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Four Queens Lawmakers Donate Campaign Funds From Police Groups to Bail Funds

State Sen. Mike Gianaris (nysenate.gov)

June 1, 2020 By Allie Griffin

Four Queens lawmakers pledged to donate thousands of dollars in campaign funds received from police groups to bail out protesters arrested demonstrating against the death of George Floyd.

Assembly Members Aravella Simotas and Catalina Cruz, State Sen. Michael Gianaris and City Council Member Francisco Moya each donated contributions from police PACs to New York City organizations that are collecting money to bail out those protesters arrested.

Thousands of protesters marched across the five boroughs over the weekend after Floyd, a black man, was killed during an arrest by a white police officer in Minneapolis.

Some interactions between the NYPD and protesters over the weekend turned violent. In one incident, a NYPD patrol car was seen driving into a crowd of protesters.

Several local officials condemned what they said was an excessive use of force by some officers and vowed to steer campaign contributions from police groups to bail funds for protesters.

Sen. Gianaris decried aggressive actions taken by NYPD officers during the protests. He called the incidents — such as an officer shoving a young woman to the ground — “heartbreaking and unacceptable.”

“What’s really disgusting is when people exercising their right to protest injustice get assaulted by the same officers who are supposed to protect that right,” he wrote on Twitter.

Gianaris vowed to donate all contributions he received from police PACs for his reelection to bail funds and mutual aid organizations.

Gianaris has taken at least $11,500 from police PACs, including the state and city police benevolent associations, according to campaign filings for the 2020 election cycle. He promised that he would no longer accept contributions from police PACs.

“I am donating all contributions received from police PACs for my re-election to bail funds and mutual aid organizations, and I will not accept them going forward,” he wrote on Twitter. “We need to call out injustice, but most of all we must act.”

Assembly Member Simotas also said she would allocate police PAC money to help get protesters out of jail. She plans to donate $5,350 from police-affiliated groups to the New York City bail fund and organizations “working to end mass incarceration,” she posted on Twitter.

Assembly Member Cruz followed suit and will donate the $1,000 her campaign received from law enforcement unions to a bail fund.

“I stand with our community, there won’t be peace until we all draw a clear line in the sand and fight for what’s right,” Cruz said. “All day every day.”

Council Member Moya tweeted a photo of a check for $1,000 written out to the Brooklyn Community Bail Fund.

He received the money from a law enforcement PAC and said he will no longer accept law enforcement donations.

“We need real change, now,” Moya tweeted.

The redistribution of funds came after a Queens Democratic Socialists of America organizer, Aaron Fernando, put pressure on the politicians to return the funds on Twitter.

Fernando called Gianaris’ donation huge news and praised all the officials who used police PAC funds to bail out protesters.

“I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that New York politics have changed dramatically in the last 48 hours,” he wrote.

Fernando said his goal is to make law enforcement campaign contributions “as toxic as real estate money.”

“So you can’t even take a dime of cop money without getting a primary challenger — it should be that toxic,” he said.

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13 Comments

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The extremist left response

Looks like someone gets triggered when Soros is mentioned. Listing a person’s actions and their name is now anti semitic. Is that how you were trained to respond? Sorry, not working. What page of the karl marx manifest are you on?

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Law Abiding Citizens need to know

Reforming America.
No bail reforms funded by billionaires.
realjusticepac
Soros’s Democracy PAC launched in January; also pushed $1.1M into Justice & Public Safety PAC
Endorsements. All on one page Tiffany Caban, Larry Krasner – elected, Kim Foxx – elected

TACTICS
DISTRIBUTED FIELD ORGANIZING
We train and deploy volunteers in distributed field programs (door knocking, mass site, phone, and peer to peer text message). Distributed field will be run nationally by a team of staff who train local volunteers and campaign staff to use a suite of mostly consumer software (Slack, Trello, Google Apps, Facebook groups), voter contact specific platforms (peer-to-peer text platform, call center software for phone banking), and a cloud-based contact database

WIN Justice PAC. Formation 2018
Justice PAC is a political action committee created by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Planned Parenthood Votes, Color of Change, and the Center for Community Change (CCC).

The PAC was first deployed in swing states in the 2018 midterm elections.

The PAC’s single-largest funder is billionaire George Soros, who provided Win Justice PAC with $5 million of its $12 million in revenue for the 2018 election cycle. [1] The PAC has strong ties to the Democracy Alliance, which is a network of left-wing funders; movie director and producer Steven Spielberg and his wife Kate Capshaw are also donors.
Color of Change’s web-based “campaigns” employ petitions, shareable social media images, and corporate boycotts[3] to advocate for liberal policies.[4] Color of Change has run campaigns that seek to attack conservative individuals, silence conservative media pundits, and defund conservative organizations.

Color of Change also uses its campaigns to advocate for left-of-center criminal enforcement and domestic policies. In recent years the organization has pushed to eliminate “stand your ground” self-defense laws [5] and reduce prison sentences.[6] The organization has also pushed for tax increases,[7] higher government spending,[8]government-controlled healthcare

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The old anti-semitic Soros conspiracy

> No reforms funded by billionaires

Like the president? What’s wrong with that?

You didn’t mention a single person this article is about. You clearly just copy and pasted a rant from Facebook…

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George

I think the marches going on in the cities clearly demonstrate a desperate need for change, but not just a systematic of the system but a change of hearts and minds which will spell a shift in attitudes toward one another and the realization that we are all the same underneath the shades of color.

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Kneeling on someone's neck while they scream "I can 't breath" until they're dead is bad

I’m glad the police are setting an example, getting the money out of politics.

I know Republicans prefer big government, where the police lobbies have much more control than the voter.

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ABoondy

thanks. now we know who to vote out. criminals will be criminals, politician or protester alike.

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Suzie

When all of the people that fled his district due to covid19 come back they will re elect them again.

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#cuomoshaircut

Gianaris killed amazon and does not care about the people whose stores were destroyed

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Beta males make lousy leaders

The next time if (heaven forbid) Gianaris is burglarized, has his car stolen or is victimized in any way and needs the police, I hope they tell him to get stuffed. Or at least take their sweet time responding

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"beta males?" lol!

I thought people only said that sarcastically to make fun of the maga people now. Do you still say “red pill” too?!

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