Revealing Dark Money and Big Data

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Bradley Smith, Chairman and Co-Founder of the Center for Competitive Politics, Adam Rappaport, Chief Counsel of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, and ProPublica’s Kim Barker discuss how social welfare nonprofit groups, known as 501(c)(4)s are avoid regulation to finance the campaigns. They’ve already spent more than $71 million on television ads, more than all super PACs combined, according to estimates from Kantar Media's Campaign Media Analysis Group. Kim Barker has been reporting the series Revealing Dark Money and Big Data for ProPublica.


Kim Barker, Adam Rappaport and Bradley Smith
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Comments [8]

Bob from Westchester

Mr. Rappaport is not correct when he says there is no government financial subsidy of 501(c)4 organizations. True, contributions to them are not tax-deductible to the donors, but As not-for-profits the recipient organization is not liable for income tax on these contributions or on any other income they have (e.g., interest or investment income on these funds, revenue from selling t-shirts, banners, etc.). Also, many states (including NY) give not-for-profit organizations exemption from sales taxes, which in case of multi-million dollar TV ad purchases or printing of huge mailings can be a big-dollar tax break out of the local taxpayers' pocket.

Oct. 09 2012 12:37 PM
John A

Isn't it likely that although the campaign use of 501(c)4's etc, will be known Late, after the election, that this information will be turned against Citizens united to ammend or reverse it in 2013-2014? - That this latency can be a protection but only once.

Oct. 09 2012 12:36 PM
John A

Big Data is mentioned in the title!
Please address: Do the political campaigns have access to: Cellphone use or Google Use data. What have the authors found?

Oct. 09 2012 12:31 PM

why isnt the public being protected from this misuse of the public’s air waves

Oct. 09 2012 12:29 PM
Jessie Henshaw from Way Uptown

Why not have the period more than 6 mo before elections allowing secret funding for any deception or other information abuse,

and within 6 mo if elections expected to be open transparent and not substantially misleading??

that should be the period for settling the truth, not for inflating deception, as it has become....

Oct. 09 2012 12:24 PM
Carl from new jersey

those examples of prior 501C4's were all very easy to understand - who in general and what was the perspective of the group. Not like the 'stealth' grouos with phony names we hav etoday

Oct. 09 2012 12:16 PM

On a related note, is it true that a person can make an infinite number of donations _directly_ to a campaign below $50 without ever being tracked or disclosed?

Oct. 09 2012 12:15 PM
Jim B

"Reformerite" - first giveaway of spin.

Oct. 09 2012 12:14 PM

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