Dark money is being used in Senate races in 2014

There will be lots of special interest money spent to the 2014 Senate races
There will be lots of special interest money spent to the 2014 Senate races

According to a report in the Huffington Post  new and repurposed “dark money” groups are jumping into key Senate races this year. In five states — Kentucky, Louisiana, New Hampshire, North Carolina and South Carolina — the difficult reelection bids of incumbent senators have already been directly targeted or indirectly influenced.

Some dark money groups were running ads as early as last spring. Others have joined up with single-candidate super PACs and are gathering the needed cash to attack.

Nationwide, The Huffington Post has reported, dark money groups — more formally, 501(c)(4) social welfare nonprofits, which are not required to disclose donors — havespent more than $24 million so far on issue advocacy naming specific candidates ahead of the 2014 elections. A host of single-candidate super PACs, which are required to name their donors, have also emerged to promote individual candidates in the 2014 elections.

Early evidence of the dark money push came last May with an ad showering praise on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for “leading the fight against Obamacare.” The spot was the work of the Kentucky Opportunity Coalition, a previously unknown nonprofit that operates as the dark money arm of the super PAC Kentuckians for Strong Leadership.

This super PAC-dark money combo is run by Scott Jennings, a former McConnell political director and onetime deputy to Karl Rove in the George W. Bush White House. It copies the dual form used by Rove in his Crossroads groups. Both parts of the combo can accept unlimited contributions, but one grants donors anonymity. MORE…

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Jim Williams is the Washington Bureau Chief, Digital Director as well as the Director of Special Projects for Genesis Communications. He is starting his third year as part of the team. This is Williams 40th year in the media business, and in that time he has served in a number of capacities. He is a seven time Emmy Award winning television producer, director, writer and executive. He has developed four regional sports networks, directed over 2,000 live sporting events including basketball, football, baseball hockey, soccer and even polo to name a few sports. Major events include three Olympic Games, two World Cups, two World Series, six NBA Playoffs, four Stanley Cup Playoffs, four NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship Tournaments (March Madness), two Super Bowl and over a dozen college bowl games. On the entertainment side Williams was involved with Berman Concerts and directed over 500 concerts for Showtime, Pay Per View and MTV Networks.