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]

In September 2022, Brand New Congress announced it would endorse lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania John Fetterman’s campaign for U.S Senate, with both parties starting a joint fundraising effort where contributions would be split evenly between the two. [10] Fetterman has spoken out against defunding the police, citing his record as the previous mayor of Braddock, PA stating he “did whatever it took to fund police,” [11] whist a campaign spokesman commented that if elected Fetterman would “never support defunding the police.” [12] The only other candidate to be endorsed by Brand New Congress during the 2022 midterm election cycle is former Kentucky state representative Charles Booker in his campaign for U.S Senate against Sen. Rand Paul. [13]

Leadership

Brand New Congress’ current executive director is former Bernie Sanders presidential campaign staffer Isra Allison. [14]

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. “We need John Fetterman in the U.S. Senate!” Brand New Congress. Accessed September 23, 2022. https://secure.actblue.com/donate/c2g_bnc_john_fetterman_tandem?refcode=tw ^
  11. “John Fetterman Says He Won’t Defund The Police. His Latest Campaign Partner Says Otherwise.” Washington Free Beacon, September 21, 2022. https://freebeacon.com/elections/john-fetterman-says-he-wont-defund-the-police-his-latest-campaign-partner-says-otherwise/ ^
  12. “John Fetterman Says He Won’t Defund The Police. His Latest Campaign Partner Says Otherwise.” Washington Free Beacon, September 21, 2022. https://freebeacon.com/elections/john-fetterman-says-he-wont-defund-the-police-his-latest-campaign-partner-says-otherwise/ ^
  13. “John Fetterman Says He Won’t Defund The Police. His Latest Campaign Partner Says Otherwise.” Washington Free Beacon, September 21, 2022. https://freebeacon.com/elections/john-fetterman-says-he-wont-defund-the-police-his-latest-campaign-partner-says-otherwise/ ^
  14. “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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