Dark Money Threatens Our Elections
The prevalence of dark money in our elections — political spending where the source of the funding is unknown and not required to be disclosed — has played an increasingly problematic role in recent years. Although super PACs are required to publicly disclose their donors, 501(c)(4) groups and other nonprofit organizations are not. Many well-known organizations such as the National Rifle Association and the Sierra Club are classified as 501(c)(4) organizations under the U.S. tax code.
However, 501(c)(4) organizations can then spend an unlimited amount in elections, or even donate to super PACs, which are only required to disclose the name of the 501(c)(4) group, not the underlying source of the donation. This enables wealthy, or even foreign, donors to keep their identities secret while still spending large sums of money in elections.