Prominent Democrats constantly bemoan “dark money” in campaigns, yet their party raked in more of the shaky donations and spent more of it than the Republican Party.
Late last month, Bloomberg reported that pro-Biden groups received $145 million from dark money donors, while groups aligned with former President Donald Trump received just $28.4 million. While campaigning, however, Biden said he would make campaign finance reform a top priority of his administration and focus on it early on in his presidency. As Susan Crabtree reported at RealClearPolitics, the “priority” took a backseat to COVID relief and impeaching his predecessor.
“For now at least, the reform bills have been shunted aside despite Democrats giving them top legislative billing – dubbing them HR 1 and S 1 to signify their importance,” Crabtree reported. “Instead of prominent Democrats, including Biden, aggressively pressing for more campaign-finance disclosure, there’s been a proliferation of news about plans by liberal groups to spend more dark-money to help congressional Democrats keep their majorities and push the party’s agenda to the left.”
“Just last week, American Bridge, which spent $62 million in 2020 on ads aimed at defeating Trump, announced it would relaunch next month with a nine-figure ad budget to defend Biden’s record and maintain Democrats’ congressional majorities in 2022. Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez will serve as a co-chair of the initiative, along with former Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, former Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards, and former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick,” Crabtree continued. “Sixty-two liberal groups, including Demand Justice and Fix Our Senate (a trade name for the Sixteen Thirty Fund) — both organizations that hide their donors’ identities — sent a letter Friday to Majority Leader Chuck Schumer calling on him to abolish the Senate filibuster to help break any gridlock and advance a liberal agenda.”
As The Daily Wire’s Emily Zanotti previously reported, Biden campaigned heavily on stopping the flow of “dark money” to federal campaigns. “His 2020 campaign website lists dark money as a ‘corrupting influence in politics’ and he claims to support publicly financed campaigns, effectively ending the current fundraising model,” she reported.
“Biden strongly believes that we could improve our politics overnight if we flushed big money from the system and had public financing of our elections,” Biden’s “government reform” pledge read. “Democracy works best when a big bank account or a large donor list are not prerequisites for office, and elected representatives come from all backgrounds, regardless of resources. But for too long, special interests and corporations have skewed the policy process in their favor with political contributions.”
House Democrats in 2019 passed a bill that would have required dark money groups to disclose donors who contributed more than $10,000. The measure was opposed by Senate Republicans and Trump. Without that law, Biden was free to receive support from these groups at a rate that vastly outpaced Republicans – to their demise.