If a campaign finance story is not about David Koch or Sheldon Adelson, do liberals care? Consider the reaction to Kenneth Vogel’s important report on the winter meeting of the Democracy Alliance, the secretive organization of progressive millionaires and billionaires who finance an extraordinarily byzantine network of liberal foundations and Super PACs that operate with undisclosed “dark money.” What reaction? Exactly. There wasn’t any.
Republicans (and I) thought the 2008 election was a fluke. We thought the Obama coalition of minorities, young people, and white liberals had been brought together under unusual circumstances: the unpopularity of the Bush presidency, the war in Iraq, and the recession and financial crisis. The 2010 midterms, in which the Obama coalition did not appear and Republicans had their best performance in decades, supported this assumption. A combination of GOP enthusiasm and a lackluster economy would spell trouble for Obama’s reelection. Obama would not be able to replicate his 2008 performance. His voters would not show up. We were wrong.
Members of the secretive, liberal network of dark money donors known as the Democracy Alliance gave Obama’s Super PAC, Priorities USA, a major cash injection in the first half of October. According to the group’s pre-general FEC report, George Soros contributed $1 million, Chris Findlater gave $30,000, and Vin Ryan donated $100,000.