In 2020, After Deploring “Dark Money,” Democrats Spend $600 Million More Dark Money Than Republicans

(p. 1) For much of the last decade, Democrats complained — with a mix of indignation, frustration and envy — that Republicans and their allies were spending hundreds of millions of difficult-to-trace dollars to influence politics.

“Dark money” became a dirty word, as the left warned of the threat of corruption posed by corporations and billionaires that were spending unlimited sums through loosely regulated nonprofits, which did not disclose their donors’ identities.

Then came the 2020 election.

Spurred by opposition to then-President Trump, donors and operatives allied with the Democratic Party embraced dark money with fresh zeal, pulling even with and, by some measures, surpassing Republicans in 2020 spending, according to a New York Times analysis of tax filings and other data.

The analysis shows that 15 of the most politically active nonprofit organizations that generally align with the Democratic Party spent more than $1.5 billion in 2020 — compared to roughly $900 million spent by a comparable sample of 15 of the most politically active groups aligned with the G.O.P.

For the full story, see:

Kenneth P. Vogel and Shane Goldmacher. “Denouncing Dark Money, Then Deploying It in 2020.” The New York Times, First Section (Sunday, January 30, 2022): 1 & 22.

(Note: the online version of the story has the date January 29, 2022, and has the title “Democrats Decried Dark Money. Then They Won With It in 2020.”)

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