Covert Corporate Cash Funneled Through U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Tops List of Dark Money Donors in 2014 Congressional Campaigns

Posted Nov. 5, 2014

MP3 Interview with Sam Jewler, communications officer with Public Citizen's U.S. Chamber Watch, conducted by Scott Harris

darkmoney

Since the U.S. Supreme Court issued its 5 to 4 ruling in the Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission case in January 2010, the floodgates of unlimited and unaccountable money have been pouring into U.S. political campaigns. Attempts made to pass congressional legislation to mitigate the effects of the high court ruling that supported the expansion of secret corporate campaign contributions in U.S. elections have thus far all failed.

Therefore, it’s not surprising to find that an unprecedented amount of money was spent in this year’s midterm election by so-called "dark money groups," a class of nonprofits that are prohibited from coordinating with candidates and are not legally required to disclose their donors. These groups have provided the funds for more than half of all spending by outside groups in the most competitive U.S. Senate races this year.

A new report from Public Citizen underscores the now dominant role secret corporate campaign cash now plays in U.S. politics. The report, titled, “The Dark Side of Citizens United,” found that U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the nation’s biggest spender of undisclosed money in the 28 of 35 congressional campaigns it has gotten involved in 2014. According the analysis, the chamber has spent an average of $908,000 per race – and nearly all the more than $32 million spent has gone to support Republicans or oppose Democratic candidates. Between The Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with Sam Jewler, communications officer with Public Citizen’s U.S. Chamber Watch and author of the “Dark Side” report, who discusses how the deregulation of campaign spending, brought on by Citizens United, “threatens to disempower and discourage voters, making government less transparent and less accountable.”

Find links to the “The Dark Side of Citizens United,” report and related articles by visiting Public Citizen's project, ChamberWatch.org.

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