Dark Money

In 2010, the US Supreme Court declared that pumping corporate cash into elections is a form of free speech. We have been witnessing the consequences of the high court's Citizens United ruling ever since. But because so many of those consequences benefit Republican politicians, there can be a tendency to view opposition to Citizens United as primarily a leftist preoccupation. What's brilliant about Dark Money, a powerful documentary directed by Montana native Kimberly Reed, is how it proves the falsity of this notion by telling the story of Republican state lawmakers who found themselves in the crosshairs of a very effective dark-money blitz. It all makes the problem crystal clear: Corporate power is corrupting American democracy using massive contributions and complex voter-manipulation schemes at levels we've never seen before—levels that, to this day, we barely comprehend. It's a dynamic that hurts community-accountable Republicans and Democrats alike while helping only cosseted plutocrats. by Eli Sanders
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Kimberly Reed