“Dark Money” Groups More Likely to Sponsor Attack Ads


Screenshot of television ad paid for by Club For Growth

August 17, 2016 -“Dark money” groups were more likely to pay for attack ads than other political organizations during the presidential primary season, a MapLight analysis has found. Attack ads accounted for about 70 percent of the airings paid for by politically active nonprofits, according to the analysis of television ads identified as positive or negative. By comparison, fewer than 20 percent of airings paid for by all political groups were critical in tone.

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Read the details about our data sources and methodology. Contributions data provided by the National Institute on Money in State Politics.

MapLight California reveals campaign contributions to state-level candidates, ballot measures, and recipient committees as well as independent expenditures affecting state-level candidates and ballot measures. This data can be quickly and easily browsed using MapLight's California Power Search, a contributions search tool developed in partnership with the California Secretary of State, or Maplight's California Independent Expenditures Search. Both tools utilize the California Secretary of State's raw bulk data download, displaying contributions and independent expenditures from 2001 through the present.

Our site also includes contributions made to Assemblymembers and Senators in the California State Legislature between Jan. 1, 2003 and Dec. 31, 2012 to legislators who have served in the 2009-2010, 2011-2012, 2013-2014, and 2015-2016 sessions. This data is obtained from the National Institute on Money in State Politics (NIMSP). Using this data, we show how much interest groups like gas and electric utilities and attorneys and law firms contribute to your representatives in Sacramento. More details...