Biden's Presidential Victory Fueled by $145M in 'Dark Money' During 2020 Election
Biden raked in around $145 million in donations from outside groups
Democrats have repeatedly denounced anonymous campaign contributions as corrupting political force, and they are now ignoring the fact that Joe Biden benefited from a record-breaking amount of "dark money" donations during the election of 2020.
Biden raked in around $145 million in donations from outside groups and anonymous donors, far exceeding the $28.4 million spent on behalf of Donald Trump, Bloomberg reported.
It also exceeds Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's previous record of $113 million in 2012.
One of the most prominent Democratic super PACs supporting Biden, the Priorities USA Action Fund, used $26 million donated to its nonprofit arm, Priorities USA, to back the then-candidate, Bloomberg added.
The donors of the money, by law, do not need to be disclosed.
Dark money critics argue voters should know who's funding political advertisements.
Nonpartisan group, The Campaign Legal Center, called it a "serious threat to our democracy," and Issue One, another nonpartisan group that aims to reduce the influence of money in politics, has called it "the most toxic force in politics."
Despite Democrats introducing legislation to crack down on dark money donations, it failed to prevent them from anonymous donations themselves as they scrambled to defeat Trump.
Guy Cecil, the chairman of Priorities USA, told Bloomberg:
"We weren’t going to unilaterally disarm against Trump and the right-wing forces that enabled him."
One of the first bills before the new Senate will be the "For the People Act."
The legislation, introduced by Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore, is the Senate counterpart to the House's For the People Act, spearheaded by Rep. John Sarbanes, D-Md., and passed in 2019.
The bill also requires all political organizations to disclose their donors as part of the crackdown.
Sarbanes said in a statement on his website:
"The 2020 election underscored the need for comprehensive, structural democracy reform."
"Americans across the country were forced to overcome rampant voter suppression, gerrymandering, and a torrent of special-interest dark money just to exercise their vote and their voice in our democracy."
Biden also called for banning certain types of nonprofits from spending money in elections while requiring groups that spend over $10,000 to disclose their donors publicly.
Priorities USA would have been forced to name its donors under such a proposal.
Biden has raised a record $1.5 billion for his campaign, which can, under FEC laws, accept donations of no more than $2,800 from individual donors.
The figure includes $318.6 million from donors who gave less than $200 each.
The remaining stemmed from those who donated at least $825,000, with the money split between the Democratic National Committee and the Biden campaign.
During this election cycle, Democrats have received about $326 million in dark money, the Center for Responsive Politics reported.
The figure is more than double the $148 million collected by Republicans.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, conservatives were a dominating force in the dark money game, outspending liberal organizations by a ratio of 4-to-1.
Conservative spending outpaced that of liberals by almost 11-to-1 following the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision in 2010.
But the trend shifted after liberal groups outpaced conservatives in dark money spending on political ads for the first time since 2010.