Billionaires are using money to control politicians in secret, and this is called the Bribe System. They do this by spending money on politicians without telling anyone, and once the politician is elected, the billionaire gets what they want. The political system we have is very corrupt because anyone with money can start a Super PAC, and politicians can use their own Super PACs to take bribes. Super PACs have a lot of money to spend on electing candidates and often spend more than the candidates themselves. The groups that use Dark Money to buy influence are called 501c groups. They are tax-exempt organizations that can engage in political activity, depending on the type of group. However, the law only considers it illegal corruption if someone directly exchanges cash for favors, and not the softer forms of influence that Bribe System users often use.
Dark Money is used to support Republican Congress members, provide tons of money for Congressional campaigns, and fund confirmation campaigns for justices. They also fund the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA), which files Amicus Briefs to help Big Money win court cases. Republican lawmakers and Dark Money groups work together to take from the poor and give to the rich. The Judicial Crisis Network is a group that tries to keep itself hidden. They have layers of secrecy, which lets them use big money for their own purposes. They use these groups to fund Republicans, and other groups, and to pick people for the Court. Donors Trust is a big right-wing group that most people don't know about. They seem to be connected to a rich group called "The Family". They raise a lot of money from only a few people, and they're working to get around laws that limit the money they can spend. They use a complicated system to hide the donors and only take donations from very wealthy people or corporations.
Dark Money was used to change the Supreme Court to be more conservative. Leonard Leo, who worked for the Federalist Society for a long time, led this effort. He picked people for the Court who were very conservative. Leo is connected to conservative Catholic groups and is said to be involved with Opus Dei. The people who want to put conservative judges on the Supreme Court have spent a lot of money to make it happen. They use secret money, also known as "Dark Money," to get what they want. They spend a lot of money because they know that the judges they pick will rule in their favor. The Supreme Court is very important because it makes decisions that affect our lives, so it's a big deal when people spend a lot of money to get their preferred judges appointed. The people who want conservative judges have other tricks up their sleeves, too. They come up with ideas and plans, like the "Major Questions Doctrine," that they teach to judges. This makes the judges more likely to do what they want. They also created a lot of chaos in Congress, which makes it hard for Congress to do its job. All of this is made possible by the Citizens United decision, which allowed unlimited money to be spent on politics without revealing where it came from.
One example of this is the Republican Attorneys General Association, which is a group of Republican lawyers who take money from big companies like JP Morgan, AT&T, and T-Mobile. These companies give money to the lawyers so that they will be friendly to them in court. This is not right, because lawyers should be working for the people, not for big companies. The Republican Party has changed over time, and now it's focused on making money for the rich instead of doing what's best for the country. They have groups that make laws that help the rich get richer, even if it's not good for everyone else.
Almost every member of the Republican group in the House of Representatives is a millionaire. Forty years ago, the members were just normal working Americans, not millionaires. They were well-off compared to the middle class, but not wealthy. There weren't many millionaire Senators back in the 1980s because big money didn't have control over politics. It didn't require a lot of money to enter politics back then. But things changed when Reagan changed the rules of the game, and then the Supreme Court changed the rules of the game. Now, almost every member of the House of Representatives is a multi-millionaire. Some Senators are worth tens of millions of dollars, and some are even billionaires. Many of them got rich while they were in the House of Representatives and Senate because they made an exception to insider trading laws. They knew things that the public didn't, so they bought stocks before the information was released. If anyone else did that, it would be considered illegal insider trading. It's happening everywhere, and it's harmful to democracy.
The Supreme Court and the entire Court System are heavily influenced by big money bribes. Recent decisions have been devastating, setting new precedents while ignoring old ones. Many Americans wonder how we ended up in this dark moment. The answer is simple, but it's not talked about much in the news: It's because a massive amount of anonymous money was used to buy Supreme Court seats, influence the justices' cases, and shape their decisions. The public will likely never know the identity of the ultra-wealthy individuals and interests who funded this effort to stack the court and control its decisions. A secret, well-financed dark money network helped create the Supreme Court's extremely conservative majority. They finance many politicians and organizations involved in the most controversial cases brought before the court. Cases that aim to invalidate federal abortion rights, loosen gun laws, prevent the federal government from combating climate change, and eliminate the separation of Church and State based on false claims. They even show their hypocrisy by basing one case on "States' Rights" while denying that states have rights in another ruling.
