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Democrats Decry Republicans’ Use Of ‘Dark Money’ While Ignoring Their Own
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer answers questions following the Democratic caucus policy luncheon May 19, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Democrats love to rail against so-called dark money, even though the Left uses it more than the Right.

The latest example of this hypocrisy comes from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and other prominent Senate Democrats.  Schumer tweeted out a report from the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee (DPCC) that hit President Donald Trump for filling judicial vacancies with his nominees, something President Barack Obama also did during his administration. Because Trump isn’t “packing” the court with liberal ideologues like Obama did, Schumer and other Democrats are upset.

But also in the 50-plus page report is a section about Democrats preparing to “shed light on the corruption and conflicts of interest now spreading around the Trump judiciary” and raise concerns over what it claims was a $250 million dark money effort by “a complex network of think tanks, law school centers, policy front groups, political campaign arms, and public relations shops, all focused on shaping the composition of the courts and the rulings they make.”

Fox News reported that Demand Justice, “a liberal group tied to former Obama staffers that fights against Trump’s judicial nominees and advocates for progressive priorities in federal courts,” shared the report, bemoaning not just the “court packing” but also claiming our democracy has been “overrun by corporate interests.” As Fox noted, “Demand Justice is a dark money group just the same as the network of conservative organizations the Democrats’ report decries.”

Further, the largest dark money organization belongs to the Left, said former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt, a Republican.

“This shows the height of hypocrisy when at this time the largest outside dark money machine is on the left and these senators appear to be turning a blind eye to that,” Laxalt told Fox. “And Arabella Advisors, founded by Eric Kessler, is at the center of a dark money organization that funds groups across the entire liberal spectrum. It was reported in Politico that just in 2018 this Arabella Advisors dark money web put $140 million into the 2018 cycle, which included funding of the Demand Justice group that spent money and attacked the nomination of Justice Kavanaugh.”

The report appears to be the opening salvo in Democrat attacks against the judiciary as a means to get out the vote. Mike Davis, former chief nominations counsel for Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), told Fox that Republicans see the judiciary as a winning issue for them.

“In 2016, President @realDonaldTrump won an upset victory over @HillaryClinton, in big part over a judicial fight,” Davis tweeted. “In 2018, @SenateDems lost 4 incumbents (even when the Ds won the House), in big part over a judicial fight. Do Democrats really want another judicial fight in 2020?”

The situation is similar to when Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) spent years denouncing money in politics only to turn around and accept Super PAC help when her presidential campaign began to flail.

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