’t stopped the Urban Empowerment Action (UEA) political action committee from committing to the infusion of $1 million with their endorsement of Winfrey’s campaign.
According to Politico, UEA’s mission is in backing candidates “dedicated to the educational empowerment and economic uplift of Black communities” and they’re comprised of a “coalition of Black and Jewish business leaders.” Former South Carolina state Rep. Bakari Sellers (D) spoke with the outlet about his endorsement of the PAC and the decision to try and unseat Tlaib.
“We are hoping that we can have a candidate that doesn’t have varying distractions,” Sellers explained after noting that he believes the progressive lawmaker likely “serves admirably.”
However, Sellers noted that Tlaib’s opposition to President Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill, which she argued fell short of the intended climate and social objectives of “Build Back Better,” wasn’t representative of the community she was elected to serve.
“Congresswoman Tlaib voted against the infrastructure bill. Coming from South Carolina, I can tell you that I understand in our communities, that the return on that investment is so high. And we want someone, particularly in these Black communities,” Sellers specified, “that does not get distracted by shiny things or media opportunities, but is focused on the uplift of our communities and does right by them.”
Denzel McCampbell, a spokesman for Tlaib’s reelection campaign decried the involvement of a PAC in the race and called on Winfrey to reject their influence: “Outside Super PAC ads do not win elections, direct voter contact does. If our opponent truly does care about our democracy, I hope that she will immediately disavow and condemn this type of Big Money attack on our democracy that only seeks to mislead voters and distort reality.”
At the time of the endorsement, Tlaib’s campaign had raised over $2.3 million with $1.6 million on hand compared to Winfrey, who only entered the race in February, raising approximately $236,000 with little more than $220,000 on hand.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) May 18, 2022
Tlaib’s opposition to the infrastructure bill wasn’t the only point of contention raised for the heavily Jewish UEA. The child of Palestinian immigrants, Tlaib recently proposed a resolution to, in part, recognize Israel’s independence had forced hundreds of thousands of Palestinians to flee their homes. When asked about that, however, Sellers said it was “definitely high up on the list,” but “not the primary focus.”
Voicing concerns about large black communities in Tlaib’s district no longer having a black representative with Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.) retiring, Sellers assured that what was best for the black community was his focus and it had nothing to do with targeting progressive members.
“We’re not cannibalizing,” he said. “We’re not trying to replace a progressive member with a non-progressive member. That’s just not the case.”
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) May 25, 2022
That stands in stark contrast to the apparent posturing of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) who actively worked against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-N.Y.) endorsement of socialist candidate Jessica Cisneros in the Texas primary against incumbent Rep. Henry Cuellar in what AOC deemed “an utter failure of leadership.”
However, Ocasio-Cortez’s slam of the race being “an incumbent protection racket” is summarily ended if further support is put behind Winfrey. Then, it is clearly a matter of Democrats seeking to return to the status quo where their progressivism was not so heavily promoted.
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