As the contentious debate on police funding rages on, far-left “Squad” member Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO), a fervent advocate of defunding the police, funneled tens of thousands of campaign dollars into the pockets of her new husband, Cortney Merritts, for private security. However, Merritts lacks a private security license, leading critics to point out a hypocritical contradiction.
Bush, a prominent member of the Democratic Socialists of America from St. Louis, has routinely paid large sums for increased security for herself. She’s justified these payments by citing previous attempts on her life.
Rep. Cori Bush, a vocal advocate for defunding the police, has reportedly spent over $500K on private security, with $30K going to her husband in 2023 alone. Is this not the height of hypocrisy? #DefundThePolice #CoriBush https://t.co/Y1d0Xt4hI0
— Will 🇺🇸 🍢 (@NoLeftTurns) July 23, 2023
Since 2019, Bush has reportedly spent over half a million dollars on private security. Many of these payments have gone to St. Louis-based PEACE Security, a company known for hiring security operators with military or law enforcement expertise. Ironically, this aligns with the very professions Bush publicly opposes.
In 2023 alone, Bush’s husband pocketed $30,000 for private security services from Bush’s campaign. Despite this significant investment, Merritts did not possess a private security license as of late February. Not only is a permit required for performing security duties in St. Louis and the surrounding St. Louis County, which encompasses Bush’s congressional district, but also in Washington, D.C., where he does not appear in the database of licensed security specialists.
Bush’s critics argue that such actions undercut her message of police defunding. While she supports decreasing funds for law enforcement, she simultaneously invests heavily in private security. This clear contradiction indicates a double standard, with the rules for everyday citizens differing from those for political elites.
Bush has shown a stubborn commitment to her “defund the police” stance. When asked in 2022 by then-CNN host Don Lemon if she stood by this position, Bush responded firmly, “Absolutely! So suck it up, and defunding the police has to happen.”
Despite the backlash, Bush’s office maintained that they knew Merritts as a “loving and caring Congressional spouse” rather than an employee. But, such an assertion does little to address the pressing concerns over the misuse of campaign funds and the striking inconsistency between Bush’s public stance and personal practices.
The refrain of defunding the police doesn’t apply to personal security for some political elites. As taxpayers continue to fund the lifestyles of politicians, they are left to question whether these same politicians genuinely understand or care about the security needs of everyday Americans.