- OPEN SECRETS , ORG - Sep 21, 2020 -
Anna Massoglia -
“Dark money” groups are projected to spend tens of millions of dollars on the battle over Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the Supreme Court, raising the stakes — and likely the cost — of an election cycle that is already seeing record-breaking cash flow.
Even before President Donald Trump’s announcement that he will appoint a woman to fill the open Supreme Court seat, multiple outside groups weighed in on the projected nomination in the days following Justice Ginsburg’s death.
Judicial Crisis Network, a dark money group that operates as the preeminent vehicle for deep-pocketed conservative donors to funnel millions of dollars into Supreme Court confirmation fights, announced a $2.2 million ad blitz through Axios on Monday. The ad pushes for a confirmation vote before Election Day 2020 and is expected to target Colorado, Iowa, Maine, North Carolina, Utah, and Washington, D.C.
Judicial Crisis Network’s recent spending was largely bankrolled by a single $16 million donation from a secret donor and another secretly-funded $17 million donation in 2017. In both cases, Judicial Crisis Network took the money from a closely-tied dark money group that is also funded almost exclusively by multimillion-dollar anonymous donors. But that group shut down and Judicial Crisis Network’s operation recently restructured, leaving even more questions about the source of funding its new multimillion-dollar ad blitz unanswered.
Carrie Severino, Judicial Crisis Network’s president, told CNBC on Saturday that the conservative dark money group aims to “match” and “surpass” the $10 million in spending pledged by their liberal counterpart, Demand Justice.