So-called “dark money” groups have reported spending more than $800 million on campaign-related activities between January 2010 and December 2016, the last full election cycle.
The top spender on the Federal Elections Commission’s list was the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a conservative, profit-making group that laundered $130 million for … who knows?
While dark money is widely associated with political campaigns, including judicial campaigns, it also influences the machinations of federal courts and has reached the front lines of worker rights at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC).
Dark money is money collected by a front or middle-man organization, usually with a vaguely positive sounding name, that is distributed to influence public policy. The source of the money is anonymous so the public is clueless about the donor’s intentions. The U.S. Supreme Court legalized dark money in Citizens United v. FEC (2010).