A super PAC linked to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee is spending hundreds of thousands to defeat a progressive lawmaker in Pennsylvania, HuffPost reports.
The powerful group, which claims to be bipartisan, intervened in Democratic primaries to defeat progressive candidates and are now straight up funding Republicans.
The United Democracy Project, an AIPAC affiliate, spent more than $900,000 on TV ads and $75,000 on mailers attacking progressive state Rep. Summer Lee, who is running for the House in the state’s 12th Congressional District.
Progressives slammed AIPAC for helping Republicans seeking control of the House.
“Shamefully, AIPAC is working for Republican control of Congress and further destabilization of US democracy,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.
UDP already spent $2.7 million unsuccessfully trying to defeat Lee during the Democratic primary in May.
The group denied that it is trying to pick sides in the House battle and said Lee’s views on Israel were “outside the mainstream of Democrats in her district.”
“All we’re doing is opposing a future anti-Israel squad member,” the spokesperson, Patrick Dorton, told HuffPost. “One race in a Democratic district in Pittsburgh is not going to determine control of the House.”
But the mailers don’t have anything to do with Israel, instead hitting Lee for her calls to “abolish” prisons and ICE and other right-wing criticisms.
The TV ads are touching on similar topics, despite the group’s claim that the opposition is linked to Israel.
The group previously criticized Lee in the primary by accusing her of being a disloyal Democrat.
“Lee has said little about U.S. policy in Israel and the Palestinian territories. She does not support the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. Still, she supports leveraging U.S. aid to pressure the Israeli government to end its occupation of Palestinian lands conquered in 1967,” HuffPost reported. “However, her greatest offense in the eyes of right-leaning pro-Israel groups is being affiliated with the left wing of the Democratic Party.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has declined to criticize AIPAC but a growing number of observers on the left called out the group’s right-wing scheme.
“The billionaires who fund AIPAC” oppose Lee because “she stands with working people and against corporate greed,” said Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
“It’s crazy that AIPAC spent money in the primary calling Summer Lee a bad Democrat and is now spending money against her and helping election deniers,” Adam Green, the co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, told HuffPost. “Speaker Pelosi and Democratic leadership need to speak out against this. This can’t be the new normal.”