Dark money: coming from a shell company near you
So-called “dark money” contributions come from a diverse cross-section of the American landscape. Suburbs, big cities and even small towns are home to corporations created primarily to conceal the true source of money flowing to super PACs that spend millions of dollars to influence elections.
“Disclosure of who is spending money in elections is a vital component of our campaign finance system, but transparency is undermined when a wealthy donor launders their contribution through a shell company,” said Brendan Fischer, director of federal reform at the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center.
Some of these LLCs, such as DRT, LLC, are easier to track than others. But it doesn’t make the money any less “dark,” as there is no way to know the real source of the funds.
“Just because you can suspect an LLC has connections to company, it doesn’t really tell you anything about the source of the money,” Fischer said. “It might’ve come from the company, the company’s owner, or it might’ve come from another individual altogether. The purpose of disclosure is to allow people to know immediately upon looking at an FEC report who the contributors are. It shouldn’t require pulling records from other states to reveal a possible connection to another company.”