Mysterious docs retrieved from meth lab show inner workings of "Dark Money"

A strange story from Frontline and ProPublica: "Found in a meth house in Colorado, they were somewhat of a mystery, holding files on 23 conservative candidates in state races in Montana. They were filled with candidate surveys and mailers that said they were paid for by campaigns, and fliers and bank records from outside spending groups. One folder was labeled “Montana $ Bomb.” The documents pointed to one outside group pulling the candidates’ strings: a social welfare nonprofit called Western Tradition Partnership, or WTP." You'll want to watch the related Frontline documentary.


  1. I suppose it would be in the interest of a very specific category of conservative men to make sure the supply channels for meth remain open. After all, they need the stuff in order to have sex with their wives.

    “Remember — every time a meth house is shut down, it’s another loss we suffer in the war the gay agenda has declared against us. Just make sure never to repeat that out loud in public.”

    1. “Remember — every time a meth house is shut down, G0d kills a Christian.” 

      Think of the Clristians.

  2. The Optimum cable system that serves a large portion of Montana had “transmitter” failure starting just before the program was to start and ending just after the program ended.  Montana has a long and noble history of being owned by corporate masters and it seems nothing has changed.

  3. The fact that they were found in a meth house is really not important to the story.  The lede is that there is apparently smoking gun evidence of coordination between candidates and “Citizens United”-authorized groups, that are forbidden from such coordination.  The group in question is now working a national stage:

    “For the general election, the group appears to be targeting Montana’s attorney general, Steve Bullock, the Democratic candidate for governor. As attorney general, Bullock fought the partnership’s lawsuits against the state, including the one that ended up in the Supreme Court.”

    I just donated $50 to his campaign fund.  You should too.

    1. The fact that they were found in a meth house is really not important to the story.

      I think it’s an interesting and important bit of context, actually.  It says something about the nature of political corruption in the US and the hypocrisy (and worse) of the war on drugs.

      1.  Maybe.  Or maybe that’s just where they were discovered, after a non-political theft.  It’s unclear from the article:  “A convicted felon named Mark Seibel said he stumbled on them inside a known meth house near Denver at some point in late 2010.  It’s not clear how they got there. Seibel said a friend found them in a stolen car.”  Maybe the actual Frontline piece will better explain the chain of custody.

  4. Given the billions being spent on political ads this year, it seems there’s little incentive for Big Media to get into the nitty-gritty of this issue.  But cynicism unit just broke as I observe that Frontline is sponsored by Goldman Sachs.

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