I’ve complained about “dark money” – unlimited money coming from 501(c)(4) and 501(c)(6) organizations that don’t have to disclose their donors, and who can use that money for political campaigns. Because they don’t have to disclose their donors, their money can come from foreign enemies, even criminal or terrorist organizations.
Well, it is getting worse. According to PolitiFact, the amount of dark money that has been spent so far in the 2016 election (almost a year away) is ten times as much as was spent at the same point in the 2012 election cycle.
In the 2012 election, the total amount of dark money spent was over $308 million. Not surprisingly, 86% of dark money was spent by conservative groups (including groups headed by Karl Rove and by the Koch brothers), and only 11% by liberal groups.
Of the $4.88 million of dark money spent so far on the 2016 election, more than 98% was spent by conservative groups.
Does that mean we will see over $3 billion of dark money (the vast majority of it from conservative groups) spent on this election before it is over? It is both possible and likely. Already in some elections, spending by dark money groups has surpassed all money spent by traditional political action committees, both PACs and “Super PACs”.
That is a very scary thought.