Posts tagged dark money
Posts tagged dark money
Dark money is already shaping the 2016 race as motivated megadonors handpick the candidates and the issues.
In a statement yesterday announcing his retirement, Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) said he’ll take on secret money in politics during his time left in the Senate:
A third item I want to tackle is a growing blight on our political system that I believe I can help address: the use of secret money to fund political campaigns. Our tax laws are supposed to prevent secret contributions to tax exempt organizations for political purposes. My Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations needs to look into the failure of the IRS to enforce our tax laws and stem the flood of hundreds of millions of secret dollars flowing into our elections, eroding public confidence in our democracy.
“A last-minute burst of below-the-radar cash has begun flooding into the national elections, most of it financing advertising against Democrats, often in markets where television time is still cheap. But unlike the well-known outside groups that have dominated the airwaves until now, many of the new spenders did not formally exist a few weeks ago. They have generic-sounding names, rarely have Web sites and are exploiting a loophole that will keep their donors anonymous until long after the last votes are counted.”
Though Nov.1, $213.0 million has been spent by “dark money” groups to influence the 2012 elections. Of that, $172.4 million (81%) has been spent to help Republican candidates, as compared to $35.7 million (19%) to help Democrats.
That’s Washington Post’s Dan Eggen’s response to the news that the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity is launching a massive anti-Obama ad buy.
Through July 26, politically involved groups that do not disclose their donors have spent at least $172 million on campaigns that include television, radio and Internet advertising, according to a Huffington Post review of FEC reports, advertising buys, press releases and news stories. Total spending by these groups is likely far greater, since they are required to report only a fraction of their spending to the FEC. Politically involved independent groups that publicly disclose their donors, including super PACs, have spent $174 million so far this election cycle.
The down and dirty history of secret spending, PACs gone wild, and the epic four-decade fight over the only kind of political capital that matters.