Source:Michael Beckel, Anna Massoglia and Andrew Perez
Affiliation:Issue One, Center for Responsive Politics and MapLight
Nearly $1 billion has been spent by dark money groups since the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United decision in 2010. These opaque organizations generally aren't required to disclose their donors, but obscure public records can help you shine a light on their activities and their funders. OpenSecrets.org and MapLight.org have numerous resources available for reporters interested in following the dark money in politics, and Issue One recently published a database of nearly 1,200 transactions detailing contributions from more than 400 unique donors to the leading dark money groups — a database that is searchable online (bit.ly/DarkMoneyData) and on ProPublica's FEC Itemizer tool.
As the 2020 election cycle ramps up, come learn tips from some of the top dark money sleuths in the country for scouring filings with the Federal Election Commission, Internal Revenue Service, Department of Labor, Congress, corporate websites and other sources.