Political Party/527

Occupy Democrats Election Fund

Website:

occupydemocrats.com/

Location:

Washington, DC

Status:

Carey committee, hybrid PAC/super PAC

Type:

Political Action Committee (PAC)

Founded:

2019

Occupy Democrats Election Fund is a political action committee started in 2019 by Omar Rivero who created the left-wing political organization Occupy Democrats. [1] The Occupy Democrats Election Fund is classified as a hybrid PAC/super PAC. [2]

In September 2022, photographer Hamish Mitchell questioned on Twitter how Occupy Democrats was spending its money. Mitchell claimed that Occupy Democrats Election Fund had raised $797,000 but had not contributed to any federal candidates and instead had given $250,000 as consulting work to a business owned by Omar Rivero and his brother Rafael Rivero. [3]

Omar Rivero at first claimed that Occupy Democrats Election Fund did not have the ability to contribute directly to political candidates. [4] But Rafael Rivero said his brother did not know there was a recent change in the PAC’s legal structure that allowed the group to contribute to political candidates. Omar Rivero said he welcomed scrutiny of his PAC’s spending and that donor dollars were not wasted. [5]

Leadership

The Occupy Democrats Election Fund was created by Omar Rivero and Rafael Rivero. [6] Omar Rivero is listed as treasurer of Occupy Democrats Election Fund in 2022. [7]

Omar Rivero and Rafael Rivero are twins who were born in Mexico before moving to Miami, Florida in 1994 at the age of seven. [8] The brothers joined Barack Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008. In 2012, Omar Rivero created the Facebook page Occupy Democrats. [9]  As of November 2022, Occupy Democrats’ Facebook page had 10 million followers.

Controversy

Photographer Hamish Mitchell posted several photos on Twitter of the campaign finance records of Occupy Democrats in September 2022. [10] The campaign finance records were from several election cycles and showed that Occupy Democrats Political Action Committee spent $577,000 of the $797,000 it had raised in the 2021-2022 election cycle on “fundraising consultants.” [11]

Mitchell asserted that $250,000 raised in the 2021-2022 election cycle was given to Blue Deal LLC, which is owned by Omar Rivero and Rafael Rivero. [12] Blue Deal LLC had worked with U.S. Representative Ro Khanna (D-CA) and was paid $600,000 in that campaign. [13] Blue Deal LLC was Occupy Democrats second-largest client. [14] Newsweek reported that it was “raising eyebrows” about whether Occupy Democrats was “anything more than a means for the brothers to pad their bottom lines.” [15]

Blue Deal LLC also sells campaign materials and political merchandise and says it is “woman owned” according to screenshots of the website. [16]

Omar Rivero replied to Mitchell’s claims by stating the money went to “make memes on Facebook,” according to Newsweek. [17] Omar Rivero also said that as a super PAC, his organization could not donate any money directly to political candidates. [18] However, Newsweek reported that paperwork filed with the Federal Election Commission stated Occupy Democrats was a “Carey Committee” or “hybrid” political action committee and was allowed to give money to political candidates. [19] Rafael Rivero told Newsweek that his brother Omar was not aware of the recent change in their classification that allowed the PAC to donate to political candidates. [20]

Rafael Rivero told Newsweek that much of the money went to staffers employed by Blue Deal LLC and people who create Facebook memes. [21] Rafael Rivero also said that Occupy Democrats would be involved in U.S. Senate races in Pennsylvania, Arizona, Georgia, Wisconsin, Nevada, and Florida during the November 2022 elections. [22]

Election Cycle Activity

Occupy Democrats Election Fund reported $811,108 in total receipts as of Oct. 28, 2022 and spent $639,445 according to forms submitted to the Federal Election Commission. [23]

Opensecrets reported that Occupy Democrats Election Fund had raised $1.29 million and had spent $1.55 million in 2022. [24]

