We've all heard the rhetoric. "Anonymous donors are flooding the election with untraceable cash, subverting our democracy and buying votes." Whether anonymous donations are actually subverting democracy is debatable. What's not debatable is the fact that millions of dollars are indeed being handed to (mostly Republican) candidates from companies that--since the landmark Supreme Court case Citizens United v Federal Election Commission--are under no obligation to tell people who they are. And who's getting more of this secret cash than anyone? Turns out it's GOP Senate candidate Dino Rossi.
The news comes from the liberal advocacy faction, Fuse Washington, but it's sourced from the non-partisan watchdog group The Sunlight Foundation, which lends credibility to the information.
According to a press release, Rossi's campaign has taken in a total of $4,543,027 from groups like Bush campaign mastermind Karl Rove's newly formed Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies, and the shadowy GOP group, American Action Network. The release states that Rossi has now surpassed Illinois Senate candidate Mark Kirk for the top spot in secret cash hauling.
"Dino Rossi has become a national poster child for these shadowy groups funded by wealthy donors and anonymous corporations," said Aaron Ostrom, Executive Director of Fuse Washington. "They want him to win very badly, and you have to ask what agendas they're hiding."
Incumbent Senator Patty Murray's hands are not entirely clean of undisclosed donations, either. Last week CNNreported that left-leaning fundraisers The Citizens and Strength and Security Action Fund had donated $640,000 to her campaign.
Whether voters take more notice of the lack of transparency in who's funding political ads than they do of the political ads themselves remains in doubt. And until a case comes along that can sway the conservative leaning Supreme Court to reverse Citizens United, Americans can expect plenty more surreptitious cash to end up in the campaign coffers of politicians.