The media does not like people spending money to elect non-Democrats. That is the only conclusion I can draw from the fact that all of their articles on "dark money" seem to focus almost exclusively on the Koch brothers (who to my eye are more libertarian than Republican). One would get the impression that the Koch's are the #1 giver of money to election campaigns, but in fact according to OpenSecrets.org they were #14 in 2014 and #49 in all elections since 2002. Why wouldn't the media illustrate election-spending articles with someone in the top 10? It's as if the sports media spent all its time talking exclusively about quarterback Ryan Tannehill (14th in 2015 in NFL passing yards per game) without ever mentioning Tom Brady or Drew Brees.
If the Koch brothers deserve to be excoriated for their election spending, then the organizations that give more than they must really be evil, right? If one were cynical, one might think that the media ignores the top 8 or 10 because they mostly all give to Democrats. Well, here is the list from 2014 via OpenSecrets.org.
Update, from a reader and via Instapundit:
Consider this: in 2013, the left wing Center for Public Integrity reported that “Four foundations run by [the Koch brothers] hold a combined $310 million in assets…” By contrast, the Ford Foundation’s endowment is more than $12 billion — about 38x larger than the Koch Foundations.
On a list of the top 100 US Foundations (by asset size), the Ford Foundation is #2. The various Koch Foundations don’t make the list, nor do they make the list of top 100 Foundations by annual giving.
Yet, the news media and transparency groups constantly harp on the Koch’s massive organization and its “insidious,” “dark money” influence on American politics, while almost completely ignoring the far larger left-wing political Foundations.
In part, this is due to the perception in the media that money from conservative/libertarian/free market leaning organizations must be tainted, while funding from left-wing Foundations is free of such bias. It may also be due to the fact that the left wing Foundations fund many media organizations — I’m looking at you, NPR, PBS, Washington Post, LA Times and others — sometimes even funding them to cover “[other people's] money in politics.”
Postscript: If you really want dark, check out the website for hedge fund Elliott Management. There is not a single byte of information in the publicly accessible pages, only links to contact forms.