“Yet they spend—they supplant an entire national political party, spend tens of millions of dollars—in the end, in total, probably hundreds of millions of dollars -- without knowing who they are, what their agenda is or who they represent. That's not good for our democracy.”
Meanwhile, an elected official in New York sought to persuade the nonprofits that have spent the most secret campaign cash to reveal their donors.
New York Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, sent a letter to 16 organizations Tuesday asking for their donor information. Collectively, the groups have spent more than $22 million in elections across the country just since September 1.
And although there are Democratic and Republican leaning groups on the list, the top seven groups tilt toward Republicans. All of the groups that have spent more than $1 million since September 1 skew Republican.
In his letter, which was obtained by CNBC, de Blasio said that shareholders have a right to know whether their companies are engaging in so-called “independent expenditures” of campaign cash.
“Taking advantage of Independent Expenditure groups, like yours, offers companies opportunities to avoid accountability for their political activities by concealing them from shareholders and consumers who may disapprove,” de Blasio wrote. “It also potentially keeps investors in the dark about whether their invested capital is being used for political purposes.”
But de Blasio may not have much luck getting answers.