Republicans Use Dark Money to Block President Biden’s Nominees and Remake Our Courts
April 19, 2022
New reporting confirmed what’s been evident: Republicans are spending tens of millions of dollars of dark money to block President Biden’s agenda, running the same playbook they used to confirm conservative judges and remake our courts to serve special interests.
According to a new report, Republicans are using a new dark money group to smear President Biden’s nominees with baseless attacks and attempt to undermine his agenda.
New Yorker: “An explicit purpose of the A.A.F.—a politically active, tax-exempt nonprofit charity that doesn’t disclose its backers—is to prevent the approval of all Biden Administration nominees.”
New Yorker: “Rather than attack a single candidate or nominee, the A.A.F. aims to thwart the entire Biden slate. The obstructionism, like the Republican blockade of Biden’s legislative agenda in Congress, is the end in itself.”
New Yorker: “The A.A.F., which is run by conservative white men, has particularly focussed on blocking women and people of color. As of last month, more than a third of the twenty-nine candidates it had publicly attacked were people of color, and nearly sixty per cent were women.”
New Yorker: “The A.A.F. told the I.R.S. that its mission is to conduct nonpartisan research, but it is curious that the largest contribution by far to its parent group, C.P.I., is a million-dollar “charitable contribution” from Save America—Trump’s political-action committee.”
Republican lawmakers have repeatedly blocked legislation to increase transparency, disclose donors, and regulate the influence of dark money.
NBC News: “Republicans rail against liberal ‘dark money,’ oppose laws to disclose donors”
Sen. Mitch McConnell: “I’m in favor of the way campaigns and issues are currently funded… There are rational reasons for not having disclosure for those entities.”
Insider: “Republicans are attacking a dark money group’s support for Ketanji Brown Jackson despite blocking Democratic-led bills to disclose donors at least 10 times since 2010”
NBC News: “Yet the No. 2 Republican senator said there isn’t much of an appetite in the caucus for requiring donor disclosures, leaving the cause without much of a path to winning the necessary 60 votes.”
And let’s not forget, dark money conservative groups spent tens of millions from undisclosed donors to pave the way for Trump and McConnell to reshape our courts and serve special interests.
Washington Post Fact Checker: “For instance, the conservative Judicial Crisis Network works to fill judicial vacancies across the country, including in state supreme courts and appellate courts. It received $17.9 million in 2016 and $17.1 million in 2017 from an undisclosed donor (or maybe two). It then turned around and used that money (and other contributions) to fight against the Supreme Court nomination of Merrick Garland in 2016 ($7 million) and for the nominations of Neil M. Gorsuch ($10 million), Brett M. Kavanaugh ($10 million) and Amy Coney Barrett ($10 million).”
HuffPost: “Republicans claimed there was nothing wrong with Trump letting representatives from an outside group run his judicial selection process, or with a dark money group spending funds to support the eventual nominees.”
Mother Jones: “The irony of this line of attack is that McConnell has been on a crusade to allow more dark money in politics for decades. His name captions the first Supreme Court case challenging the McCain-Feingold campaign-finance reform legislation, which attempted to rein in the flood of anonymous corporate donations in politics, and he openly supported the 2010 Citizens United decision that ultimately invalidated that landmark legislation.”