“Strategic research and rapid reaction team created to defend Hillary Clinton from unfounded attacks,” Correct the Record said on its website. The group’s first election cycle as a super PAC is underway.
Correct the Record is a “Carey committee,” or “hybrid PAC,” according to the Center for Responsive Politics. That means it can “keep two different accounts; one for contributions to federal candidates and parties, and the other for independent expenditures, to which limitless contributions can be made,” says the center.
Correct the Record was founded by David Brock, the lefty website Media Matters’ creator. American Bridge 21st Century, a leftist political action committee (PAC), had been Correct the Record’s parent organization until May 2015, when Correct the Record announced that it was breaking away from its parent organization to become its own PAC. After announcing that American Bridge President Brad Woodhouse would take a leave of absence to become president of Correct the Record, Brock also revealed that Kathleen Kennedy Townsend would head the PAC’s Board of Directors.
Correct the Record intends to cooperate closely with the Clinton campaign, in contrast to other independent-expenditure-only super PACs that are forbidden by the Federal Election Commission from coordinating with candidates or political parties. That’s because, according to the group, they don’t intend to spend any money on advertising. It would instead utilize its website and social media tools to rebut charges made against Clinton.
Adrienne Watson, a Correct the Record spokeswoman, told the Washington Post: “The FEC rules clearly allow some activities — in particular, activity on an organization’s website, through email, and on social media — to be lawfully coordinated with candidates and political parties. “. Non-federal entities have relied on this exclusion innumerable times. Correct the Record’s only distinction is that it makes the names of its donors and expenditures public.
An American Priorities ’16 fundraising organization was announced in July by the New York Times and Priorities USA Action, two pro-Clinton super PACs. A total of 20% of the funds earned through American Priorities ’16 will go to Correct the Record, with gifts of up to $1 million going to Priorities USA, per the agreement. Donors who give $1 million or more will see $200,000 go to Correct the Record and the rest to Priorities USA, the Times reports.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Correct the Record was one of the two largest “Carey committees” in terms of fundraising in 2015. According to the FEC’s mid-year filing, the super PAC raised over $1.4 million from 13 major donors and spent approximately $334,000 as of the end of June 2015. (You can find all of its FEC filings here.)
Former San Francisco Symphony President John D. Goldman and his wife Marcia, who together donated $250,000, were among the PAC’s top donors this election year. Colorado millionaire philanthropist Patricia Stryker also donated $250,000. $150,000 was provided by Barbara Lee, the founder of the Barbara Lee Family Foundation, which aims to promote “women’s equality and representation” in the arts and politics. In addition, Hillary for America Super PAC contributed more than $275,000 in total.
Even while Correct the Record was set up to counter unfavourable media coverage of Clinton, it has turned to attacking Clinton’s major Democratic presidential competitor, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Jeremy Corbyn, the new leader of the Labour Party in the United Kingdom, made some controversial remarks, according to the Huffington Post, which the super PAC attempted to link to Sanders. Sanders was reportedly able to raise over $1.2 million for his campaign as a result of the negative onslaught.