Chart of the Day

What are the sources of money for U.S. elections? Increasingly, the answer is unclear.

Kathleen Miles: “Spending by ‘dark money‘ groups — organizations that do not have to disclose the sources of their political money — has skyrocketed from about $25 million in 2000 to about $336 million in 2012, according to Federal Election Commission and Internal Revenue Service data that the Center for Responsive Politics.”

“The vast majority of dark money can be attributed to so-called ‘social welfare’ groups, considered 501(c)(4) nonprofits. ‘Social welfare’ groups have been a choice form of political spending for everyone from corporations to unions because of the anonymity they provide.”