David Brock, the founder of left-wing attack group Media matters for America, resigned from the board of the super PAC Priorities USA Action on Monday, complaining that the super PAC’s officials helped with a “an orchestrated political hit job” against his groups American Bridge and Media Matters, according to POLITICO. Brock wrote a missive to former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm and former Obama campaign manager Jim Messina, the co-chairs of the board of Priorities, stating “current and former Priorities officials were behind this specious and malicious attack on the integrity of these critical organizations.”
The resignation was seemingly prompted by last week’s New York Times report that cast aspersions on the fundraising methods used by American Bridge, Media Matters, and the super PAC Ready for Hillary. The Times noted that Democratic fundraiser Mary Pat Bonner received a 12.5 percent commission for any money raised for American Bridge and Media Matters and a lesser commission for funds raised for Ready for Hillary. The Times quoted Brock gushing, “The Bonner Group gets us the best fund-raising product for the lowest cost. In my experience, the commission incentivizes the fund-raiser to meet the ambitious goals we set.”
In January 2014, Politico prophetically wrote of the groups jockeying for position in order to support a Hillary Clinton candidacy: “For all the genuine excitement about the prospect that Clinton, 66, could shatter the glass ceiling she famously invoked in 2008, the potential for rancor among these groups is real. In at least one instance last year, two super PACs collided over efforts to get behind a Clinton candidacy — forcing her allies to intervene.
As the various left-wing groups battle for position to support the expected Clinton candidacy, Brock apparently felt that Priorities was out to cut down his own groups, writing they were bent on savaging his groups fundraising work “while presumably enhancing Priorities’ own. Frankly, this is the kind of dirty trick I’ve witnessed in the right-wing and would not tolerate then. Our Democratic Presidential nominee deserves better than people who would risk the next election – and our country’s future – for their own personal agendas.”
Some other players in the Clinton hierarchy acted as if nothing was amiss. Craig Smith, a senior advisor to Ready for Hillary, protested that Ready for Hillary, Priorities, Media Matters, and American Bridge still worked together, and Bonner has not been excluded, saying, “We have worked with them for almost two years. We continue to work with them. We all do very different things, so there’s not a lot of overlap.” He argued that he did not believe rivals within the Left were targeting Bonner.
Priorities spokesman Peter Kauffmann said his group was not involved with the Times story, and added that there was no fallout among the various Hillary support groups. He said, “Priorities USA Action and allied organizations demonstrated a clear ability to work together effectively in 2012 and we look to replicate that success again in 2016,” he said.
POLITICO writes that there was a point at which Priorities’ allies tried to shut down Ready for Hillary. But later those groups united with Brock’s to help Hillary Clinton’s expected campaign, raising millions of dollars. They parceled out the various jobs to help Clinton; American Bridge’s Correct the Record Project would deflect attacks on Clinton; Ready for Hillary would compile lists of voter and small donors, and Priorities would target large donors.
In his letter, Brock said there had been a “serious breach of trust between organizations that are supposed to work together toward common ends has created an untenable situation that leaves me no choice but to resign my position.”