Person

Jessica Mackler

Occupation:

President, American Bridge 21st Century Foundation

Jessica Mackler is a Democratic political operative working as the vice president of federal and gubernatorial campaigns at Emily’s List. She previously ran the independent expenditure operations for the Democratic Governor’s Association (DGA) and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). Before that, she was the president of American Bridge 21st Century. [1]

In 2018, Mackler was accused of hypocrisy by the left-wing news website The Intercept after the DCCC intervened in a primary contest in which it accused the candidate it was opposing of corruption and self-dealing. It was revealed that another candidate in the race had retained Mackler’s husband’s company to do digital consulting work. [2]

In 2020, Mackler was one of the officers behind an ostensibly Montana-based independent expenditure group that was advertising on behalf of Democrats in Montana. The group had received most of its funding from the DGA. Mackler did not live in Montana, and there appeared to be no organizational ties to the state. [3]

Early Life and Career

Mackler was born in Sonoma Country, California and graduated from UC San Diego. [4] Mackler began her career as a researcher for Emily’s List, a left-of-center federal PAC that supports pro-abortion, female candidates for office. She then spent a decade working on Democratic campaigns all over the country. [5]

Mackler was a research and rapid response director to then-U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu’s (D-LA) successful reelection campaign in 2008. She then managed former U.S. Representative Frank Kratovil’s (D-MD) losing reelection campaign in 2010. In 2012, Mackler managed former U.S. Representative Shelley Berkley’s (D-NV) unsuccessful race for U.S. Senate. [6]

American Bridge 21st Century

Mackler joined American Bridge 21st Century as a campaign director in the 2014 election cycle. That same cycle, she became chief operating officer. In the 2016 election cycle, she became president of American Bridge. [7]

During the 2016 Republican National Convention, American Bridge setup a “Trump Museum” near the convention site which displayed its research on then-presidential candidate Donald Trump. It invited reporters to come to the “museum” and take a look at the research that the organization had gathered. [8]

After President Trump was elected, American Bridge launched a series of attacks on the Trump administration and Republicans. In February 2017, American Bridge attacked Republican congressmen who faced protests at townhall meetings and other events. [9]

In March 2017, American Bridge amplified claims of alleged ties between the Trump administration and Russian power players as part of the Trump-Russia collusion claims. It created a website that showed the alleged relationships some Trump administration officials had with Russian power players, despite eventual evidence that no Trump campaign members had colluded with Russia. [10]

In August 2017, American Bridge attacked the Trump administration as white supremacists. It released a 30 second advertisements and a 50-page report alleging links between members of the Trump administration and white supremacists. [11]

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC)

In September 2017, Mackler became the director of independent expenditures at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). She was the first woman to hold the position. [12]

In February 2018, the DCCC intervened in the U.S. House of Representatives District 7 primary election, opposing Laura Moser. The DCCC alleged that Moser was corrupt and self-serving because she paid $50,000 in campaign funds to a consulting firm run by her husband. The left-wing news website the Intercept discovered that another, DCCC-supported candidate in the race, now-U.S. Representative Lizzie Fletcher (D-TX), had paid a company at which Mackler’s husband was a partner at least $7,500 for digital consulting work. [13]

Democratic Governors Association

In January 2020, Mackler was hired by the Democratic Governors Association as independent expenditure director. [14]

In September 2020, a local Montana political blog revealed that Mackler was one of the officers of an ostensibly Montana-based organization called Good Jobs Montana. Mackler had never lived in Montana, and the organization’s mailing address was a post office box at a UPS Store in Billings. Good Jobs Montana was spending money against Republicans running for state offices in the state. As of August 2020, Good Jobs Montana had received $4.225 million from the DGA. [15]

Return to Emily’s List

Mackler returned to Emily’s List as vice president for federal and gubernatorial campaigns for the 2022 election cycle. [16]

