“Dark money” describes political donations that are made by individuals or organizations in a way that hides their identity from the public.
In the United States, political donations are typically required to be disclosed to the Federal Election Commission, which makes the information available to the public.
However, dark money is not subject to this disclosure requirement, and as a result, the source of the funds is not made known to the public.
Origin of “Dark Money”
The term was apparently coined by Mother Jones.
There are several ways that dark money can be used in political campaigns.
One common method is for individuals or organizations to make donations to so-called “social welfare” organizations, which are not required to disclose their donors. These organizations can then use the funds to support political candidates or causes, without revealing the source of the funds.
Another way that dark money can be used in politics is through the use of so-called “super PACs.” These organizations are allowed to raise and spend unlimited amounts of money to support or oppose political candidates, but they are not required to disclose their donors. As a result, individuals or organizations can make large donations to super PACs without their identities being made public.
These funds can also be bundled by backers of the campaign.
Analysts believe that dark money can have a significant impact on the political process.
For one thing, it can make it difficult for the public to know who is trying to influence political campaigns. This can make it harder for voters to make informed decisions about which candidates to support.
Additionally, the use of dark money can allow wealthy individuals or organizations to have disproportionate influence on political campaigns, giving them more power to shape the outcome of elections.
Critics of dark money argue that it undermines the transparency and accountability of the political process, and allows wealthy individuals and organizations to exert undue influence on elections.
As a result, there have been efforts to tighten the disclosure requirements for political donations, in order to make it more difficult for dark money to be used in political campaigns. However, these efforts have been met with resistance from those who argue that they would infringe on the right to free speech and political expression.
Use of “Dark Money” in a sentence
- The candidate’s campaign has been criticized for its reliance on dark money donations from wealthy donors.
- The use of dark money in political campaigns has been a source of controversy in recent years.
- The organization’s efforts to influence the election through the use of dark money have been met with criticism from campaign finance reform advocates.
Taegan Goddard is the creator of the Political Dictionary.
Goddard spent more than a decade on Wall Street as managing director and chief operating officer of a prominent investment firm in New York City. Previously, he also served as a policy adviser to a U.S. Senator and Governor.
Goddard is also co-author of You Won – Now What?: How Americans Can Make Democracy Work from City Hall to the White House, a political management book hailed by prominent journalists and politicians from both parties.
His essays on politics and public policy have appeared in dozens of newspapers and magazines across the country.
Goddard earned degrees from Vassar College and Harvard University.
He lives in New York with his wife and three sons.