Everyone knows that President Biden benefited from an enormous amount of "dark money" donations during the 2020 presidential campaign but traditionally Democrats have railed against anonymous campaign contributions as a corrupting political influence.
This recent report shows that whoever contributed to Biden's record-breaking donations probably played a huge part in getting him elected as President of the United States.
A report published by Bloomberg News shows that Biden raked in about $145 million in donations from anonymous donors to outside groups backing him, far outstripping the $28.4 million spent on behalf of his rival, former President Donald Trump. It also tops the previous record of $113 million in dark money donations spent on behalf of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in 2012.
For instance, Priorities USA Action Fund, one of the most prominent Democratic super PACs supporting Biden, used $26 million in funds originally donated to its nonprofit arm, called Priorities USA, to back the then-candidate, according to Bloomberg. The donors of that money do not need to be disclosed.
Critics of dark money, which obscures the source of the funds, argue that voters should know who's funding political advertisements and campaigns. The Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan group, has called it a "serious threat to our democracy," and Issue One, another nonpartisan group that aims to reduce the influence of money in politics, has called it "the most toxic force in politics."
Although Democrats have previously introduced legislation to crack down on dark money donations, it did not stop them from accepting anonymous donations themselves as they fought to defeat Trump.
"We weren’t going to unilaterally disarm against Trump and the right-wing forces that enabled him," Guy Cecil, the chairman of Priorities USA, told Bloomberg.
In the past, conservatives dominated the dark money game by outspending liberal organizations by about a 4-to-1 ratio. That trend has shifted in recent years with liberal groups outpacing their conservative counterparts in dark money spending for the first time in a decade.