Person

Bradley Beychok

Nationality:

American

Occupation:

Democratic Political Operative

Bradley Beychok is a Democratic political strategist based in Washington, D.C. He currently works as the president and co-founder of American Bridge 21st Century, a Democratic Party-aligned opposition research organization. The organization was co-founded by conservative-journalist-turned-Democratic-activist David Brock. Previously, Beychok was president of Media Matters for America (MMfA or Media Matters), another organization founded by Brock.

While president of MMfA, Beychok accused Fox News of hacking one of his staffer’s phones and email records. Experts disputed Beychok’s allegations, claiming that there was no way Fox News could obtain the records without the staffer’s consent. [1]

During the 2016 election, Beychok appeared to profit from American Bridge’s activities as the group provided funding for a company owned by Beychok and his father. [2] Beychok has also been accused of helping David Brock profit by directing funds from the nonprofit American Bridge 21st Century Foundation into a for-profit media company which Brock owns. [3]

Early Life and Career

Beychok was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. His father, Michael Beychok, is a political consultant for Democratic candidates. In Beychok’s first paid political job, he worked as a staffer for then-Louisiana Attorney General Richard Ieyoub’s failed 2003 Democratic gubernatorial campaign. [4]

After the campaign, Beychok started working for prominent Democratic political consultant James Carville. [5] Beychok then went to work for then-U.S. Representative Charlie Melancon (D-LA), managing his successful congressional campaigns until he was defeated in a 2010 run for U.S. Senate. [6]

Brock Network

After Sen. Melancon’s defeat, Beychok moved to Washington, D.C. to become campaign director for the American Bridge 21st Century PAC. [7] After the 2012 elections, Beychok moved to Media Matters, where he became executive vice president. In 2013, Beychok became president of Media Matters. [8]

Media Matters for America

As president of Media Matters, Beychok was described as the enforcer of the organization’s support for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, though the organization was a 501(c)(3) and legally barred from explicitly endorsing a candidate. Beychok allowed James Carville to become a guest columnist for the website in order to write a column defending the Clintons. [9]

While working as president of Media Matters, Beychok was confronted by Media Matters employees trying to unionize. Beychok and Brock opposed allowing their workers to unionize, despite the organization’s usual public defense of labor unions. In the summer of 2014, Media Matters employees voted to unionize, and Beychok issued a conciliatory statement after the vote. [10]

In September 2016, Beychok accused Fox News of hacking one of his staffers’ phone and email records. Beychok ordered an internal review into the hacking allegations, but a reporter who covered the story for the left-of-center Daily Beast said that it would be impossible for Fox News to obtain the phone and email records without the correspondent’s consent. [11]

The 2016 Elections and American Bridge

In November 2016, the center-left Sunlight Foundation reported that American Bridge 21st Century had spent $140,000 in mailings and video production targeting then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in October 2016. The Foundation reported that the money was paid to Ourso Beychok Inc., a company owned by Beychok and his father. [12]

After the 2016 elections, Beychok became president of American Bridge. In March 2020, Beychok’s American Bridge announced that it was going to combine its fundraising with Unite The Country, a PAC that supported President Joe Biden. The two groups set a goal of raising $175 million together. [13]

In a July 2020 op-ed, Beychok urged then-candidate Biden to attack President Trump on the COVID-19 response and on the economy. Beychok wrote that American Bridge had been hyper-targeting white, working class voters in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania to attack President Trump on economic issues and COVID-19 relief. [14]

In February 2021, American Bridge pledged to spend $100 million in support of Democrats in the 2022 midterms. [15]

IRS Complaint

In 2020, the conservative Patriots Foundation filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that alleged that the nonprofit American Bridge 21st Century Foundation under Beychok paid $2.7 million into True Blue Media Services, a for-profit media company owned by David Brock. [16]

In addition to the payment, the Patriots Foundation alleged that the foundation was primarily a political organization in violation of tax laws. [17] Beychok denied any wrongdoing; as of mid-2021, the IRS had taken no public actions related to the complaint. [18]

