Political leanings: Democratic/liberal
2018 total spending: $20.9 million
The group was founded in November 2010 by David Brock, a conservative-turned-liberal activist. After making a name for himself as a self-described “right-wing hit man,” Brock reinvented himself as a liberal crusader. In 2004, Brock founded Media Matters, which monitors the media for “conservative misinformation.” Brock also founded Correct the Record, a pro-Hillary Clinton hybrid PAC/super PAC (or Carey committee), which began as an arm of American Bridge but split off in 2015 to become an independent committee.
As a super PAC, American Bridge can accept unlimited donations and is largely funded by major Democratic donors and labor unions. As of Dec. 31, 2019, the PAC had raised $13.4 million in the 2019-2020 election cycle, according to the Federal Election Commission.
It had spent $12.3 million of those funds, including $2.2 million on independent expenditures –– advertising that expressly advocates for the election or defeat of specific candidates — against President Donald Trump so far this election cycle.
The largest donors in the 2020 cycle, as of Feb. 3 have been Deborah Simon, daughter of the late property developer Melvin Simon, who had contributed $2 million; philanthropist and academic Marsha Laufer, who had contributed $1.25 million; Phillip Ragon, CEO and founder of the technology company InterSystems, who also had given $1.25 million; and Simon’s sister, Samerian Foundation Chairwoman Cynthia Simon Skjodt, has contributed $1 million to the PAC.
American Bridge raised $20.5 million and spent $20.9 million in the 2018 election cycle. Sisters Deborah Simon and Cynthia Simon Skjodt each gave the group $1 million. Other major donors included: Henry Laufer, chief scientist and vice president of the hedge fund Renaissance Technologies (and husband of Marsha Laufer), who gave $500,000; Anne Earhart, granddaughter of the late businessman Jean Paul Getty, who gave $300,000; and billionaire hedge fund manager George Soros, who donated $300,000.
In 2018, little of the group’s spending went toward independent expenditures. It spent only about $25,000 on independent expenditures in the 2018 cycle. Instead, most of its money went to employee salaries, including opposition researchers.
FactCheck.org Undergraduate Fellow Isabella Fertel contributed to this article.