Political Party/527

Brand New Congress

Website:

brandnewcongress.org

Formation:

2017

Type:

Democratic Party PAC

Founders:

Saikat Chakrabarti

Alexandra Rojas

Zack Exley

Brand New Congress is a far-left 527 political action committee (PAC) founded in 2017 by former Bernie Sanders presidential campaign staffers Saikat Chakrabarti, Alexandra Rojas, and Zack Exley to elect radical “progressive” candidates. [1]

Founding

Former Bernie Sanders campaign staffers Saikat Chakrabarti, Alexandra Rojas, and Zack Exley created Brand New Congress in 2017 to continue promoting Sanders’s socialist platform. [2] Brand New Congress initially aimed to recruit over 400 left-wing candidates to run for office and completely replace Congress beginning with the 2018 midterm election. [3] According to co-founder Zack Exley, a “majority” of Brand New Congress candidates “will be women” and “a disproportionate number will be people of color.”[4]

Brand New Congress serves as a centralized support system for its candidates, handling everything from mailing, press releases, and digital strategy. [5]

Political Activity

During the 2018 election cycle, Brand New Congress endorsed 30 candidates for primaries and general elections; eight of 27 won primaries and one of eleven—Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY)—won a general election. [6]

The single Brand New Congress candidate who won a general election in 2018 was Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She won an upset of longtime incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.) in a functionally determinative Democratic primary election. [7] Brand New Congress spent over $600,000 during the 2018 election cycle. [8]

Throughout the 2018 election cycle, Brand New Congress collaborated with Justice Democrats, another political action committee created by the founders of Brand New Congress. [9]

Leadership

Brand New Congress’ current executive director is former Bernie Sanders presidential campaign staffer Isra Allison. [10]

References

  1. Lachman, Samantha. “Former Bernie Sanders Staffers Seek to Elect A ‘Brand New Congress.’” Huffington Post. April 27, 2016. Accessed February 12, 2019. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/bernie-sanders-congress_us_5720e608e4b0b49df6a9c933
  2. Guttenplan, D.D.  “What’s Next for Bernie Sanders’s Grassroots Army?” The Nation. June 1, 2016. Accessed February 12, 2019. https://www.thenation.com/article/whats-next-for-bernie-sanderss-grassroots-army/
  3. Bowman, Bridget. “What’s Next for Sanders Backers? Replace the Entire Congress!” Roll Call. July 29, 2016. Accessed February 12, 2019. https://www.rollcall.com/news/whats-next-sanders-backers-replace-entire-congress
  4. Guttenplan, D.D.  “What’s Next for Bernie Sanders’s Grassroots Army?” The Nation. June 1, 2016. Accessed February 12, 2019. https://www.thenation.com/article/whats-next-for-bernie-sanderss-grassroots-army/
  5. Freelander, David. “’There is Going to Be a War Within the Party. We Are Going to Lean Into It.’” Politico Magazine. February 4, 2019. Accessed February 12, 2019. https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/02/04/the-insurgents-behind-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-224542
  6. de la Fuente, David. “2018 Endorsement Scorecard.” Third Way. December 5, 2018. Accessed February 11, 2019. https://www.thirdway.org/memo/2018-endorsement-scorecard
  7. Remnick, David. “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Historic Win and the Future of the Democratic Party.” The New Yorker. July 23, 2018. Accessed February 11, 2019. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/07/23/alexandria-ocasio-cortezs-historic-win-and-the-future-of-the-democratic-party
  8. “Brand New Congress.” Open Secrets. Accessed February 11, 2019. https://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/lookup2.php?strID=C00613810&cycle=2018
  9. McKay, Tom. “Cenk Uygur, Bernie Sanders Staffers Team up to Take Over the Democratic Party.” Mic. January 23, 2017. Accessed February 112, 2019. https://mic.com/articles/166390/cenk-ugyur-bernie-sanders-staffers-team-up-to-take-over-the-democratic-party#.lw6RWo484
  10. “Isra Allison.” Brand New Congress. Accessed February 12, 2019. https://brandnewcongress.org/isra-allison/

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Zack Exley
    Co-Founder
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