What you need to know about dark money in this election
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Dark money is a bipartisan issue.
When the Supreme Court handed down the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission verdict more than a decade ago, conservatives were primarily benefitting from a system that allowed organizations with undisclosed donors to pour money into races.
“It is now reversed, and liberal organizations are spending more. All told, dark money is down this cycle,” said Sheila Krumholz, executive director at the Center for Responsive Politics. “But what’s changed is that partially disclosing organizations have ramped up,”
During last week’s confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island used his time to outline the $250 million dark money “scheme” that influenced the nomination.
On today’s show, Krumholz walks us through how dark money has changed our elections and courts over the past decade, and why it’s so important for voters to know who’s trying to influence their vote. Plus, she’ll tell us why she thinks the Supreme Court might take another swing at campaign finance laws before too long.
Later, we’ll talk about the antitrust case against Google, the MSN news bubble and hear from a listener who voted early in Texas.
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Here’s a list of everything we talked about today:
- “2020 election to near $11 billion in total spending, smashing records” from the Center for Responsive Politics
- “Democrats used to rail against ‘dark money.’ Now they’re better at it than the GOP.” from NBC News
- “‘Dark money’ groups gear up for Supreme Court battle as 2020 election nears” from the Center for Responsive Politics
- Our previous interview with Krumholz, for the 10th anniversary of the Citizens United verdict
- “Sen. Whitehouse Says Dark Money Efforts to Influence the Courts Go Beyond Amy Coney Barrett’s Nomination” from WGBH
- “Justice Dept. files landmark antitrust case against Google” from the Associated Press
- “At least seven charged in $1 million flying squirrel trafficking scheme” from The Hill via MSN, of all things
Finally: We need your voice memos! Tell us what you think of the show or ask a question for Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood to answer! Here’s how to do it.
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