References

  1.           Harris, Shane. 2017. “Media Matters Chief Suggests Fox News Hacked Emails Too”. The Daily Beast. https://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2016/09/02/media-matters-chief-aware-of-fox-hacking.    ^
  2.             Watson, Libby. 2016. “The Final Stretch: The Big-Spending Super Pacs Behind Hillary Clinton : Sunlight Foundation”. Sunlight Foundation. https://sunlightfoundation.com/2016/11/01/the-final-stretch-the-big-spending-super-pacs-behind-hillary-clinton/. ^
  3. Allison, Bill. 2020. “Conservative Watchdog Claims Anti-Trump Group Violated Tax Laws”. Yahoo News. https://autos.yahoo.com/conservative-watchdog-claims-anti-trump-004439963.html. ^
  4. LIPPMAN, DANIEL. 2018. “BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Bradley Beychok, President And Co-Founder Of American Bridge”. POLITICO. https://www.politico.com/story/2018/04/16/playbook-birthday-bradley-beychok-526278. ^
  5.             “Bradley Beychok”. 2021. American Association Of Political Consultants. Accessed June 7. https://theaapc.org/bradleu-beychok/. ^
  6. Blum, Jordan. 2014. “BR Native Gets Watchdog Job”. The Advocate. https://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/opinion/article_e287288c-8b34-5b6d-9af7-119948f80754.html. ^
  7. Blum, Jordan. 2014. “BR Native Gets Watchdog Job”. The Advocate. https://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/opinion/article_e287288c-8b34-5b6d-9af7-119948f80754.html. ^
  8. Blum, Jordan. 2014. “BR Native Gets Watchdog Job”. The Advocate. https://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/opinion/article_e287288c-8b34-5b6d-9af7-119948f80754.html. ^
  9. Chang, Clio, and Alex Shephard. 2016. “What Happens To Media Matters In A Post-Hillary World?”. The New Republic. https://newrepublic.com/article/139385/happens-media-matters-post-hillary-world     ^
  10. Vadum, Matthew. 2014. “Media Matters For The Left”. Capital Research Center. https://capitalresearch.org/article/media-matters-for-the-left-david-brocks-mission-to-boost-hillary-clinton-and-smear-non-leftist-sources-of-news-and-commentary/. ^
  11. Harris, Shane. 2017. “Media Matters Chief Suggests Fox News Hacked Emails Too”. The Daily Beast. https://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2016/09/02/media-matters-chief-aware-of-fox-hacking. ^
  12. Watson, Libby. 2016. “The Final Stretch: The Big-Spending Super Pacs Behind Hillary Clinton : Sunlight Foundation”. Sunlight Foundation. https://sunlightfoundation.com/2016/11/01/the-final-stretch-the-big-spending-super-pacs-behind-hillary-clinton/. ^
  13. Martin, Jonathan, and Shane Goldmacher. 2020. “2 Top Democratic Groups Form Alliance To Support Joe Biden”. New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/30/us/politics/biden-unite-country-american-bridge.html. ^
  14. Beychok, Bradley. 2020. “Trump’s Last Line Of Defense Is The Economy. Biden And Democrats Must Knock It Down.”. USA Today. https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2020/07/08/joe-biden-democrats-must-attack-trump-covid-economy-column/5386624002/. ^
  15. Scherer, Michael. 2021. “Democratic Group American Bridge Plans $100 Million Midterm Campaign To Back President Biden”. Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/biden-democrat-fundraising/2021/02/05/019d0092-6752-11eb-8c64-9595888caa15_story.html. ^
  16. Allison, Bill. 2020. “Conservative Watchdog Claims Anti-Trump Group Violated Tax Laws”. Yahoo News. https://autos.yahoo.com/conservative-watchdog-claims-anti-trump-004439963.html.    ^
  17. Allison, Bill. 2020. “Conservative Watchdog Claims Anti-Trump Group Violated Tax Laws”. Yahoo News. https://autos.yahoo.com/conservative-watchdog-claims-anti-trump-004439963.html. ^
  18. Allison, Bill. 2020. “Conservative Watchdog Claims Anti-Trump Group Violated Tax Laws”. Yahoo News. https://autos.yahoo.com/conservative-watchdog-claims-anti-trump-004439963.html. ^
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