David Brock is the darling of Democratic Party millionaires and billionaires.
Donald Trump’s inauguration has sparked rallies in defense of Medicare and Medicaid, women’s marches across the country, protests against mass deportations and more. Brock, meanwhile, is using the occasion to convene over 100 deep-pocketed Democratic Party donors to a weekend retreat at Miami’s Turnberry Isle resort for a “Democracy Matters 17” conference. It will be three days of strategy sessions to bolster his multimillion-dollar nonprofit political machine.
Brock’s empire, including Media Matters, American Bridge, ShareBlue, and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, served as a hit squad for the Clinton campaign last year. Now that Clinton has lost, Brock is retooling his machine to lead the attack on all things Trump. “We really aspire to be like the Kochs,” he explained, referring to the circle of ultra-wealthy right-wing donors convened by the notorious Koch brothers.
Brock, known for his silver pompadour and penchant for high drama, is a controversial figure among Democratic operatives. Nurtured in the netherworld of the far right, Brock was a foot soldier in what Hillary Clinton famously dubbed the “vast right-wing conspiracy” before converting. (He earned his stripes by slurring Anita Hill as “a little bit nutty and a little bit slutty.”)
After recanting and changing sides, Brock nevertheless prides himself on being as ruthless and amoral as the operatives on the right, though his act doesn’t fly as well in Democratic circles. During the Democratic primary, Brock declared that “black lives don’t matter to Bernie Sanders” and called on the septuagenarian Sanders to release his medical records in order to cast aspersions on his health.
In the John Podesta e-mails released by WikiLeaks, Neera Tanden, head of the Center for American Progress, called him a “menace,” and “shady,” while musing whether he was a “Manchurian candidate of the GOP secretly out to tank [Clinton].” Podesta, chair of the Clinton campaign, suggesting Brock was merely an “unhinged narcissist.”