UPDATED 9:50 AM PT – Tuesday, January 26, 2020
Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign set a new record in dark money donations despite Democrat calls to end this questionable practice.
According to Bloomberg News, Biden received $145 million from dark money donors last year, which includes anonymous donations through third-party mediators. By contrast, President Trump received only $28 million in such donations.
Biden’s dark money haul beat out the previous record set by Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) in 2012, who raked-in about $113 million in those donations.
Democrats have railed against the use of dark money in politics because dark money groups do not have to reveal information on their donors. They have argued this makes it nearly impossible for voters to know who is funding political messaging and what the motivation behind those messages may be.
In fact, Biden’s running mate, Kamala Harris, has cited dark money donations as a serious threat to U.S. democracy and justice.
Eleven years ago today, #CitizensUnited opened the floodgates for unlimited dark money in our politics. Since then, corporations have doubled down on trying to drown out the voices of everyday people. To put families first, we need campaign finance reform.
— Katie Porter (@katieporteroc) January 22, 2021
At the same time, Biden campaigned on banning certain non-profits from putting money into swaying elections and requiring organizations spending over $10,000 on elections to disclose its donors to the government.
A Biden-affiliated PAC, Priorities USA, attempted to defend the influx of dark money by saying they had to use all options against President Trump.
Despite dark money donations, President Trump outperformed Biden in terms of overall fundraising. He raises almost $2 billion compared to Biden’s $1.7 billion.