What is ‘Dark Money' and Why Do So Many People Think Its Bad?

Candidates, parties and political action committees — including the super PACs that are allowed to accept unlimited amounts of money — all report the names of their donors who give more than $200 to the Federal Election Commission on a regular basis.

But, certain politically active nonprofits and limited liability companies (LLCs) are generally not required to publicly disclose their donors. These two forms of dark money can make political expenditures themselves or donate to Super PACs.

During the 2012 election cycle, dark money groups pumped about $300 million into political messages that called for the election or defeat of federal candidates and an additional hundreds of millions of dollars were spend on political ads touting issues rather than candidates, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

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