In the 2022 election, candidates and Political Action Committees (PACs) spent almost 17 billion dollars on state and federal campaigns. This huge amount of money does not include the unreported “dark money” that went to the Republican Party and candidates. Republicans and the Corporate Media like to say that some Democratic candidates were able to outspend Republicans in some races. However, what they don't say is that Republicans outspent Democrats by about ten times in unreported “dark money.” The money that was reported came mostly from small donations from average citizens to Democratic candidates. The public supported Democrats with their donations, but Republicans still won because they flooded the Corporate Media with attack ads full of lies and fear in the final two weeks before the election. The big difference between the two parties is the source of their funding, whether it comes from small donations or big money from mega-rich people buying politicians. In the 2022 election cycle, the top twenty-five donors gave mostly to Republican candidates, with eighteen of the largest givers being Republican. Republicans outspent Democrats by 200 million dollars in reported money, and when you include the “dark money” given to Republicans, they spent billions of dollars more than Democrats. About 20% of Republican donations come from billionaires, compared to 14.5% of Democratic donations. Some billionaires donate openly because of their ego, like Peter Thiel, who gave over 32 million dollars to the races of just two of his former employees. The Supreme Court's Citizens United decision from 2010 made it legal for corporations and outside groups to spend limitless money on elections in secret, allowing them to tilt the bias in favor of Republicans and deny the public a fair election. The original reason for campaign finance laws was to prevent the bribing of politicians. But now, billionaires are not just sponsoring individual candidates, they are going to the Republican Party and essentially saying, "I'll buy all of you." They can spend billions of dollars on races and hide behind fake front groups, meanwhile making sure that elected Republicans do not pass any legislation that they don't approve of. They also want to make sure that they get lucrative government contracts to keep pouring billions of dollars back into donations. The public doesn't have a chance to understand the cheating that is really going on.
The big money investments that are meant to stay hidden, also known as "dark money", have been a topic of discussion for a while. The Republicans seem to know about it, but they don't talk about it. Leonard Leo is a wealthy conservative who has put six corrupt judges on the Supreme Court with his money. DonorsTrust, a big conservative organization, received two anonymous gifts of over $425 million each last year. They used this money to support prominent conservative causes, including a $17.1 million gift to The 85 Fund, which was founded by a major engine of the conservative movement. These are huge donations that go towards political causes for the wealthiest 1%. If you add up the donations that went through DonorsTrust with the $1.6 billion that went into the same Leonard Leo Network from a single billionaire, that's $2.5 billion laundered into this network to buy Republican politicians. This is a problem because we don't know what those donors have in mind or what secret deals they are making. The public is angry because they feel cheated by their Republican representatives who won't listen to them. Instead, they listen to the big donors who write $2.5 billion in checks.
The Supreme Court is at the heart of this corruption. They opened the floodgates of money, and now the benefit of that money flows back to the six judges on the Supreme Court. The Court's rulings on campaign regulation have become more permissive, allowing for more cheating. Recently, the Court ruled that politicians can pay themselves back from loans, which was previously prohibited by law.
The Koch Organization has a major political organization called American for Prosperity, which has a 501c3 named Americans for Prosperity Foundation. The foundation's sole purpose is to launder tax-deductible money into its bribe system operation. 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 judges took away the right of citizens to have physical autonomy over their own bodies for over half of the population.
The dark money billionaires legally are allowed to push money into the system without disclosing their identities. The Supreme Court is no longer a non-political body. The new purpose of the Supreme Court is to rule politically and impose the six Republican members' personal values upon the nation. The Federalist Society, built on the idea that you don't want a super-legislature of lifetime appointees, has done exactly that. They want theological-type appointees who want to put Democracy in chains and end the separation of Church and State.
One of the biggest threats is a group called ALEC, which is an extremist group of lobbyists funded by the Kochs and big corporations. They work to push far-right legislation through mostly state legislatures. ALEC is responsible for passing some of the most extreme, ultra-conservative state laws in the last decade, including disinformation-fueled voter suppression laws, "Stand Your Ground" gun legislation, handouts to polluting corporations, and blocking the Affordable Care Act at the state level. ALEC's member companies pay top dollar for direct access to state lawmakers, who allow lobbyists to write corporate dream legislation into ALEC "model bills." Then, ALEC-backed legislators rush those bills through their state houses, churning out laws that enrich corporations and hurt the rest of us.