Brockbuster: Is The Media Matters Chief Slurping From A Slush Fund?
October 10, 2017
Media Matters chief David Brock (President and CEO of Media Matters For America) has personally watched over and benefited from a scheme to hide donor identities that allowed progressives to funnel untraceable millions to initiatives against conservative and GOP causes around the nation, a complaint filed Tuesday with the Federal Election Commission charges.
Andrew Kerr details in the complaint obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation how Brock has allegedly overseen a sleight of hand operation to obscure who is donating money to a super PAC in which he has a vested personal interest.
Kerr is a former employee of a major American technology firm. He has spent the last year parsing through and collating data on American Bridge’s nonprofit and political arms.
The complaint centers on a cost-sharing arrangement between American Bridge 21st Century Foundation, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit, and a super PAC sharing its name, American Bridge 21st Century.
Kerr claims that the nonprofit has overpaid the super PAC for work done on behalf of the foundation — an action that the complaint alleges may violate FEC regulations and federal laws governing fraud and contribution reporting requirements. In other words, the complainant is alleging the foundation is apparently transferring donations to the political action committee in the form of compensation for work done through shared employees.
The FEC requires that super PACs, like American Bridge 21st Century, publicly disclose their donors. The foundation, on the other hand, is not beholden to the same rules, which presents a potential loophole for political groups to hide donor identity. If a donor gives to the foundation, which in turn transfers the money to the super PAC, their identity is “hidden” from the public.
Kerr wants the FEC to investigate the cost-sharing arrangement between the American Bridge foundation and the PAC, to see if the employee timesheets at the foundation are straight. He suspects the wages and worker hours do not correspond to the amount of work the foundation billed, because the foundation has never reported a single employee to the IRS.
If American Bridge does not produce the timesheets, it’s impossible to determine whether the foundation is making legitimate reimbursements, or simply funneling money to the PAC, the complaint charges.
The entire operation ties back to Brock, who sits on the board of directors of both American 21st Century and American 21st Century Foundation. He also draws a salary from each, according to Form 990 filings with the IRS.
Brock did not immediately respond to requests for comment from TheDCNF.
Many of the groups in Brock’s network, including Media Matters and the various arms of American Bridge, are situated just over a mile from the White House and the U.S. Capitol, in two floors of an office building in Northwest D.C.
…The foundation and the PAC entered into the cost-sharing arrangement, known as a “common paymaster agreement,” in March 2011, according to both group’s filings with the IRS. The arrangement allows the PAC and the foundation to identify as one paymaster when cutting paychecks, so, for example, a shared employee can receive one check rather than two.
So, say an employee works for American Bridge and splits time during one pay period roughly 70/30 between the super PAC and the foundation. Instead of getting paid $700 from the super PAC and $300 from the nonprofit arm, the employee receives a single $1,000 check from the super PAC.
…Kerr is calling for the FEC to do a thorough review of employee timesheets for every pay period from 2011 to at least 2015. Timesheets would show documentation for what work was done, the exact wages paid and to see if the foundation can even materialize said reports.
This should not be a problem for the foundation since it has told the IRS it keeps documented records.
American Bridge also runs its own “transparency database” for conservative causes, which documents the “flow of money among conservative donors, organizations, and candidates.” An organization committed to such transparency should not be opposed to releasing Kerr’s requested information.
If American Bridge cannot produce these timesheets when, or if the FEC asks for them, it could lose its 501(c)(4) status. Furthermore, if there are no records of work completed for the foundation on behalf of the super PAC, it would call into question whether those millions were simply funneled from the foundation to the super PAC.
…American Bridge 21st Century PAC is a bastion of the Democratic Party and liberal organizations, providing talking points, research and rapid response to progressive candidates nationwide.
It sells itself as “the Democratic epicenter of opposition research and rapid response in presidential and Senate elections.”
The mission of American Bridge is to “sustain a nonstop campaign against Trump, his administration, and Republicans who enable him.”
“American Bridge will make running as a Republican candidate in the next four years painful,” the memo reads. “We will not only damage Trump, but also the candidates who enable and support him.”
American Bridge was one of the loudest voices in the room calling for a special prosecutor to investigate the president’s connections to Russia in the spring, and has published a series of “Trump Accountability Reports,” aimed at “accountable, transparent and held in check.”
The political initiatives of American Bridge are clear and well articulated, and its connections to Brock are undeniable. If Kerr’s projections are correct and the foundation amounts to a slush fund for the super PAC, it could call into question a number of entities in Brock’s political network.
Read the entire article HERE.
Discover the Network on Media Matters:
Media Matters for America was established in May 2004. Media Matters is a constituent member of the Shadow Party, which is a network of non-profit activist groups organized by George Soros and others to mobilize resources — money, get-out-the-vote drives, campaign advertising, and policy initiatives — to advance Democratic Party agendas.
Media Matters posts rapid-response items as well as longer research and analytical reports “documenting conservative misinformation throughout the media.” As the Capital Research Center reports, Media Matters “works in conjunction with liberal blogs, using sympathetic reporters and pundits to promote far-left messages to the mainstream media and to attempt to force right-leaning media figures out of the public debate.”
- Characterize Conservatives as Liars and Racists
- Intimidating Journalists Whose Reporting Is Unacceptable to Media Matters
Brock consulted with a number of leading Democratic Party figures, including Senator Hillary Clinton, former Senator Tom Daschle and former Vice President Al Gore. He also pitched his idea to potential liberal-left funders, a number of whom promptly lined up to bankroll his cause. The fledgling Media Matters received more than $2 million in seed donations from a roster of affluent donors like Hillary Clinton, Susie Tompkins Buell, Gail Furman, Leo Hindery Jr., James Hormel, Peter Lewis, George Soros; and Bren Simon.
Also standing behind Brock was John Podesta, a former chief of staff in the Clinton administration and the head of the progressive think tank, the Center for American Progress. In 2004 Podesta provided Brock with office space for his new enterprise. Hillary Clinton played a key supporting role as well; she would later (in 2007) tell a YearlyKos convention of left-wing bloggers that she had “helped to start and support” Media Matters.
Color me not surprised.
This is only one of many that we need to be investigating and bringing charges against. Had the IRS investigated every application for 501 that was hiding behind “education and charity” this would never have occurred; but, then Obama and his buddies would no doubt have found another way to practice their corrupt subversive ways.
Still it would go a long way forward if Trump got rid of Koskinen asap and got someone in there that would clean up the entire agency.
It is about time we citizens go after every one of these sorry SOB’s. Of course as I always say — delete the 501(c) and a lot of this would pop out of the shadows into the light of day. AND it would return a lot of money to taxpayers by paying down on our national debt.