Dark money is a threat to American democracy.
Not knowing who is bankrolling candidates, legislation, ballot measures, and more make the citizens of this country very distrustful of their government. And that is very unhealthy. Activists are pushing back all over and from time to time, make significant progress.
Activists in California recently got a big win: The state passed legislation (that was just signed into law by the governor) that requires the biggest donors behind ballot measures to be disclosed to voters.
CA Assemblyman Kevin Mullin, who authored the bill, said “Transparency in elections is critical to our democracy and AB 249 brings that transparency to California, giving our voters the opportunity to make informed decisions based on honest information.”
Wouldn’t it be great if we could all get similar legislation passed in our own states? Well, you can certainly advocate for that.
How you can help
For starters, you should call your local state representative and state senator. You can find their contact information HERE.
Here’s a script you can use, via the great folks at Americans of Conscience Checklist:
“Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and I would like [MY STATE] to follow the lead of California’s Disclose Act in requiring political advertisements to clearly display their top sources of funding. Can I count on [NAME] to advocate for transparency and disclosure for political ads? Thank you.”
Secondly, getting dark money out of politics is an issue that a lot of people care about. Find like-minded organizers near you by Googling “dark money” and your state. Read through the articles that come up for the names of organizations and people and get in touch with them. You won’t be alone.
Want to learn more about dark money? Here are two resources:
Last year, PBS produced the documentary “Dark Money” which you can watch in its entirety HERE.
Another great resource about dark money is this article from the Center for Public Integrity: What is political “dark money” and is it bad?