Sunday, January 9, 2022

Nonprofits and "Dark Money"

DownloadPerhaps not surprisingly given the prominence of the Supreme Court's Americans for Prosperity Foundation decision last summer, there have been a stream of news stories about nonprofits involved in flows of funding from unknown sources. Here are several recent examples:

  • Inside the Dems' Dark Money Machine: As detailed in this Puck article, the left side of the aisle has also learned how to use the various types of nonprofits to influence politics, including with funds from sources that prefer to remain anonymous (at least to the public).
  • Moms for Liberty: How an army of education activists has become a national political forceAnd of course politically active nonprofits are not solely the province of experience political actors; USA Today reports that the grassroots Moms for Liberty nonprofit, which as a section 501(c)(4) does not have to disclose its donors, has now spread to 33 states, riding the waive of opposition to COVID-related restrictions and objections to teaching what opponents label Critical Race Theory.
  • UPDATE: Guess Who’s Secretly Backing This ‘Anti-Smoking’ Vape Group: And using nonprofits to conceal funding sources can also prove useful to businesses seeking to hide their involvement in lobbying campaigns, as the Daily Beast reports appears to be the case with the clandestine support of British American Tobacco of the World Vapers' Alliance and related groups.

Lloyd Mayer

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I maintain that the nonprofits and political advocacy waters are far muddier than they appear to most observers. I wrote in 2016 about the charitable dollars expended to oppose Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) in her primary race for re-election. See:

Posted by: Michael L. Wyland | Jan 10, 2022 12:52:54 PM

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