DARK MONEY: Mystery Donor Gave $28.6 Million To Right Wing Group Behind Push To Seat Neil Gorsuch

Watchdog group MapLight reports:

A dark money organization that has spent millions to finance conservative causes was the source of the $17 million spent to keep Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat in Republican hands, tax documents reviewed by MapLight reveal.

The Wellspring Committee, a Virginia-based nonprofit, donated more than $23 million last year to the Judicial Crisis Network, which spent $7 million on advertisements pushing Republican senators to block President Barack Obama’s court pick, Merrick Garland. After the election, the network spent another $10 million to boost President Donald Trump’s pick, Justice Neil Gorsuch.

Wellspring received more than $32 million in donations last year, with $28.5 million coming from a single, anonymous donor. Before 2016, Wellspring had never received more than $13.2 million in annual donations. As a social welfare organization, Wellspring is not required to disclose its donors.

RELATED: Founded during George W. Bush’s second term, the Judicial Crisis Network was originally called the Judicial Confirmation Network. Then Obama was elected.

  • JAKvirginia

    A “social welfare organization”? Explain, please.

    • Pip

      There was that one time they sat around the dinner table at the golf course discussing something something welfare something.

  • Ninja0980

    And yet some folks will still say with a straight face that he’ll be a fair and unbiased judge.
    What a joke.

    • AmeriCanadian

      Bought and paid for with the best money.

      • carrot festival

        Don’t know if I’d call that ‘best’ money.

        • Ora

          Google is paying 97$ per hour,with weekly payouts.You can also avail this.
          On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $11752 this last four weeks..with-out any doubt it’s the most-comfortable job I have ever done .. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
          ➽➽;➽➽ http://GoogleLegitimateTimeJobsFromHomeJobs/computer/jobs ★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫:::::!da119luuuuu

    • Lumpy Gaga

      And Goresuch knows from jokes. He told one as speaker at the Federalist Society to-do about the freezing-cold truck driver: one of his greatest moments on the bench.

      (No idea what the comment was, but I hope it started out like: “Did you hear the one about the freezing cold truck-driver who abandoned duty to his corporate overlords in order to survive? LOL”)

  • Todd20036

    What ever the Nazis accuse our side of doing, they’re doing it.

    • B Snow

      That includes crazy conspiracy theories. They believe them, because their side actually does them.

  • Ross


    A man who gladly accepted a stolen seat.

    • Ninja0980

      Same with many of the lower court nominees being pushed through.

    • David Walker

      Elsewhere, Michael R has posted Keith Olbermann’s comment on the Roberts’ decision that started this whole horror. He even gets net neutrality into it, and rightly so. But he also points out that with the next president (I think this was taped in 2010), there will no longer be a SCOTUS that would change Citizens United case. And he’s right. The democracy is over, but to me, for the most part, it was nice while it lasted.

    • Robincho

      He should neil, all right, along with all the others destined for the guillotine…

  • bkmn

    Amazing what a few oligarchs can get away with.

  • nocadrummer

    My guess is the donor’s name rhymes with “Coke”.

  • Thorn Spike

    Justice bought and sold. Welcome to the new Gilded Age.

  • M Jackson

    Veruka Salt wanted a judge?

  • Ninja0980

    A friendly reminder that if our base bothered to show up during midterms, would have been much harder for this SOB to end up on SCOTUS.

  • I guess this is all legal now according to Citizens United. Trump and the Republicans have been masterfully packing the federal benches with extremists justices. Even if every single piece of extreme legislation gets held up in the next year, and the Dems seize both houses of Congress in 2018 and Trump or Pence are ejected from office in 2020 (even if Trump is forced to resign before then) — the judiciary will be right-wing and a tool of the plutocracy for a generation. If you think about it, the stealing of the election last year –and behind the scenes funding of the divisiveness within the Democratic Party – was brilliant strategy on the part of the super rich.

    • Ninja0980

      The right wing take over of the courts has been one of the most underreported stories of the past thirty years.
      The fact that our base doesn’t care for the most part and Democrats are always too eager to roll over doesn’t help either.

      • Democrats and progressives are their own worst enemy. No other political force is as good at infighting and frankly, badmouthing (Gillibrand going after Bill Clinton last week — she is sitting in Hillary’s old seat for example) without thinking about the repercussions first. All Republicans have to do is sit back and watch Dems and Progressives murder each other to win elections.

        • Ninja0980

          Yup, and the fact so many progressives last fall smugly saying that warnings about SCOTUS wouldn’t make them vote for “evil” Hillary etc. ugh!

        • bzrd

          NPR had some good points early this a.m. Ken Starr’s investigation of Whitewater leading to a thorough investigation of President Clinton should lay to rest BS now. Clinton was impeached for lying but found not guilty by the Senate. Paula Jones sued him and won a settlement. The woman who accused him of rape was found to have changed her mind many times thus Starr felt there was no rape case. Unlike Moore who just says it didn’t happen thus no investigation needed by republikunts.

        • Card

          That’s the problem with a two-party system–one of them (the Dems) has to encompass so many disparate groups that it leaves the other one in power due to not having a clear direction.

  • If any of that money went to Congress members, they should be tried for treason and conspiracy.

  • William

    Guillotine construction is a growth industry.

    • Paula

      Yeah, they are building them for us. It will all be done by small business owners that create jobs and don’t have to pay for benefits.

