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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Two Dark Money Groups Outspending All Super PACs Combined

Two Dark Money Groups Outspending All Super PACs Combined

by Kim Barker, ProPublica.

Two conservative nonprofits, Crossroads GPS and Americans for Prosperity, have poured almost $60 million into TV ads to influence the presidential race so far, outgunning all Super PACs put together, new spending estimates show.

These nonprofits, also known as 501(c)(4)s or c4s for their section of the tax code, don’t have to disclose their donors to the public.

The two nonprofits had outspent all other types of outside spending groups in this election cycle, including political parties, unions, trade associations and political action committees, a ProPublica analysis of data provided by Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group, or CMAG, found.

Super PACs, which do have to report their donors, spent an estimated $55.7 million on TV ads mentioning a presidential candidate, CMAG data shows. Parties spent $22.5 million.

Crossroads GPS, or Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies, is the brainchild of GOP strategist Karl Rove, and spent an estimated $41.7 million. Americans for Prosperity, credited with helping launch the Tea Party movement, is backed in part by billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch, and spent an estimated $18.2 million.

Campaign-finance reform advocates say the spending by the two organizations highlights the role anonymous money is playing in this election, which will be the most expensive in history.

“First of all, it shows how much desire there is for secrecy among huge donors who want to be able to spend money to influence this election without leaving any fingerprints,” said Fred Wertheimer, who runs Democracy 21, a watchdog group. “Secondly, it shows that so far, there is an enormous advantage being played in this election by just two groups that are exercising undue influence in the elections.”

In an email, Jonathan Collegio, a spokesman for Crossroads GPS, defended the group’s work. Wertheimer’s concern reflected partisan bias, he charged.

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14 Responses to Two Dark Money Groups Outspending All Super PACs Combined

  1. So much for “corporations are people” theory! They will buy this country without one person doing anything about it!!

    • I now refer to them as the Board of Directors of the Republican Party (formerly known as SCOTUS). Based on what Grover Norquist and other leading Republicans have said and their voter supression activity they want to control all three branches of the Government and now allow any other party to have a say in the Policies and Laws of our Country. They want to legislate religious beliefs and morality. They want to be the Republican Regime.

    • I agree, the Supreme Court decision paved the way for a plutocracy, and in some ways makes a mockery of democracy. In my opinion, political donations from institutions, PACs and individuals should be banned. Candidates should get equal amounts from the government to conduct their campaigns, which should be limited to relevant matters rather than all the garbage, deceitful political ads, and the hyperbole that seems to be the norm during our political campaigns. As for the Koch brothers, I believe the Justice Department should investigate their dealings with the Iranian Ayatollahs.

  2. It is really amazing how Rove can get very wealthy people to give him their money to spend. I’m thinking Bernie Madoff here. I always distrust people who try to get others to do their bidding because they have no guts of their own. Apparently P.T. was correct in his analysis. Seems to me too that some people have much more money than brains. This situation is much worse than prior to 1215 A.D. with the sense of entitlement the super wealthy have. The feeling that they can do whatever they wish and take from everyone else anything and we are supposed to just accept it. I fully understand the French Revolution now. The sense of hopelessness the ordinary people feel with no legal redress available to them will spawn something much larger and more united as we have been a witness to for the past year or two.

  3. Calling corporations people which has led to super pacs is a good example of why the supreme court needs term limits and need to be elected, not appointed. They should also have to disclose their finances each year so we can be sure they aren’t being influenced by special interests.

  4. What a joke…America at its worst. The repugnican taliban supreme court should be drug out into Time Square and flogged.

  5. The saying goes, “Money can’t buy happiness”, but (thanks to the illegal mega rich repugnicans) it sure seems to be able to buy an election and a country. Shame!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Once again I am ashamed to say I’m an american…and I thought that ended with bush jr.

  6. This is great news its the only way republicans can get thir message out over the din of the state run media’s incessant roar for barak

  7. Ryan’s elevation to VP pick is about money. The big money donors of the Republican party do not trust Romney (who does?) . New, deep, secret coffers will be open to Romney with the addition of Ryan.

    The lies in this election will be so loud and thick on the ground finding the truth will be difficult. So far our media has not been very helpful; it is not fair and balanced to not call out the lies and liars. Journalistic integrity means very little these days.

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