Though Democrats have railed against the influence of money in politics after the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, liberals have accounted for 70% of the so-called “dark money” that has been spent this year.
According to Open Secrets, “liberal dark money in 2013 makes up 70 percent of all the dark money spent so far. At this point in 2011, liberal money accounted for less than 6 percent of the dark money spent, and in 2009, the total was a little higher, at 6.5 percent.”
Open Secrets describes “dark money organizations” as “501(c)(4) and 501(c)(6) nonprofits that don’t have to disclose their donors.” Democrats have tried unsuccessfully to pass the DISCLOSE Act, which would “require unions, nonprofits and corporate interest groups that spend $10,000 or more during an election cycle to disclose donors who give $10,000 or more.”
“Spending by liberal 501(c)(4) groups is already more than $1.7 million so far this cycle,” Open Secrets writes. “That’s an increase of nearly 6700 percent over the $25,458 spent by liberal dark money groups at this point in the 2012 cycle.”
Ed Markey, the Massachusetts Democrat who won John Kerry’s Senate seat, has been the biggest beneficiary so far of “dark money.” The League of Conservation Voters reportedly spent “more than $800,000 in direct support” for Markey’s campaign, which was “almost twice as much as all dark money groups combined had spent at this point in the 2012 cycle.”
The “dark money” from which Markey has benefited is made more ironic because Markey compared the Citizens United decision to the infamous Dred Scott decision while he was receiving the “dark money” the decision allowed.
“The Constitution must be amended,” Markey said while campaigning for Kerry’s seat in February. “The Dred Scott decision had to be repealed, we have to repeal Citizens United.”