Opinion| Rich Welsh| David J Harris Jr.com| Democrats love condemning “dark money” political contributions where the source of funds is a mystery. But that isn’t stopping the hypocrites from taking “dark money” themselves and making it hard to determine the original donor of a political donation.
Federal Election Commission (FEC) forms show that a political action committee (PAC), linked to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), has received $1.7 million from a liberal dark money group for shared staff and office space since 2015.
Were this a Republican thing, the most dangerous place to be would be between a Schumer and a news camera.
Schumer has said in the past that dark money is “casting a shadow over our political process,” and he condemned groups on the right that do not disclose the people who donate. He also demanded one right-leaning organization release a list of its donors, saying the public “deserves to know who is funding” campaigns against Democrats.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) June 24, 2014
Despite the condemnation of dark money groups, the Schumer-linked Senate Majority PAC, which works to elect Democrats to the Senate, is closely affiliated with Majority Forward, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit that doesn’t give up its donor list.
THE DEMOCRATS: IT’S OKAY WHEN WE DO IT.
Majority Forward paid the Senate Majority PAC from June 2018 thought late 2018, for “sharing of facilities, equipment, mailing lists, or other assets” and workers.
The dark money spender, the biggest of the 2018 midterm elections, is right now launching attacks against Republican Senate candidates up for election in 2020.
Throughout the 2018 midterm election cycle, Majority Forward poured $46 million into independent expenditures for Democrats, which accounted for nearly a third of the $150 million total spent by all groups who do not disclose their donors.
For example, when it seemed as if Democrat Doug Jones could actually beat embattled Republican Roy Moore, a new super PAC supposedly based in Birmingham, Alabama, appeared only one month before Election Day. The super PAC, called Highway 31 after a route that bisects Alabama, spent $5.1 million to boost Jones, more than any other group active in the general election for the Senate seat.
Using a little-known legal loophole that allows PACs to do business on credit, the super PAC didn’t disclose the identities of its funders until a month after voters chose Jones as their new senator. And when Highway 31 did disclose, most of its funders turned out to be organizations who in turn receive some of their funding from sources that are difficult, if not impossible, to find out who the actual donors were.
Highway 31 wasn’t exactly a homegrown group, either. All but about $10,000 of the $4.4 million the super PAC raised came from three national-level, Democratic-aligned entities: $3.2 million from super PAC Senate Majority PAC, $910,000 from the super PAC Priorities USA Action and $250,000 from the nonprofit League of Conservation Voters Inc.
Those millions of dollars helped Highway 31 to relentlessly attack Moore over accusations he molested children that helped Jones win the seat in one of the nation’s most conservative states.
THE DEMOCRATS: IT’S OKAY WHEN WE DO IT.
Majority Forward has laid out plans to attack Sens. Cory Gardner (R., Colo.), Susan Collins (R., Maine), David Perdue (R., Ga.), Martha McSally (R., Ariz.), and Joni Ernst (R., Iowa) for the 2020 election cycle. It began pouring hundreds of thousands into ads against the vulnerable Republicans in early 2019, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The group on Tuesday launched a six-figure television and digital ad campaign against Collins.
The Senate Majority PAC did not respond to a request for comment on the money it has received from Majority Forward since 2015 for its shared staff and office space.
Schumer and other Democrats have berated Republican dark money groups such as the Judicial Crisis Network (JCN), a conservative organization. Schumer and Democratic senators earlier this year demanded JCN make public the names of individuals who have given the group more than $10,000 since 2017. The senators released a letter in response to a $1.1 million ad campaign from JCN that called on the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates to release their lists of judges.
“The American public deserves to know who is funding these attacks, and whether the same individuals are financing litigation before the Court that will ultimately be decided by the Justices and judges they helped to confirm,” the letter said.
I think GOP senators need to demand that Chuck Schumer’s PAC, which we now know accepts funding from dark money groups, should publicly name the individuals who have given to them.
I wonder how Cryin’ Chuck Schumer will respond to this news of Majority Forward not disclosing who their funders are? Like everything Schumer is involved in, he will come up with some fantastic bullschtein story to make it appear that he’s not being a hypocrite, and somehow he’ll blame it on Donald Trump.