Clip: What You Need to Know About Dark Money

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If you look up “dark money” in Merriam-Webster, you won’t find a definition, but as of this week, their online unabridged dictionary includes a word that tells a big part of its story — “super PAC.” It’s defined in part as “an independent PAC [political action committee] that can accept unlimited contributions from individuals and organizations (such as corporations and labor unions) and spend unlimited amounts in support of a candidate.” It’s a fitting reminder that four years after Citizens United, the Supreme Court decision that opened the floodgates of campaign cash, dark money may be here to stay.

In this three-minute video, investigative reporters Kim Barker and Andy Kroll tell Bill how dark money contributes to Washington’s gridlock and why it keeps politicians from acting in the best interest of their constituents.


Barker tells Bill, “I would argue that if you’re wondering why your government is so broke and you can’t really get anything passed through Congress, campaign finance has a lot to do with that.”

Kroll adds this analogy on super PAC dark money from a conversation that he had with an unnamed senator.

I had a conversation with a progressive senator who is not a fan of super PACs and at the time did not have his own sort of individual super PAC… And I said, ‘What is this like when you’re going to go up against an opponent who does have a super PAC and does have a motivated one percenter in his corner?’ And he said, ‘It’s like going into a boxing ring. I’m wearing boxing gloves. And the other guy has an Uzi.

Watch the entire interview »

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  • Charles Anthony

    Republicans and Democrats need to focus on Campaign Finance Reform and make it a top priority. Very few politicians represent the “people”. Why would anyone spend millions of dollars to get a job that doesn’t pay anywhere near that? Only if there’s something in it for them. And the worse offenders are the ones that run for President. Why are campaigns so lengthy and so expensive? The answer is not that difficult.

  • doodlebugrusty

    And, the worst part is that it can come from multinational corporations, which means that our politicians are being bought by other countries, without our knowing who, or how much! Because many countries strongly control their corporations, unlike our country which allows corporations to run our country…

  • Anonymous

    Thank you so much, Bill, for noticing our bill, the CA Disclose Act, which will show who REALLY pays for political ads, right on the ads — SB52 (and SB27, which sets up accounting and fines- Together, they’ll “follow-the-money.”) We’re very proud of it and have put in four years on it, almost all of us, for free. Coordinators each have one to three college degrees but do this just for our childrens’ world! We’re so aware, as NASA revealed this week, that humans could be on the verge of “societal collapse,”and at the nexus of two crises. So, we fight the corrupting-money-in-politics part, which is keeping us on the global-warming path. The Citizens United-released “dark-money” is why, in CA, we have Fracking, unlabeled GMOs by Monsanto and NO oil-severance tax despite all polls showing THE PEOPLE want these desperately needed changes. Contact Trent Lange to learn more:; Website . Thanks again! You are our HERO! Dorothy, Sacramento

  • deborah coleman

    Bill, a20 year organization with enormous success, “Global witness” Chairmian Gouch, winner 2014 has set up, to end international corruption and laundering drug and blood diamond money. She is asking all of us to help. We can do this.

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  • Anonymous

    “dark money” GREED!

  • Anonymous

    Our elected officials need to be reminded of the truth we spoke in the ’60’s: “If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.”