It happens every election season — candidates on either side of the aisle typically bring in a number of anonymous campaign donations from political nonprofits who choose not to disclose who made the donations.
But in the 2020 election, new records were shattered with regard to how much of this “dark money” was raised for President Joe Biden in his 2020 presidential campaign.
According to Fox News, Biden took in a staggering $145 million in dark money donations, which would go on to fuel his overwhelming election victory, according to data compiled by Bloomberg News. Biden’s dark money treasure chest was multiple times larger than former President Donald Trump, who took in about $28.5 million in dark money donations.
Not surprisingly, the previous record-holder in taking in dark money donations was Sen. Mitt Romney during his 2012 presidential campaign, when he benefited from a total of $113 million in dark money spending.
The issue doesn’t come without controversy, as there are plenty of people from both parties that are actively working to end the dark money gravy train that candidates tend to benefit from. They argue that American voters should be made well aware of who’s behind the political spending that benefits a candidate running for office.
You don’t see a lot of pushback from actual politicians on the matter, probably for the same reasons most members of Congress don’t devote much energy to enacting term limits. It’s just too lucrative to give up, apparently. Some Democrats have actually attempted to crack down on the dark money issue, but ironically it didn’t do much to stop them from taking the funds themselves.
Take, for instance, the Democratic super PAC Priorities USA Action Fund. They used $26 million in dark money funds originally donated to its nonprofit division known as Priorities USA, and its chairman, Guy Cecil, admitted that the gravy train was just too much to give up, especially in the fight against Mr. Trump in the 2020 election.
“We weren’t going to unilaterally disarm against Trump and the right-wing forces that enabled him,” Cecil said.
Several influential groups attempting to end the dark money trade, including the Campaign Legal Center and a group known as Issue One, have labeled dark money as “a serious threat to our Democracy” and “the most toxic force in politics.”
Democrats were definitely the benefactors of dark money donations this time around, as in the 2020 election overall, Democrats raked in $326 million in dark money, which doubled the $148 million that Republicans received.
So, it’s no wonder that groups fighting to end the shady practice can’t get much support in the halls of Congress.