AIPAC & Allies Not Spending Against Summer Lee – Oliver Stone to Release Lula Documentary at Cannes

Congresswoman Summer Lee (D-PA) rallies with striking UE union members from Wabtec in the summer of 2023 (UE)


Greetings from Pittsburgh, where it appears that Congresswoman Summer Lee is cruising to re-election that is set to take place tomorrow. 

AIPAC & Allies Not Spending Against Summer Lee 

Tomorrow is primary Election Day in Pittsburgh’s heavily Democratic district. Congresswoman Summer Lee looks like she will prevail easily in her re-election bid. 

Back in October, when Summer Lee was one of the first eight democrats to call for a ceasefire after Israel started attacking Gaza, many assumed she would be in danger of re-election. In her first election, AIPAC and its allies spent more than $5 million against her. 

However, the AIPAC and its allies are not spending anything as it appears she will easily cross to re-election. From Dave Weigel at Semafor: 

The Democratic base’s fatigue with Israel’s counteroffensive is real, and it’s a factor in Pittsburgh. Of the 13 progressive House Democrats who called for a ceasefire on Oct. 16, three were from Chicago, and none of them broke a sweat to win their primaries last month. Lee, the next Democrat facing this test, has benefitted from incumbency, from changing moods about the war, and from progressive fears that their small bloc in Congress is being targeted.

Progressive donors mobilized quickly around Lee. By the end of 2023, she’d raised $1.4 million; she raised $1.9 million, total, for the 2022 race where she had to fend off millions of dollars from the extended AIPAC universe. (Patel had raised nearly $311,000 by the end of last year.) And the Democratic Party’s shift on Israel has clearly helped her. Lee said that she agreed with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s speech last month, urging Israel to hold new elections, and urging Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to go.

“It really speaks to how obvious the international violations are right now,” she said. “We’re seeing this movement from Democratic politicians who have traditionally been very friendly, and given a lot of grace to Netanyahu’s government.”

For more, check out Semafor. 

Mercedes Union to Hold Election May 13th-17th

After the massive victory of 73% at Volkswagen in Tennessee, the UAW will now turn its attention to Mercedes, where they hope to keep the momentum going. 

For more than 25 years, workers have been struggling to organize at Mercedes. (See our story and listen to our podcast on their 25-year fight)

Donate to Help Us Cover this Crucial UAW Election in Alabama 

Oliver Stone to Release Lula Documentary

Finally, Oliver Stone announced today that his documentary on Lula’s life will premiere at the Cannes Film Festival next month. 

Stone follows Lula from his false imprisonment through his campaign and returns to the presidency of Brazil. The film is expected to premiere later in the year in the United States. 

For more, check out Folha de São Paulo. 

Alright, yinz, that’s all for today. Keep sending tips, story ideas, comments, and complaints to [email protected]  

Donate to help us cover the historic UAW drive at Mercedes in Alabama. Please, if you can, sign up as one of our 774 recurring donors today. 

Thanks for all the support. 

Love & Solidarity, 


About the Author

Mike Elk
Mike Elk is an Emmy-nominated labor reporter and alumni of the Guardian. In addition to filing nearly 2,000 stories from 46 states, Elk traveled with Lula from Sáo Bernando do Campos all the way to the Oval Office in the White House. Credited by the Washington Post for being the first reporter to track the strike wave systematically, Elk started Payday Report using his NLRB settlement from being illegally fired for union organizing in 2015. He lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh and works frequently in Rio de Janeiro, where he attended college at PUC-Rio. He speaks both Portuguese and Pittsburghese fluently. His email is [email protected]