The Secrets of a Right-Wing Dark-Money Juggernaut - Revealed - 2019-10-29
WASHINGTON — Anonymous campaign cash is as much a fixture of American politics nowadays as yard signs and awkward photos of presidential contenders eating corn dogs. Dark money may have existed well before Citizens United, but that 2010 Supreme Court decision opened the floodgates for untraceable money to soak our elections. It also left voters clueless about who was putting up the hundreds of millions of dollars spent by groups with anodyne names like Priorities USA and Americans for Prosperity.
One of the most infamous players in the dark-money game was an outfit by the name of Americans for Job Security. Founded by a Republican political operative close to Rick Perry, Americans for Job Security acted like a laundromat for wealthy donors. Instead of giving directly to a candidate or campaign and having their names disclosed, they donated to Americans for Job Security, which scrubbed their identity and spent their millions to elect Republicans across the country and push right-wing policy proposals. The group dropped $5 million in 2010 to elect dozens of new House Republicans and another $15 million in 2012 to try to defeat President Obama. It also funneled tens of millions more to state-level campaigns, including to fund the opposition to two 2012 California ballot measures to raise taxes on the very rich and weaken labor unions.
On Friday, the mystery of who bankrolled Americans for Job Security was finally solved. After losing a seven-year legal battle, the now-defunct group revealed where its money had came from — a rare victory for clean-government groups and an even more rare glimpse at the internal workings of a dark-money juggernaut. According to documents turned over to Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Americans for Job Security's donor list is a who's-who of 1-percenters.