When David Brock announced that his super PAC, Correct the Record, would coordinate directly with Hillary Clinton, he raised eyebrows. While some saw the setup as “shady,” Clinton Campaign Manager John Podesta (whose opinion of Brock is not exactly favorable) saw it as an opportunity.

A May email exchange released by WikiLeaks shows that for all of Clinton’s complaints about dark money in politics, her campaign was pretty happy about this. What she opposes in public, she’s more than eager to embraces in private.

The original news of coordination opened up a fissure between the campaign’s progressive movement advisors and its political operators. Judd Legum, editor of the left-wing ThinkProgress website, chimed in that the alliance made “zero sense,” and Center for American Progress president Neera Tanden said it “does seem shady.” But with the decisive word, Podesta simply replied “Brock $ machine.”

“That’s fine,” Tanden protested. “But skirting, if not violating law, doesn’t help her [in my humble opinion.]”

Correct the Record caused consternation among Clinton advisors because, while it’s above board technically, it pushes the envelope legally. Exploiting the “Internet exemption” of campaign finance law, the group has achieved what’s verboten in politics: direct coordination with a presidential campaign. For Clinton’s online image, the PAC has been the political cavalry, sweeping in to dispel negative perceptions of her.

With a million-dollar war chest, Brock built a rapid response army, filling its ranks with ex-journalists, flaks and researchers. Hired pens (aka leftist mercenaries) guard the Democrat’s reputation online, deploying to Twitter and Facebook to rebut negative posts about the nominee. That task force helped Clinton beat back Bernie Sanders, and has since tried to make her seem more palatable to a broader general election audience.

Clinton talks a big game about “getting unaccountable money out of our politics” and ending “the stranglehold of special interest.” But that hasn’t stopped super PAC spending on her behalf.

Special interests have decidedly been with Clinton this election cycle, for whatever reason. More than $188 million in dark money has been deployed on her behalf, compared with just $60 million for Donald Trump. And Podesta’s response, at least as interpreted by his progressive interlocutors, shows that Clinton’s cool with that. She’ll keep decrying shady politics publicly while letting big money do her dirty work privately.

Philip Wegmann is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.

Donna Brazile out at CNN after emails show Clinton coordination

Also from the Washington Examiner

Donna Brazile, the Democratic National Committee chair, has resigned from her position as a longtime contributor with CNN, after a leaked emails appeared to show she leaked Hillary Clinton a question that would be asked at a presidential forum.

CNN spokeswoman Lauren Pratrapas said in a Monday statement provided to the Washington Examiner that the network is “completely uncomfortable” after learning that earlier this year, Brazile provided Clinton’s campaign with specific questions she would face at CNN presidential forums. CNN said it accepted Brazile’s decision.

“On October 14th, CNN accepted Donna Brazile’s resignation as a CNN contributor,” the network said in a statement released Monday.

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