By David Hellerman, World Israel News
The Urban Empowerment Action Political Action Committee is throwing its support behind a Democratic challenger for Rashida Tlaib’s seat in the U.S. House of Representatives and is preparing to spend $1 million.
A UEA press release first shared with Politico said that it planned to support candidates in five Democratic congressional primaries. But Politico noted that Tlaib is the only incumbent lawmaker in the PAC’s crosshairs.
“UEA PAC’s premier race will be in Michigan’s 12th Congressional District, where the group plans to spend upwards of $1,000,000 on TV, digital, mail, radio, and print advertising to support Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey in her campaign to restore infrastructure, improve educational opportunities in the district, and support the Biden-Harris agenda in D.C.,” the statement said.
Bakira Sellers, a former South Carolina state lawmaker who fundraises for UEA explained to Politico, “We are hoping that we can have a candidate that doesn’t have varying distractions,” an implied attack on Tlaib’s Palestinian activism.
Sellers is also a prominent pro-Israel activist in the African-American community and well-known supporter of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
The 62-year-old Winfrey has served as Detroit City Clerk since 2005.
In an interview with Jewish Insider published in April, Winfrey, accused Tlaib of being “more interested in political gain than she is in serving our constituents.”
Winfrey also stressed her opposition to the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel.
“I don’t say [Israel is] a perfect country, but I do know it’s an important country to Americans. I do know that, without Israel, we’re much, much weaker and vulnerable,” Winfrey said. “So how can we not support Israel?”
“I don’t care what your dislike is with the Jewish people, you don’t just wipe out a whole country, a whole group of people — that’s never the answer,” she told JI.
Winfrey also voiced support for the two-state solution without pressuring Israel to make concessions.
According to UAE PAC, its supporters include “include a broad coalition of Black and Jewish business, political and civic leaders.”
A spokesman for Tlaib’s re-election campaign, Denzel McCampbell, dismissed UAE’s endorsement of Winfrey.
“Outside Super PAC ads do not win elections, direct voter contact does. If our opponent truly does care about our democracy, I hope that she will immediately disavow and condemn this type of Big Money attack on our democracy that only seeks to mislead voters and distort reality,” McCampbell told Politico.
Tlaib, who is of Palestinian descent, supports the one-state solution, has called Israel an “apartheid state,” and endorses the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign.
The Democratic primary is scheduled for August 2.