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Dark Money


99 minutes · 2018

To tackle a giant problem, the malign influence of dark money in U.S. politics, documentary maker Kimberly Reed chooses a small stage: Montana, one of the least populous states in the union, which tried without success to limit political donations even after the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision in 2010. U.S. senator Jon Tester and others who've served in the state legislature testify to the state's civic-minded tradition, but the real protagonists are investigative reporter John S. Adams, who loses his newspaper job to budget cuts but reinvents himself as an independent journalist, and Steve Bullock, then attorney general of Montana, who indicted Republican state legislator Art Wittich for coordinating attack ads with a dark-money group. According to Citizens United, money equals speech, but as the documentary reveals, conservatives fight like hell to hide the speakers' identities; it's called dark money not because it's evil but because it thrives in the dark.
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