American Bridge 21st Century
|Founded at||Washington, D.C.|
|Affiliations||Media Matters for America|
American Bridge 21st Century or AB PAC is a liberal American Super PAC that supports Democratic candidates and opposes Republican candidates. It was founded by David Brock in 2010 and is associated with Media Matters for America. It is an opposition research hub for the Democratic Party. The group physically tracks and monitors Republican candidates and officials and uses social media to deploy its findings.
American Bridge PAC employs over 50 "trackers" to follow and record Republican candidates across the country. These trackers are equipped with high-tech recording gear and are assigned Republican targets to follow and record. According to the New York Times, the organization "aims to record every handshake, every utterance by Republican candidates...looking for gotcha moments that could derail political ambitions or provide fodder for television advertisements by liberal groups." USA Today described the group's goal as "uncovering an unguarded moment, a controversial position, a gaffe or flip-flop, anything that can be used to torpedo a political foe's campaign." The organization compiles opposition research dossiers on the Republican candidates they are targeting. The group's opposition dossier on Mitt Romney was 2,500 pages long. American Bridge PAC attempts to tie Republican candidates to the Koch brothers.
In 2018, American Bridge spent $20.9 million, mostly on employee salaries including the opposition researchers.
American Bridge PAC is largely funded by Democratic donors and labor unions. Billionaire hedge fund manager George Soros was the group’s largest donor for the 2012 and 2014 cycles, contributing $1 million in 2012 and over $1 million in 2014. In 2012, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees donated $575,000. American Bridge was one of several progressive political groups to coordinate fundraising efforts for the 2012 elections.
- "FEC Form 1, name change" (PDF). Federal Election Commission. November 10, 2019. Retrieved February 29, 2020.
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- Lorber, Janie (February 13, 2012). "American Bridge 21st Century Super PAC Is Hub of Left". Roll Call. Retrieved December 9, 2015.
- Burns, Alexander (July 28, 2013). "American Bridge watching GOP". Politico. Retrieved December 9, 2015.
- Shear, Michael (July 8, 2011). "Trailing G.O.P. With Cameras, Seeking Gaffes". New York Times. Retrieved December 9, 2015.
- Schouten, Fredreka (May 23, 2012). "Researchers dig deeper for dirt on political opposition". USA Today. Retrieved December 9, 2015.
- Haberman, Maggie (June 22, 2015). "Democratic 'Super PAC' to Take On Koch Brothers". New York Times. Retrieved December 9, 2015.
- "American Bridge 21st Century/AB PAC". FactCheck.org. February 19, 2020. Retrieved February 29, 2020.
- Martin, Jonathan (June 29, 2016). "Trump Institute Offered Get-Rich Schemes With Plagiarized Lessons". The New York Times. Retrieved July 1, 2016.
- Duszak, Alexandra (May 19, 2014). "PAC Profile: American Bridge 21st Century". Center for Public Integrity. Retrieved December 9, 2015.