“Dark Money” reveals corrupt, distorted elections

"Follow the money." It's a directive that gained fame during the Watergate era, but decades later, it's harder than ever to find it, let alone follow it. Director Kimberly Reed's Sundance award-winning documentary "Dark Money" feels like a political thriller, but it's a true, and chilling, look at the way ultra rich and often entirely anonymous groups are spending big bucks to influence your vote. "If one rich person can hide their influence, hide where it's coming from… that totally distorts the will of the voter," Reed told Salon’s Mary Elizabeth Williams during a recent episode of "Salon Talks." "And all of a sudden, one person, who's got some money and the means to hide it, is counterbalancing the votes of millions of people."

Both Democratic and Republican candidates have been torpedoed by shadowy and deep-pocketed campaigns, including ones that are not even domestic in their origins or interests. "If you don't know where it's coming from, you don't know where it's coming from," Reed said. "If there's one thing I think all Americans can agree on, it's that foreign countries should not be trying to influence our own elections."

Watch the video above to hear Reed discuss why whatever your political party, dark money is affecting your elections — and why she has hope that voters have the power to change the narrative.

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