Opposition to dark money in politics is a widely-used talking point on the campaign trail for Democrats, as they claim to be against corporate donations and outside interest groups. But a new report from The New York Times reveals that Democrats benefited from dark money donated by a foreign billionaire, who bankrolled progressive groups between 2016 and 2020.
Here's more on Swiss billionaire Hansjörg Wyss, via The NYT:
Newly obtained tax filings show that Mr. Wyss’s foundations donated $208 million from 2016 through early last year to three nonprofit funds that doled out money to a wide array of groups that backed progressive causes and helped Democrats in their efforts to win the White House and control of Congress last year.
Mr. Wyss’s representatives say his foundations’ money is not being spent on political campaigning. But documents and interviews show that his foundations have come to play a prominent role in financing the political infrastructure that supports Democrats and their issues.
While most of his operation’s recent politically oriented giving was channeled through the three nonprofit funds, Mr. Wyss’s foundations also directly donated tens of millions of dollars since 2016 to groups that opposed former President Donald J. Trump and promoted Democrats and their causes.
Receipts show that the exhausted talking point is not backed up by contributions to Democrats; dark money boosted candidates in the 2020 election cycle to the tune of $1 billion and predominantly benefited Democrats.
Nearly all Dem Senate & House candidate attacked "dark money," yet..— Jesse Hunt (@JJHunt10) May 3, 2021
"During , groups aligned w/ Dems spent more than $514 million in such funds, compared to about $200 million spent by groups aligned w/ GOP, according to an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics." https://t.co/tlW6RcpQcH