NY Times: Dark Money Won Senate For Republicans
Untraceable special interest money is what won the U.S. Senate for Republicans.
The next Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, has long been the most [su_thin_right_skyscraper_ad]prominent advocate for unlimited secret campaign spending in Washington, under the phony banner of free speech. His own campaign benefited from $23 million in unlimited spending from independent groups like the National Rifle Association, the National Association of Realtors and the National Federation of Independent Business.
The single biggest outside spender on his behalf was a so-called social welfare group calling itself the Kentucky Opportunity Coalition, which spent $7.6 million on attack ads against his opponent, Alison Lundergan Grimes. It ran more ads in Kentucky than any other group, aside from the two campaigns.
What is its social welfare purpose, besides re-electing Mr. McConnell? It has none. Who gave that money? It could have been anyone who wants to be a political player but lacks the courage to do so openly — possibly coal interests, retailers opposed to the minimum wage, defense contractors, but there’s no way for the public to know…
In Colorado, at least $18 million in dark money was spent on behalf of Cory Gardner, the Republican newly elected to the Senate; $4 million was spent on behalf of Senator Mark Udall, the Democratic incumbent. In North Carolina, $13.7 million in secret donations was spent for Thom Tillis, the new Republican senator; $2.6 million went to Senator Kay Hagan, who was ousted.
Dark money wasn’t the only type of spending that polluted the cycle; this year there were 94 “super PACs” set up for individual candidates, all of which are attempts to bypass federal limits and allow big givers to support the candidates of their choice. [su_center_ad]