  • For all practical purposes it is legal to bribe elected officials in our country.

    • Tomcat

      And do it anonymously.

      • bzrd

        I thought the koch bros were doing it in the open. Vote for less taxes for us .1% or we won’t give you anymore campaign $$$$$$$$$$

  • Michael R

    I’m not sure this is related to this , but I still want everyone to see it …

    Keith Olbermann’s 2010 Prophecy of (Citizens United) has Come TRUE


    • Tomcat

      I think they already are.

    • David Walker

      “Kiss net neutrality goodbye.”

    • Ore Carmi

      Actual prostitutes would make much better politicians, because they’re human, and they’ve suffered, and they actually understand first hand what some of the needs in our country are.

      • prixator

        And, I’d rather have a beer with a sex worker than a politician, any time.

  • Bj Lincoln

    Is the no limit to how much can be ‘donated’ to any political party ? I thought Drumpf wanted to stop lobbies from bribing politicians? So much money that could heal or feed the world! Makes me sick.

    • Stephen Elliot Phillips

      we are dealing with the reality that the 28.5 million that one “donor” gave is a tiny amount if one is a billionaire many times over. 28.5 million is that change they find under the sofa cushions

    • jerry

      Yes there are still limits, but…Citizen’s United opened the floodgates for corporations and the wealthy to form 401(c) organizations, which can keep their donors anonymous and can raise unlimited amounts, while claiming to be non-profit social welfare organizations. That’s why, any more, we get flooded with nasty ads before an election that aren’t from the candidates or political parties. There’s also no way to tell if the money’s coming from a foreign government when it goes to these groups. But yes, there are still limits that individuals can give to each candidate or political party.

  • Ninja0980

    One more thing… the fact is for many Republicans THIS was the sole reason they voted for Trump.
    So that Gorsuch and other right wing hacks could take over our courts.
    If Democrats cared even a fraction of the amount about the courts the way Republicans do, Hillary would have won in a landslide.

    • Tomcat

      She won the popular vote in a landslide. Unfortunately the Russian influence in some swing states was able to sway enough people to give the election to trump.

  • Tomcat

    We need to accept the fact that with all this dark money there is no way our country can stay a democracy. We are now a bought country.

  • Friday

    Right-wing corruption is ‘social welfare’ now?

    • David Walker

      Yes, if one uses “social” in the sense of what newspapers used to call the “Society” page. Mrs. Michael Pence poured as Mrs. Steven Mnuchin sang.

  • Palmer

    Citizens United must end. Lobbying must end. Dark money must end.

    Publicly financed elections and strong ethics oversight is the only way our Domocratic Republic can survive.

  • BobSF_94117

    In what possible sense is Wellspring a social welfare organization?

    • Lumpy Gaga

      The “because we said so” rule.

  • BobSF_94117

    I continue to marvel at how cheaply one can buy this country.

  • Mark


  • Lumpy Gaga

    Meanwhile, just ran to the breakroom for my water.

    MSNBC: Where the NBC stands for Nothing But Cock.

  • David Brian Holt

    America is no longer a democracy. That’s now very clear.

    • stevenj

      That path started a long time ago. But it’s shocking how fast the process has accelerated in just 10 months. One more SCOTUS appointment and that will be the last nail in the coffin.

  • Kelly Lape

    Reason # (hell lots of reasons) why when I see a Republican has died I celebrate. Happy Thanksgiving world.

  • JWC

    If someone ever wanted a project might I suggest that an in depth discussion into the circumstances and death of Judge Scallia. The entire operation to keep Merrick out and Gorsuch in The tale, maybe conspiratorial , but interesting

  • Stephen Elliot Phillips

    we are sitting ducks waiting for a hunter or animals awaiting slaughter. They will end abortion and they will end same-sex marriage. Even if we gain control of congress the courts are lost.

  • Clive Johnson

    More evidence of the oligarchic character of our political system. I’m at the point where I’m in support of absolute bans on corporate political spending and lobbying of any kind. Banning the accumulation of personal fortunes of over, say, $100 million, sounds good to me now.

  • ColdCountry

    I thought non-profits had to stay out of politics? Anything I donate to a political organization isn’t tax deductible. How does that work?

  • Jay Silversmith

    Citizens United….what could possibly go wrong?

  • Longpole

    Gorsuck sucked up for the dark money.

  • Kevin Andrews

    The Treason of the Robert’s SCOTUS’s Citizens United put the United States Government up at auction and just look at the Goldman-Sachs owned and operated oval office and the Koch brothers purchased SCOTUS. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b53918b8d19440eaffa2aece610810344ceab9922f5402e10fe98f27d1c15e3b.png

  • EyeJelly

    Time for the folks from Anonymous to look into who this secret donor is.

  • 2patricius2

    Hmmm. My fantasy is that the Mueller investigation would lead to an illegal tie between Gorsuch and this foundation and an indictment and conviction. One can dream, anyway.

  • Xuuths

    I am curious what Gorsuch thinks about this? That would say a lot about his character.

  • leastyebejudged

    Follow the money, but only when it’s convenient for you.

  • Ore Carmi


    Man, if any of this could lead to Gorsuch’s removal, it would make up for SO MUCH of the ongoing destruction of our country since Trump took office.

  • Squicky

    Teddy Roosevelt’s actions protected us from corporate domination for almost 100 years, but now the robber barons are surging back.