Cori Bush spends nearly $500K in campaign cash on private security while championing ‘defund the police’

Cori Bush spends nearly $500K in campaign cash on private security while championing ‘defund the police’
US Representative Cori Bush speaks during a March for Our Lives rally against gun violence on the National Mall June 11, 2022 in Washington, DC (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

JEFFERSON CITY, MISSOURI: As per the federal filings, the Democrat leader Cori Bush had paid out over $100,000 for security services throughout the third quarter of 2022. The records at Federal Election Commission show her campaign paid $71,201.06 to Peace Security, a St Louis-based private security organization. And a major chunk of the remaining $30,000 for "security service" was paid to Cortney Merrits and Nathaniel Davis, where both have mentioned their address in the filings same as Bush’s campaign headquarters.

Now in total, Bush has spent over $490,000 on private security for the 2022 election cycle, and interestingly, she is still among a few Democrats who actively demand defunding of the police. Earlier this month, on the ‘Good Morning America’ interview, Bush didn’t accept the argument that her support for defunding the police could hurt progressives ahead of the November midterms as many expect. She commented on the defund-the-police movement critics’ that they "spend more time focusing on the word ‘defund’ than they spend on caring and addressing the problem of police violence."

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Bush said, “The thing about defund the police is we have to tell the entire narrative," she said. "People hear ‘defund the police.’ But you know what they’ll say? Say ‘reallocate,’ say ‘divest,’ say ‘move.’ But it’s still the same thing. We can’t get caught up on the words. She further said, "People spend more time focusing on the word ‘defund’ than they spend on caring and addressing the problem of police in this country.”

In her recent appearance on CNN this month, the incumbent leader argued that there is no data to back that saying "defund the police cost actual elections." On being asked by CNN’s reporter, “If you could do it again, would you still double down or use that slogan, ‘defund the police’?" She responded, "Absolutely."

The story on Bush’s security spending was first reported by Fox News Digital in 2021, bringing a lot of attention in the media, especially by CBS News, questioning the cash. It also tried to explore hypocrisy if any on hiring security while pushing to cut out law enforcement’s budget.

Reasoning why she spent such an amount on security, Bush explained that there have been several attempts on her life, and she has "too much work to do." She added, "So suck it up, and defunding the police has to happen." 

Some of the other names from ‘Squad’ who have openly supported the defund-the-police movement and paid for private security, incalude Republican Ilhan Omar's campaign, spending $27,081.14 to Relative Intel LLC, a Minnesota-based personal-protection firm. Rep Ayanna Pressley's campaign spent $4,676 on private security, and Rep Rashida Tlaib's campaign filed $2,230 on such services. New York Reps Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jamaal Bowman reported no campaign expenditures on private security, reported Yahoo News.

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