Priorities USA and American Bridge — two super PACs aligned behind likely 2016 Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton — are publicly mending fences after the head of American Bridge abruptly resigned his position on the board of Priorities USA earlier today.
David Brock, longtime Clinton defender and the founder of the liberal opposition research juggernaut American Bridge and media watchdog Media Matters, quit in protest of a New York Times story published Friday that pulled the curtain back on the opaque fundraising practices of his groups.
The piece questioned Brock’s ties to fundraising adviser Mary Pat Bonner, revealing that she receives 12.5% commission on the donations she raises for Brock PACs.
In a letter, first published by Politico and verified by multiple sources, Brock defended his fundraising practices and called the Times story “an orchestrated political hit job,” taking aim at current and former officials at Priorities USA, saying they “were behind this specious and malicious attack on the integrity of these critical organizations.”
Brock’s resignation was a departure from the cooperation that Priorities, American Bridge and another pro-Clinton super PAC, Ready for Hillary, have displayed since brokering an agreement to work together last year. But it also harkened back to the days of the 2012 presidential cycle when American Bridge and Priorities USA, then a nascent super PAC backing President Barack Obama, were at odds at they competed for the attention of Democratic donors.
Democratic operatives close to Clinton who are involved in outside groups dedicated to her seemingly certain presidential run, were eager to tamp down speculation about trouble in Hillaryland and orchestrated the public make up, according to multiple sources.
In a statement distributed to reporters following the flap, former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, co-chair of Priorities USA, said, “We take the concerns board member David Brock raises seriously and are working to address them.”
Brock said he had spoken to the group’s leaders and was assured his concerns would be addressed.
“I’m open to returning to the board and I share their desire to find a way to move forward,” he said in the statement.
Republicans, meanwhile, were only too happy to see the intra-party fighting.
“If they can’t keep it together 20 months out and before Hillary has even officially announced, one has to seriously wonder how they’re going to hold up in the heat of a national campaign,” said Republican National Committee spokesman Michael Short.