Judge Closes ‘Dark Money’ Loophole

Ruling Could Be A "Game Changer" In Fight Against Citizens United

OpenSecrets.org: “A federal judge in Washington issued a ruling Friday rejecting a regulation that has allowed large donors of politically active nonprofits to remain anonymous.”

“U.S. District Court Judge Beryl Howell found that a Federal Election Commission (FEC) regulation used by nonprofit organizations that engage in political activity to shroud donors in secrecy was invalid. The judge said the rule failed to uphold the standard which Congress intended when it required the disclosure of politically related spending.”

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a watchdog group in Washington brought the lawsuit against Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS after GPS did not disclose the donors who contributed to the $6 million the group spent trying to defeat incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) in 2012. CREW first lodged a complaint with the FEC, which dismissed it, before filing suit.”

“‘This ruling looks like a major game changer,’ Noah Bookbinder, CREW’s executive director, said in a statement.”

“While independent expenditures make up a significant portion of ‘dark money’ spent in elections — more than $733 million since 2010, when the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision came down — it is not the only way dark money gets into elections.”

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