The bribers spend money for politicians in ways in which people don't know that it is being used as a bribe. Dark money takes effect in several ways. One of the most common ways is by spending money for a politician without anyone knowing it except for the politician. Once the candidate is in office the briber gets the benefit of owning the politician.
We have a corrupt political system where anyone who has the money to bribe politicians can start a Super PAC. Politicians can start their own Super PAC to take bribes. Super PACs help fund campaigns to the point that have unlimited amounts of money to elect candidates. It is an absurd situation with Super PACs frequently spending more money than the candidates themselves.
Most Dark Money organizations are known as 501c groups: a nonprofit tax-exempt group, organized under section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code, and can engage in varying amounts of political activity, depending on the type of group. Under the current laws and Supreme Court decisions, illegal corruption is only if someone stuffs cash in an envelope and exchanges it for explicit favors — but not most soft forms that the Bribers use to purchase influence and access. Industries can use super PACs and “independent expenditures” to effectively bankroll the campaigns of compliant legislators — as long as the quid pro quo is not explicitly written down.
Dark Money is used to support Republican Congress members, to help house them, and support their needs. Provide tons of money for Congressional campaigns as well as fund confirmation campaigns for the justices. They help fund the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) in turn for the money to submit what are called Amicus Briefs, which are a kind of Friend of the Court filing, to help give legal justification for whenever the Big Money wants a ruling in favor of themselves. The Republican lawmakers are working hand-in-hand with the money groups for the same exact strategy to take from the poor and give to the rich.
The Judicial Crisis Network is a known group. The groups attempt to be anonymous as much as possible. Groups are layered within groups to maintain secrecy. This allows them to take big money and re-purpose it. These are all-purpose vehicles that allow these organizations to fund Republicans, other groups, and their Court picks.
Donors Trust is a very little-known, but huge right-wing group, that has become what could be called the dark money ATM. They seem to be affiliated with “The Family” of the rich, the fund raised nearly all of its recent 48 million hauls from two anonymous donors. There is a huge influx of dark money since Citizens United and these groups are actually working to undermine Finance laws where there is any kind of restrictions on the money. They're using a sort of daisy chain to funnel money into the Concord Fund where we'll never know the donors. Where literally only the rich can play, taking only donations above 20 and 30 million dollars, quite obviously they're very very few people on the planet who can afford this. You must be an ultra-wealthy individual or have massive corporate interests to participate in this type of government.
Dark Money was used to flip the Supreme Court and build a conservative supermajority. This network was run by Leonard Leo who served as a long-time executive at the Federalist Society. Made the judicial selections that changed the court to an ultra-right-wing cult. Leonard Leo is affiliated with conservative Catholic networks and is considered to be tied to Opus Dei.
Groups behind the Republican Supreme Court picks spent easily over $500 million in secret money to get them appointed. Mostly in the form of Dark Money, the amount is probably much greater. Of course, the payback to the Bribers in court rulings in their favor makes that $500+ million cost-effective. Packing the court and telling the court what to do. These front groups cook up doctrines like the “Major Questions Doctrine” in their Ideological Doctrine Factories, and the court is just completely obedient to the forces that put them on to the court. The court created a massive political traffic jam in congress. The Citizens United decision allowed unlimited money into politics, not enforcing the transparency requirement of citizens united, so there are billions and billions of dollars in dark money floating around that control Congress.
A small but important example is The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA). A national political advocacy group of Republican state attorneys general. They take money from several companies such as JP Morgan, AT&T, T-Mobile, and more so they will be friendly to them in court. Why are Attorneys General taking money? RAGA operates The Rule of Law Defense Fund, which became the center of controversy following revelations that it had sponsored mass robocalls urging participation in the rally at the Capitol on January 6. Why are Attorney Generals doing this? For money and power.
