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“Dark Money” Funding Drops to 2.9% of All 2016 Campaign Spending


In a new issue brief, the Center for Competitive Politics reveals that so-called “dark money” funding decreased to only 2.9% of all campaign spending during the 2016 general election. Further analysis shows that “dark money” from nonprofit groups has never exceeded 5% of campaign spending in the last six election cycles, and continues to decline.

A part of the larger debate on money in politics, “dark money” is election funds spent by politically active nonprofit groups that are not required by law to report the private information of donors for non-earmarked contributions.

Capital Research Center has written extensively on the “dark money” phenomenon, recognizing its essential place in protecting privacy rights and democratic discourse. As Dr. Steven J. Allen notes, “dark money” has a long history of protecting unpopular political speech—and keeping the government accountable. For a more in-depth discussion of “dark money,” see CRC President Scott Walter’s critique of Jane Mayer’s book Dark Money.

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