President Biden received a record-breaking amount of donations from “dark money” donors during the 2020 election cycle, despite his party’s long-held belief that such money should be more severely regulated.
Biden’s campaign was pushed to victory in part thanks to $145 million in dark money, a type of political donation where the donor and source of the money are not disclosed, which dwarfed former President Donald Trump’s $28.4 million in dark money raised.
Biden’s dark money haul was also enough to pass the previous record set by Utah Sen. Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign, which raised $113 million in dark money.
“He benefited from it,” Larry Noble, a former general counsel at the Federal Election Commission, told Bloomberg News.
Biden raised a total of $1.5 billion, a record fundraising effort for a challenger looking to unseat an incumbent president.
While Democrats have in the past proposed bans to the type of dark money donations, the effort to unseat Trump had them welcoming the funds in 2020.
“We weren’t going to unilaterally disarm against Trump and the right-wing forces that enabled him,” said Priorities USA Chairman Guy Cecil, whose super political action committee was designated as the preferred committee for outside spending.
Priorities USA used $26 million in funds that were originally donated to its nonprofit organization arm, a type of donation that current law does not require revealing the donor.
Despite having the advantage in dark money donations, Biden’s campaign called for stricter rules that would limit nonprofit organizations to $10,000 of political donations or force them to register with the FEC and disclose their donors. Under such a proposal, Priorities USA would have been forced to disclose its donors.
“We still look forward to the day when unlimited money and super PACs are a thing of the past,” Cecil added.
The Sixteen Thirty Fund received a flood of new donations for Biden during this past year’s election cycle, Executive Director Amy Kurtz said. The group had previously been involved in an effort to reform the campaign finance system, something the new money has now made more complicated.
“We have lobbied in favor of reform to the current campaign finance system,” Kurtz said. “But we remain equally committed to following the current laws to level the playing field for progressives.”
The White House did not immediately respond to the Washington Examiner’s request for comment.