Occupy Democrats Election Fund made contributions to five candidates in 2022 all of whom were Democrats running in U.S. Senate elections. [25] They included former North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley (D-NC), U.S. Representative Val Demings (D-FL), Michael Franken (D-IA), and incumbent U.S. Sens. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) and Margaret Wood Hassan (D-NH). [26] Opensecrets reported that the Occupy Democrats Election Fund gave $5,000 to those five candidates as well as $5,000 to the Senate campaigns of Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Sen. Michael Bennet (Colorado) who were also in Senate races. [27]

Opensecrets records show that Occupy Democrats Election Fund raised $1.08 million during the 2019-2020 election cycle and spent $649,446. [28]

References

  1. Omar Rivero. LinkedIn. Accessed Nov. 3, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/omarrivero/ ^
  2. Open Secrets. Occupy Democrats Election Fund. Summary. Accessed Nov. 3, 2022. https://www.opensecrets.org/spending-section ^
  3. Nick Reynolds. “Founder Of Democrat Super PAC Defends Lack Of Donations To Candidates”; Newsweek. Sept. 27, 2022. Accessed Nov. 2, 2022. https://www.newsweek.com/occupy-democrats-super-pac-defends-lack-donations-candidates-1746799 ^
  4. Nick Reynolds. “Founder Of Democrat Super PAC Defends Lack Of Donations To Candidates”; Newsweek. Sept. 27, 2022. Accessed Nov. 2, 2022. https://www.newsweek.com/occupy-democrats-super-pac-defends-lack-donations-candidates-1746799 ^
  5. Nick Reynolds. “Founder Of Democrat Super PAC Defends Lack Of Donations To Candidates”; Newsweek. Sept. 27, 2022. Accessed Nov. 2, 2022. https://www.newsweek.com/occupy-democrats-super-pac-defends-lack-donations-candidates-1746799 ^
  6. Omar Rivero. LinkedIn. Accessed Nov. 3, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/omarrivero/ ^
  7. Occupy Democrats Election Fund. Campaign Finance Data. Federal Election Commission. Accessed Nov. 1, 2022. https://docquery.fec.gov/cgi-bin/fecimg/?C00718510 ^
  8. Brittany Shammas. “How Mexican-American Twins From Miami Created The Liberal Powerhouse Occupy Democrats”; Miami New Times. Sept. 26, 2017. Accessed Nov. 4, 2022. https://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/omar-and-rafael-rivero-the-mexican-american-twins-behind-occupy-democrats-9699820 ^
  9. Brittany Shammas. “How Mexican-American Twins From Miami Created The Liberal Powerhouse Occupy Democrats”; Miami New Times. Sept. 26, 2017. Accessed Nov. 4, 2022. https://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/omar-and-rafael-rivero-the-mexican-american-twins-behind-occupy-democrats-9699820 ^
  10. [1] Nick Reynolds. “Founder Of Democrat Super PAC Defends Lack Of Donations To Candidates”; Newsweek. Sept. 27, 2022. Accessed Nov. 2, 2022. https://www.newsweek.com/occupy-democrats-super-pac-defends-lack-donations-candidates-1746799 ^
  11. Nick Reynolds. “Founder Of Democrat Super PAC Defends Lack Of Donations To Candidates”; Newsweek. Sept. 27, 2022. Accessed Nov. 2, 2022. https://www.newsweek.com/occupy-democrats-super-pac-defends-lack-donations-candidates-1746799 ^
  12. Nick Reynolds. “Founder Of Democrat Super PAC Defends Lack Of Donations To Candidates”; Newsweek. Sept. 27, 2022. Accessed Nov. 2, 2022. https://www.newsweek.com/occupy-democrats-super-pac-defends-lack-donations-candidates-1746799 ^
