My recent collaboration at the Center for Responsive Politics is about a new organization claiming to be “dedicated to promoting accountability, ethics, and transparency” that gets 100% of its funds from a group that exists mainly as a “dark money” vehicle for donors to elude transparency.
Its funding — $600,000 in 2014, according to the only tax return it has filed to date — comes entirely from a conservative donor-advised fund called DonorsTrust, which means it could come from anywhere. DonorsTrust is a pass-through vessel that manages the charitable contributions of wealthy individuals and foundations to organizations that are “dedicated to the ideals of limited government, personal responsibility, and free enterprise,” according to its website, while allowing the donors to remain anonymous. Charles Koch is among the many conservatives who have filtered money through DonorsTrust.
In other words, an organization “dedicated to promoting accountability, ethics, and transparency” gets 100 percent of its funds from a group that exists mainly as a vehicle for donors to elude transparency.
While we’re on the theme of dark money, there was a fantastic political cartoon in the Washington Post this weekend by Pulitzer-winning cartoonist Tom Toles (seen below).