Scuzzy Police PACs Target The Squad To Raise Money For Themselves
Progressive Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley — the founding members of The Squad — are not exactly popular with the police unions. The fact that they support taking some of the money used to fund police departments who continually fail to train their officers not to kill unarmed Black people and using it to invest in non-violent, community-centered alternatives has made them something of a target.
Thus, it does sound perfectly logical that two political action committees associated with the International Union of Police Associations have spent $510,000 on text messages specifically targeting The Squad — the largest expenditure of the 2022 elections so far.
However, according to a report from Axios, these expenditures are likely more about raising money for themselves than actually trying to unseat any Squad members — all of whom are in safe districts Republicans are unlikely to win.
Between the lines: None of the four members the PACs are targeting is particularly vulnerable, suggesting the goal of the expenditures is, at least, partly to raise more money for the PACs themselves.
- The two PACs spent nearly $18 million during the 2020 cycle. But the vast majority went toward fundraising. They spent just over 5% on political activity, much of which appears to have also asked for additional donations.
- The IUPA union also spends the vast majority of its money on fundraising, with very little going toward grants or union representation and organizing.
- The union and its PACs have been scrutinized over allegedly misleading fundraising practices, frequently involving telemarketing calls.
Not only did all four members of the Squad win their last elections, three of them — Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib and Omar -- all easily swatted away challenges from moderate Democrats. As much as conservatives (and many Democrats) may despise them, there's basically no chance they're going to unseat them. But the fact is, they do hate and fear them, and the mere mention of their names is likely to open their wallets on its own.
So basically what these PACs are doing is raising a whole bunch of money from Republicans by telling them it's going towards the goal of unseating Democratic congresswomen they particularly hate, knowing full well that they have no chance of doing so, and with the intention of just keeping that money for themselves — just as it appears they did in the 2020 election, per Axios's report.
That can be lucrative for groups looking to rake in small-dollar donations from contributors not suspecting their money will be used largely to perpetuate an organization — rather than finance attacks or candidates against its opponents.
As much as we all hate it when people get scammed, it's hard to work up a tear to shed for these poor souls who thought they were donating money for attack ads about AOC. Especially since it's good for us if Republicans waste a bunch of their money on PACs that aren't going to actually do anything for them. Personally, I hope these delightfully ineffective police union PACs continue to rake in millions.
There is, however, a lesson here for all of us: going full "bitch eating crackers" on anyone makes you messy as hell and vulnerable to getting scammed by people willing to take advantage of the emotions clouding your judgment.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse