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Who’s Behind ‘Dark Money’ In New Hampshire?

The image above represents less than a week’s worth of mailers received by one household in New Hampshire. The candidates attack each other like characters in a Tarantino movie.

But three mailers attacking Rubio and Kasich have come from “America Needs Leadership,” a shadowy group with a website and a beltway mailing address. Kasich sent out his own mailer, accusing others of using “dark money” against him.

kasich_dark_money

“America Needs Leadership” is not found in Federal Election Commission public filings, where PACs and Super PACs are required by law to report their receipts and expenditures, or in the OpenSecrets.org database.

A PAC with a similar name, America Leads, supports Chris Christie and has spent over $12 million this cycle according to OpenSecrets, over $100,000 of it to The Prosper Group, which hosts its website. Prosper Group also hosts americaneedsleadership.org. The return mail address for America Needs Leadership is the Alexandria office of Koch and Hoos, LLC, a political accounting and compliance firm.

Obviously, if Kasich’s mailer is referring to the shadow “America Needs Leadership” mailers, it can’t be from Rubio, because that would mean Rubio is attacking himself.

The circumstantial evidence points to Christie, who is running neck and neck with Kasich and a few points behind Rubio and Cruz, with Rubio having now assumed second place and gaining on Trump in NH. But why would Christie use dark money to attack Kasich, since he’s got his own PAC and it’s well known that he needs to finish third to have a chance?

Maybe whoever is controlling the “dark money” wants everyone to think it’s Christie? It’s a mysterious mystery. I hate mysteries.

I’ve asked both the Prosper Group and Koch and Hoos to comment, but haven’t received anything from them yet.

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