Credo Action

Tell Sen. Booker and other elected Dems: Give up tainted Kushner money

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Tell Sen. Cory Booker and other elected Democrats:

"Give up tainted campaign contributions from Jared Kushner or anyone associated with Donald Trump and his racist administration. Donate it to a cause in line with the core values of the progressive movement."

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    Tell Sen. Booker and other elected Dems: Give up tainted Kushner money

    No one should want to be associated with Jared Kushner right now, least of all Senate Democrats.

    In the days after we learned that Kushner discussed creating a secret communication channel between the Russian government and the Trump transition team to shield their communications from monitoring, numerous Democratic leaders called for his security clearance to be revoked, but not Sen. Cory Booker. In fact, Sen. Booker, went on "Meet the Press" last weekend to say it is too soon to revoke Kushner’s security clearance.1

    It just so happens that Booker has accepted $23,400 in campaign contributions from Kushner and his wife, Ivanka Trump.2,3 That’s a lot of tainted money, and Sen. Booker and other elected Democrats should give up every cent of it immediately.

    Tell Sen. Booker and other elected democrats: Give up tainted Kushner money.

    The news that Kushner discussed a secret back-channel with the Russians is only the latest in his entanglement in the Trump-Russia scandal. Federal investigators are scrutinizing Kushner’s contacts with the Russian ambassador and a Russian banker with close ties to Putin and Russian intelligence.4

    In April, the New York Times reported that Kushner failed to disclose numerous meetings with foreign officials when he applied for his security clearance in January.5 The meetings include at least one with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States, and one with Sergey Gorkov, who was trained by Russian intelligence and is now the head of a Russian bank that is currently under U.S. sanctions and controlled by Putin’s government. 6

    Democrats like Cory Booker have no business taking money from Kushner or anyone associated with Donald Trump and his racist administration, especially while these investigations are underway. That’s why we are joining our friends at Demand Progress to call on Sen. Booker and other Democrats to immediately donate the Kushner money to causes that are aligned with the core values of the progressive movement.

    Tell Sen. Booker and other elected democrats: Give up tainted Kushner money.

    Kushner’s Russia ties are not the only reason Democrats should give up any previous campaign contributions from Kushner. The "New York Times Magazine" and ProPublica also reported recently that Kushner’s real estate company makes a practice of going pursuing legal action against low-income tenants, including many in Booker’s home state of New Jersey.7

    After buying millions of dollars of rental properties, Kushner’s property company, which tries to make its brand known by its high-end investments in Manhattan, was relentless in pursuing lease-break fees and past-due rent from former residents of the properties it had purchased. Going so far as to garner the wages of single mothers who had legitimate reasons to break their leases before Kushner Companies purchased the property, Kushner’s company has bankrupted low-income former renters over as little as a few thousand dollars.8

    News also broke recently that Kushner Companies abused a federal loan program designed to benefit communities with high-unemployment rates by essentially gerrymandering northern New Jersey neighborhoods in order to gain access to a low-interest federal loan for his multi-billion dollar luxury high rises.9 Unfortunately, Cory Booker is not the only Senate Democrat who has received campaign contributions from Jared Kushner. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez have also accepted thousands of dollars from Kushner.10 It is simply unacceptable for any Democrat to remain connected to Kushner – but it will take grassroots pressure to force them to make this right by donating the money to progressive causes.

    Tell Sen. Booker and other elected Democrats: Give up tainted Kushner money.

    Thanks for all you do.

    References

    1. Jacqueline Thomsen, “Booker: Too early to revoke Kushner's security clearance,” The Hill, May 28, 2017 2.The Center for Responsive Politics, "Jared Kushner," accessed June 1, 2017

    2. The Center for Responsive Politics, "Ivanka Trump," accessed June 1, 2017

    3. Ned Parker and Jonathan Landay, “Exclusive: Trump son-in-law had undisclosed contacts with Russian envoy - sources,” Reuters, May 27, 2017

    4. Jo Becker and Matthew Rosenberg, "Kushner omitted meeting with Russians on security clearance forms," The New York Times, April 7, 2017

    5. Matthew Rosenberg, Mark Mazzetti, and Maggie Haberman, “Investigation Turns to Kushner’s Motives in Meeting With a Putin Ally,” The New York Times, May 29, 2017

    6. Alec MacGillis and ProPublica, “Jared Kushner’s Other Real Estate Empire” The New York Times Magazine, May 23, 2017

    7. Ibid.

    8. Shawn Boburg, “How Jared Kushner built a luxury skyscraper using loans meant for job-starved areas,” The Washington Post, May 31, 2017

    9. The Center for Responsive Politics, "Jared Kushner," accessed June 1, 2017