The American political system was designed so that the people of this great nation could have a grand influence on their own fate, through their elected officials. This is the promise of this version of democracy, and it’s something that we should be protecting at all times.
But, given enough time, these elected leaders will erode the purity of this ideal for their own wellbeing. This is where lobbyists and the like slip undetected into Congress or the White House, influencing our public servants to do their bidding instead of ours.
And then there’s “dark money” – hard to trace donations made to candidates’ campaigns that often inspire a bit of trepidation over their origins.
Joe Biden had a whole lot of this clandestine cash.
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For years, Democrats have railed against anonymous campaign contributions as a uniquely corrupting political force — even as President Biden benefited from a record-shattering amount of “dark money” donations during the 2020 election.
A report published by Bloomberg News shows that Biden raked in about $145 million in donations from anonymous donors to outside groups backing him, far outstripping the $28.4 million spent on behalf of his rival, former President Donald Trump. It also tops the previous record of $113 million in dark money donations spent on behalf of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in 2012.
For instance, Priorities USA Action Fund, one of the most prominent Democratic super PACs supporting Biden, used $26 million in funds originally donated to its nonprofit arm, called Priorities USA, to back the then-candidate, according to Bloomberg. The donors of that money do not need to be disclosed.
Critics of dark money, which obscures the source of the funds, argue that voters should know who’s funding political advertisements and campaigns. The Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan group, has called it a “serious threat to our democracy,” and Issue One, another nonpartisan group that aims to reduce the influence of money in politics, has called it “the most toxic force in politics.”
And while Democrats certainly talk the talk when it comes to getting “dark money” out of politics, they are definitely not walking the walking.
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