For more information, see American Bridge 21st Century (Super PAC)
American Bridge 21st Century Foundation is a major donor to its PAC counterpart, donating roughly $5.9 million in 2017-2018 to it (as of October 2018).
From its inception, David Brock intended American Bridge to play a large role and sought the money to back up his plan.
In a New York Times article about the American Bridge’s founding, Brock boasted of his ability to raise substantial amounts of money from wealthy donors. Said Brock, “My donor base already constitutes the major individual players who have historically given hundreds of millions of dollars to these types of efforts.”
American Bridge’s early supporters included Rob McKay, chair of the Democracy Alliance, a fellow liberal organization, businessman Robert Dyson and television producer Marcia L. Carsey. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, of Kennedy family fame and a former lieutenant governor in Maryland, served as the group’s first chair.
Jessica Mackler, a veteran Democratic campaign operative, serves as president of American Bridge 21st Century Foundation. Heavyweight politico Brad Woodhouse held the post for 17 months before leaving to head up Correct the Record, a Brock spin-off.
Board of Directors
American Bridge 21st Century Foundation’s 2016 board of directors consisted of Ted Trimpa, a Democratic strategist, consultant, and board member of the Democracy Alliance; Will Lippincott; David Bennahum; president Jessica Mackler; and Edward “Eddie” Vale, a Democratic campaign strategist and former vice president of American Bridge.
American Bridge seeks to serve as something of a gaffe database, capturing political flubs and faux pas by Republican politicians on video. The group hired trackers to follow Republican candidates at the federal level and record their every word, handshake and everything in between. During the 2012 election cycle, American Bridge deployed trackers to 33 states. The group is crediting with finding the “legitimate rape” comments made by Missouri Republican U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin, which led to a media maelstrom. Akin went on to lose the contest.
In the arms race of political tech and marketing, American Bridge hopes to amass one of the largest video and audio databases in existence.
During the 2016 election cycle, American Bridge enjoyed a $17 million budget and employed “ some eighty-plus staffers.”