American Bridge 21st Century, the progressive super PAC founded by David Brock and funded by George Soros, abruptly fired one of its operatives, Wilfred "Mike" Stark, last night after he was arrested and charged with battery against Adam Laxalt's female campaign manager the evening prior.
This would be a great judgment call if only Stark hadn't previously had multiple legal charges and punishments for stalking, harassing, and assaulting Republican, and often female, political operatives.
The David Brock-founded and George Soros-funded American Bridge hired Stark as a "reporter" (internally referred to as "trackers" meant to physically record Republican candidates) in January of this year. Stark's reputation for belligerence and, at times, outright violence, precedes him, and it's surely probably part of the reason Brock's organization hired him.
In 2006, back when Stark worked for The Young Turks, Stark was detained for pushing a Republican attending a rally for then-Sen. George Allen, R-Va., to the ground. He became famous for shouting an unsubstantiated allegation in front of the cameras that Allen had spat upon his ex-wife – an allegation that she called "a baseless, cheap shot."
The following year, while reporting for Daily Kos, Stark stalked Bill O'Reilly at his home.
In 2017, Stark was arrested at an Ed Gillespie campaign event and subsequently found guilty of disorderly conduct.
This March, after a House committee hearing, Stark allegedly assaulted Heather Swift, a staffer for Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, according to a Capitol Police report. Stark pleaded not guilty to a charge of simple assault, and American Bridge more or less played dumb when pressed on the matter. But two witnesses corroborated Swift's versions of events.
Reps. Barbara Comstock, R-Va., and Devin Nunes, R-Calif., as well as Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, (through his communications director, former Washington Examiner opinion writer Conn Carroll) have all alleged harassment by Stark. Carroll tweeted today, "I've known Mike Stark for literally over a decade. This is who he is. American Bridge knows who he is and what he does and they hired him accordingly." In Comstock's suburban Virginia race, Stark was photographed with the campaign team of her Democratic opponent, Jennifer Wexton.
The only surprising aspect of Stark's latest violent outburst is that this time, American Bridge actually fired him for it. Las Vegas city marshals arrested Stark for seizing and twisting the arm of Kristin Davison, constraining her for several minutes has he threatened her and Adam Laxalt, whose campaign she's managing.
It doesn't make any sense to pretend that this incident was some kind of straw that broke the camel's back for American Bridge. Stark already had a documented history of vile behavior before this, and a propensity for getting rough with female Republicans in particular. When they — Republicans, thought criminals, whatever you want to call them — went low, Stark didn't kick 'em, he used his hands instead.