“New CCP Issue Brief: ‘Dark Money’ Drops to 2.9% of Campaign Spending in 2016”


The Center for Competitive Politics, America’s largest nonprofit defending First Amendment political free speech rights, released a new Issue Brief today analyzing the amount of so-called “dark money,” or election campaign spending by nonprofits that are not required to publicly report the private information of their supporters to the government unless the contributions are earmarked for campaign ads, over the last six election cycles. Among other things, CCP’s Brief found:

  • “Dark money” declined in both absolute and relative terms from the last presidential election cycle, down to $184 million from $309 million.

  • “Dark money” accounted for only 2.9% of all campaign expenditures in 2015-2016.

  • Nonprofits have never accounted for more than 5% of all election campaign spending in any election cycle.

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