Bob Roegner recently reported $684,000 in “dark money” attacking Federal Way legislative candidates.
A week later, dark money has spent more than $1.2 million in “independent expenditures,” 90 percent of that on attack ads.
Dark Money is money from PACs and other “nonprofit” groups spending millions to influence voters’ decisions, where the donor is not disclosed and the source of the money is unknown.
How did this happen?
In 1910, President Taft signed the “Federal Corrupt Practices Act” requiring public disclosure of contributions made for the purpose of influencing elections .
In 1971, Richard Nixon signed the “Federal Election Campaign Act” requiring campaigns and PACs to report the names, addresses, and occupations of their donors.
In 2010, the US Supreme Court voted 5-4 on “Citizens United,” allowing corporations and unions to spend unlimited amounts of money to advocate for or against political candidates, without disclosing where those unlimited dollars came from.
Corporations, unions and billionaires have spent tens of billions since then influencing and driving our elections into the gutter, without accountability.
They have spent $1.2 million in Federal Way this year telling us how to vote on our local candidates. It could exceed $2 million by Nov. 6. Attack ads from organizations and individuals outside of Federal Way are trying to influence our votes. They are discouraging many of us from voting at all.
What can we do about it?
First, when you see an attack ad, realize that it’s coming from someone outside of Federal Way trying to make you vote against a Federal Way candidate.
Second, support candidates who oppose “Citizens United.” They want political contributors to identify themselves. They want to hold campaign contributors accountable.
A democracy cannot function when citizens believe its laws are being bought and sold.