Occupy Democrats, A Popular Pro-Democrat News Website, Is Under Fire For Allegedly Misusing PAC Funds

By Nicole Dominique
·  3 min read
Money > shutterstock

Occupy Democrats, a news website and organization with 10 million followers on Facebook, is under fire for allegedly sending $250,000 in fundraiser money to the co-owner's company.

Occupy Democrats is a popular left-wing media group established in 2012 by brothers Rafael and Omar Rivero. The website is built around clickbait, misinformation, and Democrat-oriented content. In 2017, a survey was conducted among U.S. readers in which Occupy Democrats was voted as “the least trusted news source,” just below other websites like Breitbart and Buzzfeed.

From 2021 to 2022, the group ran the “Occupy Democrats Elections Fund,” a fundraising campaign intended to assist Democrat leaders in elections, and they successfully raised the large sum of $797,000. According to the website, their mission is to “combat Far-Right lies, mobilize communities and voters, and protect Democrats’ majority to continue to advance our progressive agenda.”

However, one Twitter user who decided to investigate Occupy Democrats’ funds found the organization contributed $0 dollars to federal candidates and spent $577,000 on “fundraising consultants.” The information is readily available on the website, an independent and nonpartisan group dedicated to tracking political-related funds. Omar Rivero saw the post and defended himself, stating that Occupy Democrats is a “Super PAC,” which means they cannot send funds directly to candidates.

According to @H_MitchellPhoto, upon further research, $250,000 went toward a company registered under Omar's brother. "It turns out that $250k of the $797k went into a company owned by Omar and his brother,” the user tweeted. The company in question is Blue Deal LLC, a store that sells campaign materials and other political merchandise. Interestingly, screenshots show that the website claims to be “women-owned.”  

Since the claims have become public on Twitter, Omar has been busy defending himself in the comments. “Yes, I make a living from Occupy Democrats,” he responded, “We have ads on our website and I do consulting work on the side. It has nothing to do with Occupy Democrats election fund which is a separate entity. Please give it a rest lol I live in a trailer ffs.” A trailer? Hmm, something isn’t adding up, because according to an LAWeekly article on Occupy Democrats, “Omar was able to move into a million-dollar house in Los Angeles and hire five full-time writers, who he says are paid generously.” One Buzzfeed writer speculates that the brothers are could be raking in six figures a month in ad revenue.

There’s no denying that Occupy Democrats has been successful in collecting funds and donations, thanks to their 10 million followers. But whether or not their generous donators will get a clearer and more detailed answer as to where their money went is another question.

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