The Republican Revolution is the embrace of neoliberalism; putting financial interest (money) ahead of national interest (patriotism) has become the main focus of the entire Republican Party. Spawning an industry of Think Tanks and Bill Mills that cranks out “model legislation” for both States and Congress to enact into law; legislation that does not have the best interest of the people in mind.
Almost every member of the Republican Caucus in the House of Representatives is a millionaire. Forty years ago the members were average working Americans, not millionaires. They were wealthy by middle-class standards, but not rich. There were very few millionaire Senators back in the 1980s because big money didn't control politics. It didn't take big money to get into politics back then. But Reagan changed the rules of the game, and then the Supreme Court changed the rules of the game, and now there's pretty much not a single member of the House of Representatives who's not a multi-millionaire. There are now senators who are worth tens of millions of dollars and some billionaires. Many of them got rich while they were in the House of Representatives and Senate because they carved an exemption into the insider of trading laws. They know whenever a company is going to get a contract, or a particular defense contractor is going to get a government contract. They know it before the public knows it. So, then they just go in and buy a whole pile of stock. If anyone else did that it would be considered “insider trading” and they would go to jail. We saw this happening all over the place. It is poison to a Democracy.
We have the best Supreme Court and Court System that the Big Money Bribe System can buy for themselves. The recent barrage of decisions is devastating and precedent-setting while ignoring precedents. Many Americans wonder how we arrived at such a dark moment. The answer is simple, even if it is rarely discussed in corporate media: It lies in a giant pile of anonymous cash that was deployed to buy Supreme Court seats, help determine justices’ caseloads, and shape their decisions.
The public will almost certainly never know all the identities of the ultra-wealthy individuals and interests who paid to stack the court (court packing) and influence its decisions. A secretive, well-financed dark money network helped build the Supreme Court’s radical conservative super-majority. It bankrolls many of the politicians and organizations involved in the most controversial cases brought before the court. Cases that have to invalidate federal abortion rights, loosen gun laws, prevent the federal government from combating climate change, and end the separation of Church and State based upon erroneous facts. Do so while showing their hypocrisy by basing one case on “States' Rights” while in another ruling that States Do Not Have Rights.
During the 2022 election candidates and Political Action Committees (PACs) spent nearly 17 billion dollars on state and federal campaigns. This does not include the hidden money in massive amounts to the Republican Party and candidates. The Republicans and the Corporate Media enjoy telling the public that in some races Democratic candidates were able to outspend Republican candidates. What they don't tell you is that Republicans outspent the Democrats by an estimated ten to one margin in unreported “dark money.” The money reported came in the form of small donations from the average citizen to Democratic candidates. The people overwhelmingly voted with their pocketbooks for Democrats. But the Republicans won because the “dark money” flooded the Corporate Media during the final two weeks with attack advertising full of lies and fear to change some people to vote for them. The big difference between the two parties is the source of all that money, whether it comes from small-dollar donations or big money from mega-rich buying politicians. During the 2022 election cycle of the top twenty-five donors, eighteen of the largest givers are Republican. Of the reported money the Republicans outspent Democrats by 200 million dollars, when you calculate the “Dark Money” given to Republicans they have outspent the Democratic candidates by billions of dollars. Billionaires make up 20% of the total Republican donations compared with 14.5% of Democratic donations. The only major reason why they give publicly to the Democrats is to give the appearance of equality.
Some Billionaires will even make donations openly because of their ego. Like Peter Thiel the billionaire Republican mega-donor gave over 32 million dollars in the races of just two of his former employees; J.D. Vance in Ohio and Blake Masters in Arizona. Three billionaires shelled out nearly 20 million dollars to Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson's reelection campaign. The Supreme Court's Citizens United decision from 2010 paved the way for corporations and outside groups to spend limitless money on elections in secret. They can spend limitless amounts of money to tilt the bias in favor of the Republicans, thereby denying the public a fair election. Making the average person feel like there is not much that can be done about it.
