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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Soros Gives David Brock $1 Million for New Media Ground War

George Soros is a major donor to the Democratic Party and to progressive causes and foundations. This week he announced he will be donating $100 million to support progressive groups this cycle. One of the first million-dollar donations will go to American Bridge, an oppo-research PAC set up by Media Matters founder David Brock.

The donations by Soros suggest a new media strategy. Rather than fight an expensive air war of negative campaign ads, i.e. paid media, Soros is betting that Brock's army of trackers will turn up embarrassing video which will result in free coverage via the mainstream media. Given the media's leanings, that's probably a safe bet.

A NY Times profile of the group's activities published last summer described American Bridge as consisting of "dozens" of trackers sent to various key states and a Washington "war room" with a staff of 20 to collect and log video. The story indicates that federal election law prevents outside groups from producing ads based on video captured by DNC or campaign staff. Brock's group will become a repository of clips available for use by those with outside money, though it's not clear campaign ads will be necessary.

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