Progressive group Justice Democrats rebukes Biden White House picks

The group Justice Democrats, which helped elect Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other members of the left-wing “Squad,” recoiled Tuesday at President-elect Joe Biden’s White House staff picks.

The influential organization’s public rebuke reflects an internal Democratic Party power struggle two months before Biden takes office.

“A Biden administration dominated by corporate-friendly insiders will not help usher in the most progressive Democratic administration in generations… progressives find corporate-friendly Biden appointments unacceptable” the organization wrote on Twitter.

The group objected to Biden picking Steve Ricchetti to be a counselor to the president — a position held under President Trump by trusted aides including Kellyanne Conway — and Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.) to be a senior adviser, a role currently held by first daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner.

Progressives including Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders are jockeying for roles in the Biden administration, while a narrower House majority for Democrats boosts the potential influence of lawmakers including Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who regularly resists top-down pressure from centrist party leaders.

Justice Democrats executive director Alexandra Rojas wrote, “If Joe Biden continues making corporate-friendly appointments to his White House, he will risk quickly fracturing the hard-earned goodwill his team built with progressives to defeat Donald Trump.”

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