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Democrats Hope Liberal Outside Group Will Provide Balance

3 years ago
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This year, many congressional Republicans had a number of big-spending conservative groups to thank for propelling them to victory, and now Democrats hope a new liberal organization will do the same for them in 2012.

The political operative and writer David Brock has put together $4 million in funding and is hiring a staff for a Democratic-leaning outside group called American Bridge, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

The group, which will fund media efforts for Democratic causes and candidates, will be headed by former Maryland lieutenant governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, the daughter of Robert F. Kennedy.

The Times said a number of deep-pocketed Democratic donors have already pledged support, including:
Rob McKay, heir to the Taco Bell fortune and chairman of the Democracy Alliance, a partnership of wealthy liberal donors; Robert Dyson, who heads Dyson-Kissner-Moran, a takeover and acquisitions firm in New York City; and Marcia L. Carsey, a television producer who gave $1 million to Democratic outside groups in 2004.
Brock told the newspaper that he will file papers with the Federal Election Commission Tuesday to formally establish American Bridge as an "independent-expenditure-only political action committee." Under new regulations approved by the Supreme Court earlier this year, the group will be allowed to accept contributions of unlimited size from individuals and corporations but must make its donor list public.

Brock also runs the liberal-leaning watchdog group Media Matters Action Network. He said he will position American Bridge so that money could be raised for Democratic political efforts via both nonprofit organizations.

Media Matters, which is not required to disclose its donors, is likely take on an expanded role in the 2012 elections, including potentially running television ads, according to the Times.

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