A super PAC led by liberal operative David Brock has dropped more than $2 million into advertisements against President Donald Trump, filings show.
The American Bridge PAC, a Democratic opposition research committee, disclosed $250,000 in new independent expenditures for advertising against Trump, according to filings posted to the FEC’s website late Friday night. The new disbursements come on the heels of $1.96 million the group spent on similar efforts in mid-November. The expenditures from Brock’s PAC over the past several weeks appear to be the PAC’s first foray into the 2020 presidential race.
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Many Democratic operatives and organizers expressed hostile views toward Brock, a longtime Clinton loyalist who also founded Media Matters for America, following the 2016 election cycle, and urged him to stop attempting to help the party. Brock, instead, has doubled down on his efforts against Trump and Republicans.
“His ability to produce wins for Democrats is nonexistent,” Jeff Weaver, the campaign manager for Bernie Sanders’s 2016 presidential bid, told the Daily Beast in 2017. “He does not have the kind of understanding of what kind of coalition you have to bring together to win national races—that’s his fundamental problem.”
A senior official for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign told the Daily Beast that Brock and his constellation of PACs and organizations are “useless” and added that the tens of millions of dollars they spent in 2016 might as well have been thrown down a well and set on fire. A former Obama administration official also referred to Brock as “fucking weird” and likened him to Mugatu from the movie Zoolander. “I don’t know what the fuck [Brock’s network] did besides raise a ton of money, and I don’t think the after-action report on 2016 says we need more David Brock. Probably the opposite is true,” the official said.
Despite the sentiments among the Democratic operatives and organizers, Brock and his network of organizations immediately got to work following the 2016 presidential cycle. During Trump’s inauguration, Brock huddled with more than 100 deep-pocketed donors just outside of Miami. The group mapped out how it would “kick Donald Trump’s ass” in the coming four years.
The Washington Free Beacon was on site for the retreat and obtained Brock’s confidential memorandum on how he would use American Bridge, Media Matters, ShareBlue, a liberal news website also owned by Brock, and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a government watchdog group, which Brock led since 2014 but stepped away from one month before the gathering, fearing the organization would appear overtly partisan as Trump was taking office.
Brock’s memo had plans for defeating Trump through impeachment, filing lawsuits against the administration, and using a “digital attacker” to delegitimize Trump’s presidency, among other endeavors.
Brock’s American Bridge PAC announced in March that it would launch a $50 million effort to “weaken” Trump in Midwestern states for 2020. The campaign would consist of a massive television, digital, and radio advertisement push targeting voters in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Brock’s focus on the Midwest is in line with other Democratic efforts.
Liberal billionaires George Soros and Scott Wallace, who unsuccessfully ran for Congress in Pennsylvania’s First Congressional District during the 2018 midterm elections, are helping bankroll a fund hosted by an intricate dark money organization to help the party make inroads with midwestern voters.
Future Majority, a D.C.-based Democratic strategy center, was established to focus on Midwestern states in an attempt to “rebrand” the party. The group plans to spend at least $60 million during the 2020 election cycle.
Priorities USA, the largest liberal super PAC, said earlier this year that it planned to spend $100 million targeting battleground states, including those in the Midwest.
The American Bridge PAC did not respond to a request for comment on its $2 million in recent independent expenditures against Trump by press time.
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