Bernie Sanders, why does your campaign need dark money Our Revolution

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., campaigns for the Democratic presidential nomination on Feb. 02, 2020, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

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Ten years ago, when the Supreme Court struck down a bipartisan campaign finance law and opened up the spigots for political giving, experts predicted what this would mean. Corporations would become important brokers by using their new powers to spread money around. And Republicans would be the big beneficiaries.

In reality, the biggest legacy of the Citizens United ruling has been so-called dark money — money raised by independent groups from unknown donors spent on behalf of a candidate, multiple candidates, a party or cause. 

And the biggest user of this dark money — at least until this fall when President Donald Trump is expected to release a torrent of it — has been Democrats. In the 2018 midterm elections, dark money groups spent about $150 million. Liberal groups accounted for 54% of that, and much of it from a single organization called Majority Forward.

Sanders founded Our Revolution

This year brings a new chapter in the story. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., has created, and is the beneficiary of, a new kind of dark money group called Our Revolution.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., campaigns for the Democratic presidential nomination on Feb. 02, 2020, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

OUR REVOLUTION:Our mission is much more than electing Bernie Sanders

What makes Our Revolution different is that it is designed to advance Sanders’ cause against other Democrats in the primaries, rather than against a Republican in a general election. It’s one thing to say you have to play the dark money game because the other side surely will. It is quite another to be first off the mark in bringing its corrosive powers into a new area.

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