The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a Koch-backed bill mill, wants to give political dark money a public relations makeover, reported Politico. The campaign comes as public disapproval of anonymous political contributions is at an all-time high.
ALEC, a group of Republican lawmakers and corporations, discussed at its annual conference how to make political dark money more palatable for the American public. The New York Times reported that 84 percent of Americans think money has too much influence in politics and view Citizens United unfavorably. ALEC thinks it’s a matter of semantics.
ALEC said that pro-disclosure groups are creating negativity against anonymous spending by labeling it as “dark money,” which is a good, accurate term. “Seems to me that by using the term ‘dark money’ in this discussion we are buying into their arguments,” said an unnamed state senator. “If the media were to call it something better such as ‘anonymous free speech money’ or something else. Somebody needs to come up with a better term than ‘dark money.’”
“Dark money” is exactly what anonymous campaign contributions are. It’s undisclosed and hidden from the public. Not only does Citizens United keep corporations safe from public scrutiny, but politicians get to keep the money given to their respective super PACs. With political money itself becoming a talking point, corporations and Republicans should be getting nervous.