The original justification for campaign finance laws was to prevent the bribing of politicians. The idea was that a billionaire who just says “I'm going to sponsor a US senator” was illegal because it's obvious that politician is going to be beholding to that billionaire when he/she gets in office. This is a huge concern, and it actually is now even worse, because the billionaire isn't just picking a particular candidate but the billionaire is going to Republican Party and essentially saying “I'll buy all of you.” We'll dump $20 million into this race, will dump $20 million into that race and nobody will ever see who we are because we've hidden behind phony front groups. But you, the elected Republicans, and I, the billionaire, will know who you owe. The deal is that you're going to make damn sure you (the Republican Politician) do not do any legislation I (the Billionaire) don't approve of, and by the way, you (the Republican Politician) must give me (the Billionaire) lucrative government contracts so I can keep pouring billions of dollars back to in donations. We don't want the public to have a chance to understand cheating that is really going on.
The reporting about the size of these dark money investments is well known but not talked about by the Republicans. Leonard Leo, a big conservative money rainmaker responsible for putting the six corrupt judges on the Supreme Court. One of the biggest conservative dark money organizations last year by two separate anonymous gifts each totaling more than $425 million dollars. That organization, DonorsTrust, used those funds to support a vast network are prominent conservative causes, including a $17.1 million dollar gift it made to The 85 Fund, a group founded by the major engine of the conservative movement. These are enormous donations that are going into political donations to work anonymously for the “One Percent”. If you add up those two donations that went through DonorsTrust, the identity laundering machine of right-wing billionaires, with the $1.6 billion dollars that went into that same Leonard Leo Network through a single contribution from a single billionaire, you have $2.5 billion dollars laundered into this network to buy Republican Politicians. As evil as that is in terms of the way it plays itself out in our politics, just think, what those donors had in mind? What is their goal? What are the quiet secret deals? That is what is so bad about this. Because the public never gets to see anything. The public is angry because they feel they are being cheated by their Republican Representatives who won't listen to them, of course, they won't listen to the public when they'll do whatever the Big Donors who write $2.5 billion dollars in checks tell them they must do.
The Supreme Court is both the root and a product of this corruption. They opened up the money coffers and the benefit of money flows back to the Six Judges on the Supreme Court. The court's jurisprudence on this has become more and more permissive, and less laissez-faire about anything having to do with campaign regulation. Recently the Court had a major case in which politicians can pay themselves back from loans, the act had previously been prohibited by law. The Court reversed the decision, allowing for more cheating.
The American For Prosperity Organization is the Koch brother's major political organization, attached to it is a 501c3 named Americans For Prosperity Foundation, and the sole purpose is so they can launder tax-deductible money into their bribe system operation. That foundation sued, and the six corrupt Republican Judges on the Supreme Court created a brand new constitutional right; anonymous donors are allowed to hide their identity. During that session of the Supreme Court, those six corrupt Federalist Society Justices took away the right of citizens to have physical autonomy over their own bodies for over half the population. They took that right away and added a new right for dark money billionaires to legally push money into the system without disclosure of their identities which had previously been illegal.
The idea that the Supreme Court is a non-political body is now an absurdity. The new entire purpose of the Supreme Court is to rule politically, it's no longer for the purpose as stated in the Constitution, the six Republican members believe it is in their sole authority to determine the Constitution any way they like. The six Theological members of the Federalist Society, who are now in control of the Supreme Court, determined that their entire purpose is to be a political judiciary; that can run the country and impose their own personal values upon the nation. The idea is to try to impose their own values, that it's one of the most cynical and hypocritical things that's ever happened to Constitutional Values. The Federal Society was built on the idea that you don't want a super-legislature of lifetime appointees, but that is exactly what they have done. It turns out they did want that, they just didn't want it to be you. They didn't want that to be Democratic or Republican appointees that ended up being pro-democracy, they want to be theological-type appointees who want to put Democracy in chains and end the separation of Church and State.