Dem Dark Money Group Begins Ads in Support of Dems Opposed to Dark Money

First House bill of 2019 for Dems was aimed at curbing dark money political groups

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• August 20, 2019 3:15 pm


A new dark money project for House Democrats is poised to release an ad campaign that will benefit at least four members who have voiced strong opposition to the use of dark money in politics and recently voted in favor of a bill that would force more disclosure on dark money groups.

House Majority Forward was established in March of this year to promote Democratic candidates for the House, but because the group is set up as a nonprofit and not a political action committee, it doesn't have to disclose its donors.

"Abby Curran Horrell, the group's executive director, tells [Politico Morning] Score that it'll have six-figure buys in CA-21 (TJ Cox), CA-48 (Harley Rouda), CA-49 (Mike Levin) and NM-02 (Xochitl Torres Small) promoting the respective freshmen members of Congress and hinted that that the buys will be a health care-related message," Politico Morning Score reported Tuesday (emphasis original).

All of those candidates have taken stands against dark money in the past year, and all have voted in favor of a Democrat-sponsored bill that would force more disclosure on nonprofits like House Majority Forward.

"We need to take back the House and prioritize getting the dark money out of politics!" Mike Levin tweeted in July of last year.

"Policy decisions among leaders in Washington should not be tied to special interest money," Harley Rouda tweeted just over a year ago. "That's why I have pledged to get dark money out of politics. #CA48"

Rep. T.J. Cox posted a newsletter to his congressional website promoting the first bit of legislation Democrats introduced in 2019 after gaining a majority in the lower chamber, a bill for which Cox was also a co-sponsor.

"This legislation ends the influence of special interest and ‘dark' money in our elections, promotes national redistricting reform, and makes it easier for everyone to vote," Cox wrote in the newsletter about the DISCLOSE Act.

National Public Radio highlighted the difference between words and deeds in a story headlined, "Democrats Want To End Dark Money, But First They Want To Use It."

"Reform-minded Democrats have long held up ‘dark money'—political money that can't be traced to its source—as a symptom of what's wrong with politics in Washington," the NPR report noted.

"But while House Democrats this winter passed a bill to end the secrecy shielding donors behind unregulated dark money contributions, liberal activist groups now deploy those funds to boost the party's candidates in the 2020 elections."

None of the campaigns or congressional offices of the representatives listed responded to requests for comment from the Washington Free Beacon on the disparity between decrying dark money in politics and getting help from a dark money group.