Book Review: Dark Money


I recently finished Jane Mayer’s Dark Money.

In a word: Stunning.

If you read one book about politics this year, make it Dark Money. This book is about much, much more than campaign finance. It’s about more than the Koch brothers, although they certainly are at the epicenter of the story. What it’s really about is how a group of perhaps two hundred insanely rich, megalomaniacal Americans who see themselves as masters of the universe have methodically seized power over the Republican Party. At every level.

And, if you follow Blog for Arizona, you’ll recognize two of the central players: Sean Noble and Randy Kendrick. Our own BlueMeanie has reported on their mischief over the years. Turns out, he under-reported it. What a surprise, huh? A couple Arizonans were major players in a plutocratic scheme to undermine our democracy. Who’d a thunk it?

Spoiler alert: There’s not a happy ending. Not yet, at least.

If you’re interested enough in politics to read this blog, Dark Money is a must read.


  1. But dark money is used to perpetuate the for profit prisons, where those people getting pulled over end up.

    Dark money is used to deny climate change, which is hurting and will continue to hurt poor people the most.

    Dark money is used to prevent single payer healthcare, which would benefit everyone, including that guy getting pulled over.

    And dark money is used to elect the racist politicians (GOP, Tea Party mostly) who allow people of color to be arrested and killed in the street.

    Always follow the money, unless you can’t, because the donor’s name is hidden.

  2. Bob this may infuriate you again ;but the number one concern of white liberal elitists is not the main concern of other members of the democratic coalition as bernie sanders found out in south carolina and again on super tuesday! Dark money is a problem but not “THE” problem. When a democrat of color is pulled over by a flashing police car that person is not worried about the billionaires dark money. (though you might be)

    • Everything is binary with you. However, we can face more than one problem at a time. More importantly, the two issues are not completely separable. Understanding the politics is fine, Captain, but at some point the policy does matter.

      If you read the book, you’d understand how this really does impact people of color, indirectly for sure, but also directly. Remember, democrats of color have worries other than the flashing police car. Like lead in their drinking water, for example.

      • The people of flint would find more value in a discussion about how they will get their lead pipes replaced over dark money. Here in the republican fascist police state of arizona to much time is spent on dark money and not enough on protecting immigrants. When arpaio was asked what has happened to the children of the mothers you have arrested working to try and feed them, The nazi thug arpaio asked the news person why aren’t you interested in the children of american citizens of arizona who are homeless? Registering latinos is time better spent then whining about dark money.

        • But it’s dark money that’s getting the bad guys elected, who then take over a town and change water supplies and poison children with lead.

          Dark money is supporting ALEC, and ALEC is one of the groups spreading voter suppression laws, that make it harder to get more people, including latinos, to vote.

          This is America, on the right, it’s always about money.

        • If you read the book you’d see how off-topic your comments are. Nobody is “whining” about dark money here. The idea is to have an understanding of what’s taken place over the last 3+ decades.

          I’ve said complimentary things about your political instincts before, but there’s also a place in the discussion for intellect and a knowledge base. Commenting about a book you’ve not read makes you come off as ignorant. Not stupid. Ignorant.

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