Dark money, or anonymous political donations funneled through corporations, nonprofit organizations and other groups, has become a dominant force in U.S. elections in the years since 2010, when the Supreme Court’s landmark Citizens United decision allowed the practice. But the ways that dark money operates is constantly in flux.
“It’s showing up in advocacy for particular pieces of legislation,” Marketplace’s Kimberly Adams said in an interview with Marketplace’s David Brancaccio. “But also, according to The Washington Post and others, dark money is being used to influence the courts — where groups with undisclosed donors may pay for ads or articles promoting, say, the confirmation of Supreme Court justices, or even against that confirmation.”
Adams spoke with Brancaccio about how dark money operates at the federal, state and local levels, and whether there are any signs the rules could change in the future. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation.
David Brancaccio: Now we both learned this in college — define your terms. The dark money here is what?