Politicians of all stripes have attracted allegations of hypocrisy for expressing public positions that they do not privately uphold.
U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) appears to be no exception, as evidenced in her calls for landlords to “cancel rent” even as records show she has made thousands of dollars in rental income.
“A matter of life and death”
According to the Washington Free Beacon, Pressley brought in as much as $15,000 during 2019 from an apartment she rented for a period of about four months.
In August of that year, Pressley reportedly removed the listing for the home in Hyde Park after months of renting it out for $2,500 per month.
About a year later, she and her husband reportedly refinanced the $658,000 home as a multifamily property. The earnings she brought in from its rental reportedly predate the COVID-19 pandemic, which sparked a widespread movement to cancel rent payments and forego evictions.
For her part, Pressley has called rent forgiveness “a matter of life and death.”
Available reports do not indicate whether the lawmaker collected rent during the pandemic, but she has pushed for legislation that would cancel rent and mortgage payments “through the duration” of the public health crisis.
“No accumulation of debt”
Pressley — along with fellow progressive Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) — recently re-introduced the bill, which would apply retroactively to April 2020 with “no accumulation of debt for renters or homeowners and no negative impact on their credit rating or rental history.”
The Massachusetts Democrat has declared that people should not have “to choose between putting food on the table and keeping a roof over their head.”
Her legislative proposal would establish a “relief fund” to compensate landlords and lenders based on certain conditions meant to ensure “fairness.”
As the Free Beacon noted, the bailout would be skewed to benefit landlords with “the fewest available amount of assets,” meaning Pressley herself might be more likely to receive compensation.
She is not the first left-leaning activist to come under fire for living an apparently lavish lifestyle. Patrisse Khan-Cullors, a Black Lives Matter co-founder and self-styled Marxist, has faced mounting criticism over her reports that she purchased more than $3 million in real estate.