Established in November 2013 as a subsidiary of David Brock‘s American Bridge 21st Century, Correct The Record (CTR) serves as a “strategic research and rapid response” operation designed to counter the “relentless attack strategy” employed by Republicans seeking to derail a potential 2016 presidential run by Hillary Clinton. According to OpenSecrets.org, CTR is a hybrid Political Action Committee (PAC) / Super PAC.
CTR’s staff consists of approximately 20 employees. The leaders of the organization’s day-to-day operations are Burns Strider, who served as director of faith-based outreach for Mrs. Clinton’s 2008 White House bid, and Susie Tompkins Buell, a longtime leading donor and fundraiser for Mrs. Clinton. Other key financial backers of CTR include Steve Bing, software entrepreneur Paul Egerman, Rob McKay, the scandal-plagued Democrat donor Bernard Schwartz, and Democratic Party fundraiser Barbara Stiefel.
One of CTR’s chief priorities is to produce talking points that rebut and discredit any and all criticisms of Hillary Clinton. For example, the organization maintains that the deadly terrorist attacks against the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi on September 11, 2012 were not in any way attributable to Clinton’s failure, as Secretary of State, to provide adequate security for that facility during the weeks and months prior to the violence. Nor does CTR hold Mrs. Clinton accountable for her subsequent mischaracterization of the attacks as spontaneous, unplanned protests that erupted in response to an obscure anti-Muslim video produced in the United States. Instead, CTR contends that a “transparent” Mrs. Clinton decisively “took action” in the aftermath of the attacks by appointing an Accountability Review Board to trace the roots of the tragedy, and praises her determination “to leave the State Department and our country safer, stronger, and more secure.”
In a similar spirit, CTR impugns the “right wing” for its “shameful” suggestion that Mrs. Clinton’s enormous speaking fees ($250,000-per-event) prove that “she is out of touch” with the economic circumstances of average Americans. “The reality,” says CTR, is that Hillary Clinton “came from a middle-class background in middle America,” has “spent decades advocating for a level playing field,” and is “fighting … hard to make sure the American Dream is a real possibility for every child and every family across our nation.”
Moreover, CTR credits Mrs. Clinton for a host of achievements she enjoyed both as a senator and as Secretary of State, such as:
An attachment to a December 1, 2015 email that Democrat fundraiser Mary Pat Bonner sent to John Podesta, made it clear that CTR was coordinating directly with the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign; federal law forbids such coordination between a political campaign and a Super PAC. Said the attachment: “In May of 2015, CTR separated from its parent organization, American Bridge, and became its own SuperPAC. This structure allows CTR to retain its independence but coordinate directly and strategically with the Hillary campaign. This work is necessary now more than ever.”
In September 2016, CTR announced the launch of its new “TrumpLeaks” project, which was offering money in exchange for any legally obtained audio or video that could damage the presidential campaign of Republican nominee Donald Trump. “One of the most important things for voters to evaluate in any election is the full measure of a candidate’s views, ideas, and temperament over time,” the CTR website stated. “In making a choice for president, voters must also consider how various candidates present themselves to the public and to the world. There are few things more important in that regard than access to video or audio in the form of prior television or radio interviews or more candid video from events a candidate may have attended.”