White House surrenders on 'dark money' regulation

"The Obama administration has thrown in the towel on cracking down on hundreds of millions of dollars in “dark money” — funds given to advocacy groups that claim to be social welfare organizations rather than political committees.

Closing the so-called social-welfare loophole — which exempts the groups from federal tax and disclosure requirements — was one of the most urgent priorities of campaign-finance reformers in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision in the Citizens United case. But then the IRS came under fire for holding up conservative groups applying for the social-welfare tax exemption, and many Republicans cried foul.

By giving in to a GOP provision in the omnibus spending bill, the administration has effectively given up on limiting the political influence of nonprofit groups with unknown funders."