- Super PAC “Correct The Record” reportedly coordinated with Hillary Clinton’s campaign
- The group spent at least $1 million on pinpointing and combatting animosity and criticism directed at Clinton
- The PAC is fairly open with its intentions and overarching mission — to weed out expressions of disapproval for Clinton
A super PAC that reportedly coordinated with Hillary Clinton’s campaign spent at least $1 million on pinpointing and combatting animosity and criticism directed at the former Democratic presidential candidate during the 2016 election season.
Known as Correct The Record, the political action committee (PAC) described itself as a “strategic research and rapid response team designed to defend Hillary Clinton from baseless attacks.” In the process, the PAC did more than just “defend.” Correct The Record resorted to attacking Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, the other Democratic candidate, and all those who dared to defy the Democratic National Committee’s once-secret desire to have the former secretary of state win the nomination.
In other words, it didn’t try to stoke fruitful debate about the merits of the two respective candidates, but actually sowed seeds of divisiveness — much like what Russia, and U.S. tech companies such as Facebook, are currently being blamed for.
Correct The Record created a system that led to severe negativity on the already cacophonous social media platforms, even levying scandalous accusations, some more dubious than others. In fact, Correct The Record’s YouTube page features at least 13 original videos (ostensibly ads) that attack Sanders in some way.
Such actions fly in the face of apparent original sentiments in which both candidates seemed to share the wish to rarely, if ever, attack one another.
Correct The Record, like almost all PACs, are not technically supposed to coordinate with a candidate or their organizers, but did so anyway due to purported Federal Election Commission (FEC) loopholes, according to The Daily Beast.
The Supreme Court ruled in the monumental case Citizens United v. FEC (2010) that corporate funding of “independent expenditures” could not be limited. Correct The Record was allegedly not operating in an independent manner, but tried justifying their actions by classifying itself as a “Carey committee,” or a “hybrid PAC” that ostensibly means it can conduct contributions to both federal candidates and parties, and independent expenditures.
The digital campaign — which some describe as a multi-million dollar troll farm — was reported on by a number of outlets in 2016, but before Correct The Record ultimately fundraised more than $9 million, showing that the efforts were likely more full-fledged and rigorous than first thought. In comparison, the Internet Research Agency, the shady Russian organization believed to be behind the primary disinformation campaigns, spent $46,000 on pre-election day Facebook ads — many purposefully polarizing — and roughly $100,000 total.
It’s founder, David Brock, creator of the liberal website Media Matters, once was an outspoken critic of former President Bill Clinton, but eventually became an ardent supporter of Hillary, especially during the most recent election.
Interestingly enough, one enumerated $500,000 donor, Renaissance Technologies, is co-led by Robert Mercer, a benefactor to right-wing political projects like Breitbart News. Another, Carlyle Group, which has David Rubenstein, chairman of the think tank Brookings Institution, at the helm, donated $100,000 to Correct The Record.
Nevertheless, Correct The Record is fairly open with its intentions and overarching mission — to weed out expressions of disapproval for Clinton and to subsequently squash it with aggressive, even retaliatory, measures.
With all of the talk about Russia’s allegedly profound ability to exploit communication mechanisms in the U.S, and the reported evidence of Correct The Record’s tactics, it’s somewhat surprising that Clinton doesn’t get much of the blame for fueling the schismatic fires of the Democratic Party, or general unrest among the electorate. Many cast Facebook, Google, and Twitter as the culprits, or more aptly, puppets of Russia. Even former President Barack Obama receives varying degrees of accountability for not doing enough to counter Russia’s prying and attempts at cultivating strife among the U.S. population. Many haven’t referenced Clinton and her campaign, which also indirectly or directly manipulated the multiple platforms to create further discord.
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