Missouri Democrat Representative, Cori Bush, used her campaign to pay tens of thousands to her husband, Cortney Merritts. The funds were used for Merritts private security and other expenditures during the first six months of 2023. This information was revealed via campaign filings acquired by the press.
Bush’s campaign, which missed the second quarter filing deadline and faced additional fines, eventually turned in her committee report a week late. According to one of the recent filings, Merritts received $17,500 in security services and “wage expenses” between April and June.
When we marched in Ferguson, white supremacists would hide behind a hill near where Michael Brown Jr. was murdered and shoot at us.
They never faced consequences.
If Kyle Rittenhouse gets acquitted, it tells them that even 7 years later they still can get away with it.
— Cori Bush (@CoriBush) November 15, 2021
The first quarter also showed an additional $12,500 Merritts received for private security services. The total came out to $30,000. The dedicated “Squad” member sent $62,000 to PEACE security during that same period. The organization employs many “security operators” with military or law enforcement expertise.
During the first half of 2023, the campaign also paid Nathaniel Davis III around $27,500 for security services, too. Davis was a black panther and built a controversial reputation for himself. Davis has claimed he is “109 trillion years old and can summon tornadoes” and has expressed anti-Semitic sentiments.
Bush has also made controversial statements, claiming she was shot at by “white supremacists” that were “hiding behind a hill” during the march in Ferguson. She also yells about racism on the House Floor, where she should have been acting professionally. Bush also pushed for a federal reparations bill.
She is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America and has repeatedly pushed the message that extra protection (for herself) is necessary. She has claimed that she’s endured assassination attempts. Since 2019, Bush has sunk over $500,000 in security fees, most of the funds going to PEACE Security.
When Bush and Merritts married in February, her office stated that they had been dating before her election to Congress in 2021, over one year before she hired him to work on her campaign in January 2022. Last year, Merritts was given bi-monthly $2,500 checks from her campaign totaling $60,000.
According to Fox News, Merritts didn’t have a private security license in late February. Permission is required to manage security responsibilities in St. Louis and St. Louis County, including Bush’s whole congressional district. However, this isn’t the first time Bush has been called out for hypocrisy.
The irony is that Bush has spent thousands of dollars on security when she has continuously preached defunding the police is necessary. It was in July 2021 when Fox News reported on Bush’s security payments while she was actively vocalizing that the police should and need to be defunded.
Don Lemon, a former CNN host, asked her if she would ever take back her “defund the police” stance. “If you could do it again, would you still double down or use that slogan, ‘defund the police?’” Lemon questioned her. She replied, “Absolutely.” She adds, “So suck it up, and defunding the police has to happen.”
Despite shelling out tens of thousands on private security, Bush has made defunding the police a trademark of her image. She became a prominent advocate for the movement following the death of George Floyd in May 2020. Apparently, only certain special people need to be protected by law enforcement.