dark money

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose discusses his support for legislation requiring the disclosure of contributions and spending by co-called dark money groups, on Monday, Aug. 3, 2020, in Columbus.
Andrew Welsh-Huggins / AP

House lawmakers met with Ohio's top elections official to discuss ways of making the state's campaign finance system more transparent. The meeting comes after the former House Speaker was indicted for an alleged bribery scheme to get a nuclear power plant bailout through the Ohio General Assembly.

How Dark Money Is Reshaping Politics

Jul 30, 2020
House Speaker Larry Householder draws up the details of his plan to overhaul energy policy in Ohio.
Andy Chow / Ohio Public Radio

Hundreds of millions of dollars in so-called “dark money” have flowed into 2020 election coffers at all levels of government -- with both parties taking advantage of legal means to conceal who’s donating to them.

In Ohio, federal investigators last week alleged undisclosed contributions funneled through a 501(c) 4 nonprofit was the lynchpin in a $61 million dollar bribery case brought against Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and four others.

The effort to shed more light on campaign contributions is gaining momentum with the support of Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio). He says these so-called dark money groups that donate millions of dollars into political expenditures need more transparency.

House Speaker Larry Householder
Andy Chow / Ohio Public Radio

Ohio lawmakers are introducing bills that require more transparency when it comes to dark money groups in political campaigns. The bills are in reaction to an alleged racketeering scheme involving a dark money organization and Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford).

Reform-minded Democrats have long held up "dark money" — political money that can't be traced to its source — as a symptom of what's wrong with politics in Washington. But while House Democrats this winter passed a bill to end the secrecy shielding donors behind unregulated dark money contributions, liberal activist groups now deploy those funds to boost the party's candidates in the 2020 elections.

Nick Evans / WOSU

Ohio’s secretary of state keeps track of business filings and campaign finance records. But that office is best known for its role as the state’s elections chief – and it’s one of the five statewide executive offices that will have a new occupant in January.

Dark Money and Politics

Oct 12, 2018
Ervins Strauhmanis / Flickr

The U.S. Supreme Court last month ruled that nonprofit political groups must disclose the identities of any donor giving more than $200. Many hailed the decision as a victory for political transparency, but many also still are concerned about the political influence of untraceable, corporate “dark money” in elections.  Today on All Sides: how dark money shapes the U.S. political landscape.   

Guests:

Updated at 9:30 p.m. ET

A widely used loophole for funneling secret "dark money" into political ads closed quietly last weekend, as a federal judge concluded it thwarted Congress' intent to have broad disclosure of political money.

As nonprofit advocacy groups plunge into a high-priced fight over confirming Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, they will no longer have to identify their biggest donors to the Internal Revenue Service.

The IRS announced the rules change Monday evening. Earlier that day, Trump railed against special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russia's cryptocurrency-financed effort to disrupt the 2016 presidential race, and the FBI arrested a Russian national who allegedly used the NRA to build ties among conservatives and Republicans.

Martin Falbisoner / Wikipedia

The Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United case aligned spending in political campaigns with protected speech.  The decision meant that corporations and others could spend as much as they want on parallel campaigns with little oversight or transparency.  That worked for billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch, who have used that power to spread their views and influence state and national elections. 

Penguin Random House

The Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United case aligned spending in political campaigns with protected speech.  The decision meant that corporations and others could spend as much as they want on parallel campaigns with little oversight or transparency.  That worked for Billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch, who have used that power to spread their views and influence state and national elections.