If you look up “dark money” in Merriam-Webster, you won’t find a definition, but as of this week, their online unabridged dictionary includes a word that tells a big part of its story — “super PAC.” It’s defined in part as “an independent PAC [political action committee] that can accept unlimited contributions from individuals and organizations (such as corporations and labor unions) and spend unlimited amounts in support of a candidate.” It’s a fitting reminder that four years after Citizens United, the Supreme Court decision that opened the floodgates of campaign cash, dark money may be here to stay.
In this three-minute video, investigative reporters Kim Barker and Andy Kroll tell Bill how dark money contributes to Washington’s gridlock and why it keeps politicians from acting in the best interest of their constituents.
Barker tells Bill, “I would argue that if you’re wondering why your government is so broke and you can’t really get anything passed through Congress, campaign finance has a lot to do with that.”
Kroll adds this analogy on super PAC dark money from a conversation that he had with an unnamed senator.
I had a conversation with a progressive senator who is not a fan of super PACs and at the time did not have his own sort of individual super PAC… And I said, ‘What is this like when you’re going to go up against an opponent who does have a super PAC and does have a motivated one percenter in his corner?’ And he said, ‘It’s like going into a boxing ring. I’m wearing boxing gloves. And the other guy has an Uzi.