By Andrew Kerr
Senate Democrats released a 54-page report on Wednesday criticizing the role conservative dark money groups have played in confirming President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees, but the report failed to mention the Democratic Party’s own ties to dark money.
The report, which was prepared by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sens. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, railed against conservative dark money groups, including the Federalist Society, which have pumped at least $250 million into funding “Republicans’ court capture machine.”
“The Senate has confirmed 200 new life-tenured federal judges, most of whom were chosen not for their qualifications or experience — which are often lacking — but for their allegiance to Republican political goals,” the Senate Democrats’ report stated.
It added: “This court capture has been perpetuated through a complex network of anonymously-funded groups like the Federalist Society and spearheaded by right-wing activists like Leonard Leo.”
Former Republican Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt told Fox News that the Senate Democrats’ report “shows the height of hypocrisy,” noting that the Democratic Party is propped up by its own dark money juggernauts such as Arabella Advisors, which operates a network of left-leaning organizations that raised a combined $582 million in 2017 alone from mostly anonymous donors.
One of Arabella’s most notable groups is Demand Justice, which was a leading liberal group that advocated against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination in 2018.
Over the last 3 years instead of focusing on legislation to help Americans:
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) May 27, 2020
“This latest report is an unhinged attack on Republicans for using ‘dark money,’ without mentioning that the authors of the report and the Democratic party are the biggest beneficiaries from massive organizations like Arabella Advisors,” Laxalt, who now serves as outside counsel for the watchdog group Americans for Public Trust, said in a statement.
“Unless Sen. Schumer and his colleagues want to continue to deceive and manipulate the American people, they need to be frank and upfront about their own ‘dark money’ practices,” Laxalt said.
In fact, 54% of all dark money spent during the 2018 midterm elections was from liberal dark money groups while conservative groups only accounted for 31% of dark money spending, according to Issue One.
Schumer is tied to Majority Forward, a 501(c)(4) dark money group whose president is Schumer’s ally J.B. Poersch. Majority Forward shares what OpenSecrets called a “ridiculously cozy” relationship with the Schumer-affiliated Senate Majority PAC.
Majority Forward spent $46 million supporting Democrats during the 2018 midterm elections, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
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