  13. Nick Reynolds. “Founder Of Democrat Super PAC Defends Lack Of Donations To Candidates”; Newsweek. Sept. 27, 2022. Accessed Nov. 2, 2022. https://www.newsweek.com/occupy-democrats-super-pac-defends-lack-donations-candidates-1746799 ^
  14. Nick Reynolds. “Founder Of Democrat Super PAC Defends Lack Of Donations To Candidates”; Newsweek. Sept. 27, 2022. Accessed Nov. 2, 2022. https://www.newsweek.com/occupy-democrats-super-pac-defends-lack-donations-candidates-1746799 ^
  15. Nick Reynolds. “Founder Of Democrat Super PAC Defends Lack Of Donations To Candidates”; Newsweek. Sept. 27, 2022. Accessed Nov. 2, 2022. https://www.newsweek.com/occupy-democrats-super-pac-defends-lack-donations-candidates-1746799 ^
  16. Nicole Dominique. “Occupy Democrats, A Popular Pro-Democrat News Website, Is Under Fire For Allegedly Misusing Funds”; Evie. Sept. 27, 2022. Accessed Nov. 4, 2022. https://www.eviemagazine.com/post/occupy-democrats-pro-democrat-news-website-under-fire-misusing-pac-funds ^
  17. [1] Nick Reynolds. “Founder Of Democrat Super PAC Defends Lack Of Donations To Candidates”; Newsweek. Sept. 27, 2022. Accessed Nov. 2, 2022. https://www.newsweek.com/occupy-democrats-super-pac-defends-lack-donations-candidates-1746799 ^
  18. Nick Reynolds. “Founder Of Democrat Super PAC Defends Lack Of Donations To Candidates”; Newsweek. Sept. 27, 2022. Accessed Nov. 2, 2022. https://www.newsweek.com/occupy-democrats-super-pac-defends-lack-donations-candidates-1746799 ^
  19. Nick Reynolds. “Founder Of Democrat Super PAC Defends Lack Of Donations To Candidates”; Newsweek. Sept. 27, 2022. Accessed Nov. 2, 2022. https://www.newsweek.com/occupy-democrats-super-pac-defends-lack-donations-candidates-1746799 ^
  20. Nick Reynolds. “Founder Of Democrat Super PAC Defends Lack Of Donations To Candidates”; Newsweek. Sept. 27, 2022. Accessed Nov. 2, 2022. https://www.newsweek.com/occupy-democrats-super-pac-defends-lack-donations-candidates-1746799 ^
  21. Nick Reynolds. “Founder Of Democrat Super PAC Defends Lack Of Donations To Candidates”; Newsweek. Sept. 27, 2022. Accessed Nov. 2, 2022. https://www.newsweek.com/occupy-democrats-super-pac-defends-lack-donations-candidates-1746799 ^
  22. Nick Reynolds. “Founder Of Democrat Super PAC Defends Lack Of Donations To Candidates”; Newsweek. Sept. 27, 2022. Accessed Nov. 2, 2022. https://www.newsweek.com/occupy-democrats-super-pac-defends-lack-donations-candidates-1746799 ^
  23. Occupy Democrats Election Fund. Report Of Receipts And Disbursements. Accessed Nov. 3, 2022. https://docquery.fec.gov/pdf/855/202210289546671855/202210289546671855.pdf#navpanes=0 ^
  24. Open Secrets. Occupy Democrats Election Fund. Summary. Accessed Nov. 3, 2022. https://www.opensecrets.org/spending-section ^
  25. Occupy Democrats Election Fun. Notification Of Multicandidate Status. Accessed Nov. 3, 2022. https://docquery.fec.gov/pdf/256/202210289546614256/202210289546614256.pdf#navpanes=0 ^
  26. [1] Occupy Democrats Election Fund. Notification Of Multicandidate Status. Accessed Nov. 3, 2022. https://docquery.fec.gov/pdf/256/202210289546614256/202210289546614256.pdf#navpanes=0 ^
  27. Open Secrets. Occupy Democrats Election Fund. Candidate Recipients. https://www.opensecrets.org/political-action-committees-pacs/occupy-democrats-election-fund/C00718510/candidate-recipients/2022 ^
  28. Open Secrets. Occupy Democrats Election Fund. Accessed Nov. 3, 2022. https://www.opensecrets.org/political-action-committees-pacs/occupy-democrats-election-fund/C00718510/summary/2020 ^
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Occupy Democrats Election Fund


Washington, DC