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Missouri Representative spends $400,000 on private security while fighting to defund police

Missouri’s US Rep. Cori Bush has injected nearly $400,000 of campaign funds into private security services while refusing to tone down calls to defund police, federal filings show.

The Missouri Democrat’s campaign dropped $89,265.67 into private security detail throughout the second quarter, according to Federal Election Commission records. The newest security payments were $50,000 more than her campaign’s second-largest expenditure for fundraising services between April 1 and June 30.

Peace Security, whose Facebook page is littered with anti-gun control posts, was the biggest recipient of Bush’s security cash, hauling nearly $60,000 from her campaign. The remaining money went to Courtney Merrits and Nathaniel Davis, whose reported address in the filings is the same as Bush’s campaign headquarters.

Bush has now directed $393,417.67 into private security for the 2022 election cycle as she refuses to tame down calls to defund law enforcement, which Democrats fear will be used against them.

“I always tell [fellow Democrats], ‘If you all had fixed this before I got here, I wouldn’t have to say these things,'” the ‘Squad’ member said in February.

Bush said the “defund the police” slogan isn’t the problem and blamed Democrats for not delivering on the promise. Bush’s security payments first made headlines in July 2021, which prompted questions about the cash and whether it was hypocritical to hire security while pushing to strip law enforcement of their budgets.

“They would rather I die?” Bush asked. “You would rather me die? Is that what you want to see? You want to see me die? You know, because that could be the alternative.”

Bush said she would ensure she has security because she has had attempts on her life and has “too much work to do.”

“So suck it up, and defunding the police has to happen,” she added.

It was later discovered that Bush had hired two sheriff’s deputies, Tylance Jackson and Maurice Thompson, as part of her security.

The discovery led to the termination of Jackson and Thompson, who had failed to get approval for the side gig, St. Louis Sheriff Vernon Betts said at the time.

And while Bush says the security is due to threats against her, other “Squad” members – like many other politicians – also receive threats but steered very little campaign cash into the services. During the second quarter, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign reported $1,500 on private security, Ilhan Omar’s campaign just over $3,000, Ayanna Pressley’s campaign just under $7,000, Rashida Tlaib $1,500 and Jamaal Bowman reported no security expenditures.

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