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Democrats Have a Huge Advantage When it Comes to ‘Dark Money’

Democrats Have a Huge Advantage When it Comes to ‘Dark Money’

“By mid-2021, the latest tax filings available, the nation’s largest liberal dark-money network had already raked in some $1.5 billion for the midterm elections.”

Democrats say they want big money and dark money out of politics. That’s simply not true. They’re swimming in dark money.

Susan Crabtree writes at Real Clear Politics:

Democrats’ Dark-Money Devotion

Secretive liberal dark-money groups spent hundreds of millions of dollars to boost Democrats’ 2022 midterm ground game, pushing the limits of election law while helping to reduce an expected red Republican wave to little more than a ripple.

Still smarting from the underwhelming midterm results, some Republicans are calling on party leaders to replicate those turnout efforts on the right or risk continued disappointments at the ballot box. But doing so is no easy task, veteran GOP operatives argue, especially considering Democrats’ reliance on union foot soldiers for tactical operations, and the sheer magnitude of the money and complex infrastructure their side is devoting to the effort.

By mid-2021, the latest tax filings available, the nation’s largest liberal dark-money network had already raked in some $1.5 billion for the midterm elections. The final number is almost certainly much higher, as groups affiliated with Arabella Advisors, a D.C. consulting firm that works with a network of nonprofits bankrolling liberal and progressive causes, kept collecting and spending in the months leading up to the November midterms.

But beyond the overall figure these dark-money groups amassed, the tax filings show that a handful of well-funded liberal groups have channeled hundreds of millions of dollars into crucial ground-game efforts, such as voter registration drives in minority communities and final get-out-the-vote efforts.

The groups often use vague language in describing their activities to avoid triggering IRS rules that provide big tax exemptions as long as the work remains nonpartisan or abides by certain limits on its partisan work.

For instance, the Hopewell Fund, a 501(c)3 that is part of the Arabella network, reported spending $89 million in 2021 on civil rights advocacy and social actions, including “improving civic engagement among underrepresented groups.” The Sixteen Thirty Fund, a 501(c)4, which has greater legal latitude in conducting partisan turnout efforts, said it spent $76.65 million in 2021 on a “broad array of projects” promoting “civil rights, social action, and advocacy” including “working to ensure voting access and civic participation.”

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Comments

It’s not just dark money. The left is devoted to money. The immense profitability of being a leftist attracts them far more than the ideology du jour.

BierceAmbrose | January 15, 2023 at 4:32 pm

Well, yeah. They’re all about “dark money bad” until the Feckless-R’s say: “Ok.”

Good rule of thumb: The Screaming D’s never want a solution; they want the issue.