The Dark Money Agenda

Mega-corporations that desire total secrecy in spending are hijacking our democracy. Dark money is that money which is secret. With the public being unaware as to who is giving what money to SUPERPAC, we have no idea of knowing if a candidate is selling out to their founders or not.

In a recent statement submitted to the Senate Finance Committee on October 27, 2015 Stephen Spaulding, the senior policy counsel and legal director of Common Cause, a non-profit, non-partisan, grassroots organization dedicated to restoring the core values of American democracy, urged the Internal Revenue Service to come up with new rules for political activity by social welfare non-profits.

“Congress never intended for tax-exempt social welfare organizations to exist as conduits for secret political spending. But thanks to flawed, ambiguous regulations and the brazen willingness of political operatives to exploit those weaknesses, such groups have become pipelines for the infusion of hundreds of millions of dollars – supplied by secret donors – into federal and state elections,”

Ultimately, it is the non-disclosure policy that protects such 501(c)(4) and 501(c)(6) organizations that make them enticing channels for funneling hundreds of millions of secret dollars. Hence the term “dark money“, which although coined by the Sunlight Foundation during the United States 2010 mid-term election, is not a new practice at all. New York Life Insurance gave $1.25 million to Roosevelt in 1904, Richard Nixon’s re-election campaign in 1972 raked in $20 million in secret donations, over a billion dollars went towards Obama’s re-election in 2012. The public never really knew where the money that was influencing their votes was coming from.

Notably, the share of federal campaign contributions nearly tripled from 1980 to 2012. The 2016 elections are now being touted as the biggest big-money election America has seen to date. Which basically means that only the smallest handful of Americans will control over 40 percent of election contributions. Dark money is the only kind of political capital that matters to mega-corporations. If the people know that corporations are bribing their politicians, those politicians won’t be in their office that long.

The IRS had announced plans to draft new rules and regulations to govern non-profits and their political spending a couple of years ago, but they came under fire from both the controlled corporate political right and left and thus, were withdrawn.

Activist groups are forming with the intention of bringing resolve to this problem. With no new developments on that front until now, it does seem like the 2016 presidential election is a free for all. This is where RIPAC comes in. This author, and others, are working to use the the RIPAC platform to expose the election problems and their solutions.

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