Media Matters Paid Over $100,000 To Consulting Firm Owned By Board Member Tom Perez

Media Matters for America (MMFA) made a six-figure payment to a consulting firm owned by one of its board members in 2022, tax forms show.

MMFA, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded to correct “conservative misinformation in the U.S. media,” paid $105,000 to a firm called ASR LLC in 2022, which it noted was owned by board member Tom Perez, according to tax filings. Perez, who currently works as a senior advisor to President Joe Biden — and previously served as the secretary of labor under President Barack Obama as well as the chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) — is the sole employee and president of ASR LLC, a White House ethics disclosure shows.

MMFA said it paid ASR LCC for “consultant advisory services,” according to tax filings. Perez became a MMFA board member in February 2021 and left the post in June 2023, according to his ethics disclosure. Perez’s ethics disclosure described ASR LCC as a company he set up a month after joining MMFA to house his consulting work.

The ethics disclosure states that the LLC will lie “dormant” while Perez serves in government.

MMFA and Perez did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.

Payments from nonprofits to organizations affiliated with their board members could raise questions over potential conflicts of interest.

“It’s important to look at the process, consider the size of the transaction and determine if it’s clear the types of services that board members are providing to the organization,” Kristen Eastlick, vice president for research and communications at Capital Research Center, told the DCNF. “Organizations that enter into contracts with board members should understand that those transactions will be scrutinized more closely because of the potential for private benefits.”

While MMFA was comfortable cutting six-figure checks to a consultancy firm owned by a board member just a couple of years ago, it recently laid off roughly a dozen staffers, citing limited resources.

“We’re confronting a legal assault on multiple fronts and, given how rapidly the media landscape is shifting, we need to be extremely intentional about how we allocate resources in order to stay effective,” Media Matters president Angelo Carusone said to Newsweek.

The “legal assault” mentioned by Carusone was spurred by MMFA’s attempt to go after X, formerly Twitter, for allegedly placing advertisements next to extremist content. Musk sued MMFA for defamation, arguing that the nonprofit “knowingly” manufactured images showing ads from major corporations next to the extremist content.

Republican Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey announced a similar lawsuit against MMFA in March, accusing the group of engaging in “fraudulent business practices” by soliciting donations from the state’s residents to “trick advertisers into removing their advertisements from X.”

Beyond X, MMFA has long spearheaded campaigns aimed at deplatforming conservative voices, including by petitioning advertisers to stop doing business with Fox News.

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