Center for Political Awareness

Secret Spending in the States

PUBLISHED: June 26, 2016. Dark money spending — together with a new phenomenon we’ve identified as “gray money” — have surged in state and local elections. (Click image for article.)

ARTICLE PUBLISHED: June 26, 2016

Dark money spending — together with a new phenomenon we’ve identified as “gray money” — have surged in state and local elections. This report, the most comprehensive empirical look yet at the impact of secret spending beyond the federal level, finds that fully transparent spending has declined from 76 percent in 2006 to just 29 percent in 2014 in six states where data was available.

Six years after Citizens United enabled unfettered spending in our elections, the use of so-called dark money has become disturbingly common. Contrary to the Supreme Court’s assumption that this unlimited spending would be transparent to voters, at the federal level powerful groups have since 2010 poured hundreds of millions of dollars into influencing elections while obscuring the sources of their funding.

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