Super PACs must technically disclose their donors, but those donors often include dark money groups. Dark money refers to money intended to influence election results from undisclosed sources. By having dark money donors, super PACs circumvent financial disclosure requirements. This allows a network of secret organizations to influence our elections without our knowledge.
Despite Citizens United, every American should be able to see which corporations are spending money on which candidates, how that money is being spent, and how politicians are influenced by it. When we understand who is trying to influence our votes and how, elections operate with increased transparency and we have more information to inform our decisions. Eliminating dark money is an uphill
battle, and the League is using all resources to ensure that the people come out on top.
What We’re Doing
Advocating for Financial Transparency and Ethics
The League works with coalition partners, grassroots organizers, and everyday Americans to promote policies that would make our campaign finance system more transparent and less entangled with dark money. These include bills like the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act, which would shine a light on the influence of money in elections and increase financial transparency.
Litigation and Advocacy
Leagues across the US are fighting cases and promoting legislation to oppose dark money and increase financial transparency in our elections. These include:
- Gaspee Medros: A challenge against Rhode Island’s campaign disclosure provisions, which state that organizations must disclose their larger donors. The claimants argue that this violates their First Amendment rights. If the complainants succeed, disclosure laws across the US will be put at
risk. The League is an amicus partner in this case.
- The Honest Ads Act: LWVUS supports this bipartisan bill, which would increase transparency around online political It would decrease foreign influence over our elections by banning foreign nationals from purchasing online political ads and require online platforms to maintain public databases of political ads.