This Week in Dark Money

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

the money shot

 

 

quote of the week

“At the Democratic convention, you can get a lot of work done just walking down the street.”
—Bill Burton, cofounder of the pro-Obama super-PAC Priorities USA Action, on wooing donors at the Democratic National Convention. Speaking on ABC, he warned liberal donors to “be very nervous” about outraising pro-Romney groups. That’s basically why Chicago mayor and former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel decided this week to step down from an honorary position with the Obama campaign to raise funds for Priorities.

 

attack ad of the week

The conservative super-PAC Campaign for American Values is out with a new ad attacking President Obama for supporting gay marriage. In a stilted conversation, a couple decides it won’t vote for Obama again because he lacks the values of Mitt Romney. Watch the ad below, and also take a look at these other comically bad anti-gay marriage ads.

 

stat of the week

$75,000: The amount spent by the dark-money Republican Jewish Coalition on an attack ad in the Charlotte Observer ahead of Obama’s speech Thursday night at the DNC. The ad, which is slated to run next week in four swing-state Jewish newspapers, hits Democrats for omitting in their 2012 platform the pro-Israel rhetoric they included in 2008. Reportedly at Obama’s request, language recognizing Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel was reintroduced to the platform in a convention floor voice vote, a contentious move that may have violated party bylaws.

 

chart of the week

The election’s 10 weeks away, but spending from outside groups has already eclipsed the $301.6 million spent in 2008. They’ve spent at least $306.2 million so far this election, but as the Center for Responsive Politics notes, that’s a conservative estimate.

 

more mojo dark-money coverage

How Nonprofits Spend Millions on Elections and Call It Public Welfare: It’s spending by nonprofits, not super-PACs, that may sway this election.
Americans for Prosperity Chief: We Don’t Know If $27 Million in Anti-Obama Ads Has Any Effect: The president of AFP, the conservative group founded by David Koch, also cast doubt on future politically charged ad blitzes.
Karl Rove Jokes About Murdering Rep. Todd Akin: Rove’s Crossroads groups intend to spend $200 million to boot Obama out of the White House.

 

more must-reads

• Did a Republican appeals court just make Citizens United even worse? ThinkProgress
• Democrats work behind the scenes at the DNC to compete with the GOP’s fundraising advantage. Washington Post
• Democratic strategist Paul Begala rails against super-PACs, while asking donors to give to one supporting Obama. Center for Public Integrity
• 501(c) groups are set to disregard a federal court’s order that they disclose donors by today. Reuters

More Mother Jones reporting on Dark Money

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what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

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THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

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