Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, chairwoman of a new liberal group promising to spend millions of dollars against Republicans in the 2012 election, told POLITICO that Democrats’ qualms about outside spending shouldn’t be allowed to get in the way of the party’s key substantive issues.
“Citizens United unleashed the power of corporate giving and individuals secretly giving money,” Kennedy Townsend told POLITICO in her first interview since word of the new group, American Bridge, leaked two weeks ago. “I want to see that we have the ability to fight back.”
Democrats were battered in 2010 by a wave of unlimited and, in part, undisclosed spending from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and new outside groups led by American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS, funding in six- and seven and even eight-figure chunks by wealthy Republicans, the health care industry and other groups. Democrats matched that spending in 2008 with money raised in smaller chunks by its party committees. But the birth of American Bridge, in which Media Matters founder David Brock is also playing a lead role, represents the first tangible reaction to the Republican money.