Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with the Axios AM and PM newsletters. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to the Axios Closer newsletter for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios Pro Rata

Dive into the world of dealmakers across VC, PE and M&A with Axios Pro Rata. Delivered daily to your inbox by Dan Primack and Kia Kokalitcheva.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with the Axios Sports newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Des Moines newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Tampa Bay newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Austin news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Austin newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Atlanta news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Atlanta newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Philadelphia news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Philadelphia newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Chicago news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Chicago newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top DC news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios DC newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Significant chunks of money spent in key 2020 Senate races — including Kelly Loeffler's in Georgia — came from nonprofits and companies with little online footprint and no trace of their own financial benefactors, new disclosure filings show.

Why it matters: The 2020 cycle was the most expensive in the nation's history, by far, and an unprecedented amount of spending came from groups that don't disclose their donors. The Biden administration is under pressure to step up enforcement against such groups, and these new financials will only increase that.

What's new: Federal Election Commission filings submitted Thursday show that two obscure corporate donors gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to a group trying to reelect Loeffler, the former appointed Republican senator.

  • A company called Custom Management Services Inc. donated $160,000 to Georgia United Victory, a super PAC that backed Loeffler. The company's only listed address is a Sioux Falls, South Dakota, law firm, but corporate records indicate it's run by First Financial bank executive Al Heygi.
  • The nonprofit American Exceptionalism Institute, which does not disclose its donors, gave $200,000 to Georgia United Victory. It also donated $2.5 million to a super PAC backing Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), and a Nevada PAC supporting state-level Republicans.
  • The more than $3.7 million that AEI gave to those three groups from July to October dwarfed its total budget during its prior fiscal year, when it reported raising less than $25,000.
  • Who provided the millions last year is unknowable because AEI and others are considered "social welfare" groups that are not explicitly political, so they don't face the same disclosure requirements.
  • Another such group, Florida Promise Inc., listed its address as a Tampa post office box. It gave $1 million in December to the Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC aligned with Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell. It appears to be the group's first-ever federal political contribution.

The big picture: According to the Center for Responsive Politics, "dark money" groups had as of late in the cycle poured more than $750 million into 2020 elections.

  • "Reining in dark money is essential to integrity in government and to a government responsive to the people, not special interests," wrote Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) in a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Wednesday.
  • Warren and Whitehouse urged Yellen to step up enforcement against nonprofits used to channel money into political organizations in ways designed to mask the true sources of the funds.

The phenomenon is not confined to Republican groups.

  • Biden himself enjoyed record support from high-dollar groups that shielded donor information from the public.
  • Democrats in general benefited from a spike in dark money backing during the 2020 cycle.

The bottom line: Democrats have railed against dark money for years. But each filing that shows more undisclosed cash in the system is another talking point in their favor now that they control the levers of power in Washington.

Editor's note: this story has been updated to note Heygi's ties to Custom Management Services.

Go deeper

Feb 3, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Exclusive: Nikki Haley hires former NRSC political director to run new PAC

Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley. Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley has hired the former political director for the National Republican Senatorial Committee to run her new political action committee in an effort to strengthen her role as a key player for the GOP in the 2022 midterms.

Why it matters: It's no secret that Haley has an eye on running for president in 2024, and pouring a ton of money into key House and Senate races is a great way to win the favor of top Republicans ahead of her anticipated campaign.

Ina Fried, author of Login
6 mins ago - Technology
Column / Signal Boost

Exclusive: Meta's civil rights chief aims to "turn the knob" for good

Photo Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios. Photo: Meta

A year ago, Facebook brought in Roy Austin, Jr. to lead a new team focused on civil rights. Since then, he has assembled a squad of experts advising parent company Meta on everything from voting rights to hate speech to ensuring new products don't have discriminatory impact.

The big picture: Austin's team of nine must tackle those tough issues inside a company of nearly 70,000 employees serving more than 3 billion users around the world.

Momentum builds for transparency on people's salaries

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

New York City will soon require employers to supply a salary range when they're advertising a position — the biggest step yet in the growing but controversial movement for pay transparency.

Why it matters: Laws like New York's aim to give workers, particularly women and people of color, more power in job negotiations. But the rise in remote work is throwing a wrench into the effort.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

Sign up for Mike Allen’s daily Axios AM and PM newsletters to get smarter, faster on the news that matters.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!