This Week in Dark Money: April 27, 2012

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We’re proud to collaborate with Mother Jones in sharing insightful journalism related to money and politics. We’ll be posting this weekly roundup every Friday from this week going forward. Share your thoughts about these must-read stories and always feel free to suggest your own in the comments section.

A quick look at the week that was in the world of political dark money

Americans turned off by super PACs: A new survey from the Brennan Center for Justice finds that 65 percent of respondents say they trust the government less since they feel super PACs have more power than the people. And 26 percent, particularly “communities of color, those with lower incomes, and individuals with less formal education,” say they’re less likely to vote this year because of it.

Megadonors step up to the plate: iWatch News reports that seven wealthy men and three cash-heavy organizations have contributed a third of all super PAC money (and just 46 donors are responsible for $110 million). iWatch has immortalized the top donors with their own interactive trading cards. This rookie Sheldon Adelson looks like a keeper.

Wall Street bullish on super PACs: Meanwhile, the Center for Responsive Politics finds that the securities and investment industry continues to blow other industries away in the big money game. Casinos are number three, thanks to Adelson.

Coming to a race near you: As Mother Jones’ Andy Kroll reports, a growing number of super PACs are funneling cash into state and local races in efforts to oust congressional incumbents and influence smaller campaigns. The trend promises to create new problems with campaign finance disclosure, which is inconsistent and often lacking at the state level.

Using dark money to hide dark money: Andy Kroll also reports that Crossroads GPS, the dark money outfit cofounded by Karl Rove, doled out $2.75 million to the Center for Individual Freedom, which fights dark-money disclosure laws. A Washington Post analysis finds that Crossroads GPS, which does not disclose its donors, has spent $12.6 million on anti-Obama ads so far. Meanwhile, Crossroads GPS’s super PAC affiliate American Crossroads has released a new ad, a racially tinged attack that casts the president as being too “cool.”

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhXGkeMdOJs]

Latest stats from the money war: As supporters of Obama and Mitt Romney max out their legally allowed donations to the candidates, they’re turning to super PACs to keep the money flowing. So far, Obama and the Democrats have raised more campaign money, but pro-Romney and conservative super PACs have a cash advantage.

This post originally appeared on Mother Jones.

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  • Natalie

    If the already nearly disenfranchised, those who are  persons of color, those who belong to the ethnic minorities less likely to have professions and access to money, women and the poor generally– if all of these feel so disenfranchised they stop using the one power they have, and don’t vote in the elections, clearly government will care even less to protect their interests.  I say PLEASE let us all vote for progressives in this upcoming election.  Even if you can only spare $3 give to someone like Bernie Sanders who is an independent progressive.  Vote against those who have been completely co-opted by the 1% (Paul Ryan comes to mind).