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Dark Money Landslide?

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.



  1. ebdoug wrote:

    Seems Ben Carson is spending a lot of “dark Money”

    Thursday, November 12, 2015 at 4:36 am | Permalink
  2. Z wrote:

    At least they are pouring $ into the economy.

    Where this money is most harmful is on the local level, where elections are more easily influenced by $. On the national level what all this money seems to be doing is keeping the nut cases visible longer.

    Thursday, November 12, 2015 at 10:27 am | Permalink
  3. PATRIOTSGT wrote:

    Dark Money, smark money, it doesn’t really matter.

    Hillary Clinton has already won the Democrat Primary, before a single voter cast a ballot and month before an election. We can cancel those pesky primaries and send condolence gifts to Bernie and Martin before Christmas.

    Friday, November 13, 2015 at 11:07 am | Permalink