References

  1.      “Jessica Mackler”. 2021. The AAPC. Accessed June 21. https://theaapc.org/awards/40-under-40/class-of-2016/jessica-mackler-2/. ^
  2.          Fang, Lee, Ryan Grim, and David Dayen. 2018. “DCCC Goes Nuclear, Slams Democratic Candidate As Corrupt For Same Behavior It Engages In Regularly”. The Intercept. https://static.theintercept.com/amp/national-democrats-go-nuclear-publicly-slam-a-dem-candidate-as-corrupt-for-far-less-than-its-own-officials-do.html.    ^
  3. Skinner, Dave. 2020. “Don’t Shoot The Messenger”. Flathead Beacon. https://flatheadbeacon.com/2020/09/30/dont-shoot-messenger/. ^
  4. “EMILY’S List Announces Jessica Mackler As VP Of Federal And Gubernatorial Campaigns”. 2021. Emily’s List. Accessed June 21. https://emilyslist.org/news/entry/emilys-list-announces-jessica-mackler-as-vp-of-federal-and-gubernatorial-ca. ^
  5.      “EMILY’S List Announces Jessica Mackler As VP Of Federal And Gubernatorial Campaigns”. 2021. Emily’s List. Accessed June 21. https://emilyslist.org/news/entry/emilys-list-announces-jessica-mackler-as-vp-of-federal-and-gubernatorial-ca. ^
  6. Pathe, Simone. 2017. “DCCC Names First Woman IE Director”. Roll Call. https://www.rollcall.com/2017/09/28/dccc-names-first-woman-ie-director/.     ^
  7. “Jessica Mackler”. 2021. The AAPC. Accessed June 21. https://theaapc.org/awards/40-under-40/class-of-2016/jessica-mackler-2/. ^
  8. Collins, Eliza. 2016. “Progressive PAC Spits Rapid Rebuttals At GOP Convention”. USA Today. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2016/07/20/american-bridge-gop-convention-trump/87364900/. ^
  9. Easley, Jonathan. 2017. “Top Dem Super-PAC Looks To Capitalize On Protests Of GOP Lawmakers”. Thehill. https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/318570-top-dem-super-pac-looks-to-capitalize-on-protests-of-gop-lawmakers. ^
  10.      Alemany, Jacqueline. 2017. “Democratic Super PAC Goes After Trump’s Russia Connections”. CBS News. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/democratic-super-pac-goes-after-trumps-russia-connections/. ^
  11.  Tani, Maxwell. 2017. “A Top Democratic Group Is Running A Chilling Ad Linking Trump To White Supremacists”. Business Insider. https://www.businessinsider.com/american-bridge-white-supremacists-trump-report-video-2017-8. ^
  12. Pathe, Simone. 2017. “DCCC Names First Woman IE Director”. Roll Call. https://www.rollcall.com/2017/09/28/dccc-names-first-woman-ie-director/. ^
  13. Fang, Lee, Ryan Grim, and David Dayen. 2018. “DCCC Goes Nuclear, Slams Democratic Candidate As Corrupt For Same Behavior It Engages In Regularly”. The Intercept. https://static.theintercept.com/amp/national-democrats-go-nuclear-publicly-slam-a-dem-candidate-as-corrupt-for-far-less-than-its-own-officials-do.html. ^
  14. “DGA Announces Key New Hires To Leadership Team”. 2020. Democratic Governors Association. https://democraticgovernors.org/news/dga-announces-key-new-hires-to-leadership-team/. ^
  15. Skinner, Dave. 2020. “Don’t Shoot The Messenger”. Flathead Beacon. https://flatheadbeacon.com/2020/09/30/dont-shoot-messenger/. ^
  16. “EMILY’S List Announces Jessica Mackler As VP Of Federal And Gubernatorial Campaigns”. 2021. Emily’s List. Accessed June 21. https://emilyslist.org/news/entry/emilys-list-announces-jessica-mackler-as-vp-of-federal-and-gubernatorial-ca. ^

Connected Organizations

  1. American Bridge 21st Century (Political Party/527)
    President
  2. American Bridge 21st Century Foundation (Non-profit)
    President
  3. American Rights at Work (Non-profit)
    Former Campaign Strategy Consultant (2008-2010)
  4. Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) (Political Party/527)
    Director of Independent Expenditures
  5. EMILY’s List (Other Group)
    Former Deputy Research Director (2001-2005)
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