With all signs pointing to a massive red wave threatening to wipe out Democratic majorities in Congress this fall, you would think that leading Democrats in Washington, D.C., would be focusing all their efforts on defending the most threatened incumbent members of their caucus.
You’d be wrong.
As reporting by The Intercept has shown, outside groups aligned with Democratic leaders are spending millions in dark money to target progressives, many of them running in safe blue districts where Republicans have little chance of winning in November.
To understand why party leaders would be spending scarce resources targeting progressive challengers like Nina Turner and Summer Lee — and even incumbents like Rep. Rashida Tlaib — you must follow the money to the corporate interests and powerful lobby groups that fill the campaign coffers of both parties.
But as the Supreme Court has weakened campaign finance laws, it’s become increasingly difficult to track the mountains of dark money sloshing around in Washington, D.C.
The Intercept is one of the few news outlets committed to the investigative journalism needed to follow the money and connect the dots. But as a nonprofit outlet, we rely on donations from readers to help fund this ongoing reporting. Will you make a donation to support our hard-hitting investigative journalism?
Consider the newly formed Urban Empowerment Action PAC, a dark-money group ostensibly “dedicated to empowering urban communities to narrow the wealth gap between Black and White Americans.” Their #1 target is Tlaib, a progressive Democrat who supports Medicare for All, raising the minimum wage, and ending mass incarceration.
Or consider Mainstream Democrats, the dark-money group funded by Silicon Valley billionaire and LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman. It spent big against the progressive challengers to Oregon Rep. Kurt Schrader, one of the most outspoken Democratic opponents of the Build Back Better plan, and Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Texas Democrat who remains the party’s most strident foe of abortion rights.
Then there’s the new dark-money operation called Opportunity for All Action Fund run by longtime top Democratic Party operatives like former Hillary Clinton campaign director Patty Solis Doyle and former Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee financial services director Darrel Thompson. It spent more than half a million in just four primaries to defend incumbent Democrats against progressives in safe seats that President Joe Biden carried overwhelmingly.
This is the kind of reporting needed to uncover the dark underbelly of Democratic Party politics. Will you make a donation to help The Intercept follow the money, connect the dots, and uncover the corrupting role of money in our elections?