Nov 19, 2019

"Dark money" group shelled out $141 million to liberal causes in 2018

The Capitol building, partially eclipsed by shadow.

Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

A political nonprofit spent a record-breaking $141 million, boosting liberal-leaning causes in the 2018 midterm election, new tax filings show, per Politico.

Why it matters: The influence of the group, Sixteen Thirty Fund, is "a sign that Democrats and allies have embraced the methods of groups they decried as 'dark money' earlier this decade, when they were under attack from the money machines built by conservatives including the Kochs," Politico notes.

  • The organization's 2018 fundraising numbers exceeded "any amount ever raised by a left-leaning political nonprofit."
  • Issues the group sponsored included opposition efforts against U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh to ballot issues such as minimum wage and voter rights.

By the numbers: The group was bankrolled by large donations. One $51.7 million gift was larger than Sixteen Thirty Fund received in any year before Donald Trump was elected president.

  • Nonprofits that concentrate on "social welfare" don't have to disclose who funds them, according to Politico, so the group's funders can and do remain secret.

Zoom out: The Supreme Court ruled in mid-September 2018 that political campaigns by nonprofit groups must disclose the identities of their donors for the remaining month of the 2018 midterm election cycle.

Read the tax filing:

Go deeper: Pro-Trump group finds swing voters are unconvinced on impeachment

Go deeper