Swamp Thang: New York Progressives Are Now Targeting Establishment Democrat Gregory Meeks

Swamp Thang: New York Progressives Are Now Targeting Establishment Democrat Gregory Meeks

Congressman Gregory Meeks, D-NY, waits for the arrival of Democratic presidential candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg to participate in Queens Democratic party’s first in a series of “presidential fireside chat,” a town hall forum for 2020 presidential candidates, Wednesday, May 22, 2019, at LaGuardia Community College in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

Rep. Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., may be in danger of losing his long stronghold. Progressive Democrats have been challenging the longtime politician, especially as several of his connections are coming into question.

Meeks has drawn controversy due to his closeness to Israel as well as his recent promotion of payday lenders, which Meeks claimed “high-interest lenders an alternative to loan sharks.”

Recently the congressman spoke to a breakfast meeting at the National Press Club for Master Your Card, MasterCard’s “public education” campaign to introduce consumers, small businesses and governments to more ways to use electronic payments.

Again, Meeks’ closeness with the banking industry doesn’t sit well with many in the party. He was actually “dubbed a member of the ‘banking caucus’ in a Center for Public Integrity investigation released in April. Just before he spoke, the group heard from Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Ohio, another “banking caucus” member and former megabank lobbyist,” Public Integrity reported.

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Meeks relationship with banks has paid off for him in terms of support.

“Meeks has raised $1.2 million from the financial industry since the 2010 election cycle including $6,500 from MasterCard. Stivers has raised $2.6 million including $2,000 from MasterCard,” Buzz Feed reported.

And many are trying to get Meeks out of office. 

One online group dedicated to “galvanizing people who are committed to economic fairness” called RootsAction “named Meeks as one of the 15 members of Congress who should be primaried. The report, titled ‘Bad Blues: Some of the House Democrats Who Deserve to Be Primaried,’ calls attention to several articles that criticize Meeks, including a New York Times piece that alleges the representative ‘lives the life worthy of a jetsetter,’” Buzz Feed reported.