Think Tank chats about dark money with Terry Goddard and political advocacy group CEO

Jul 1, 2022, 10:30 AM

(Pexels Photo)...

(Pexels Photo)

(Pexels Photo)

A few weeks ago, I got a call from someone representing the American Edge Project requesting to come on the show. The name meant nothing to me, so I did a brief Google search to find out what I could about the group.

It was clear that this is a significant group that had amassed an impressive list of supporters. There was a website and several links to YouTube videos of some commercials they had run.

One of these videos was especially succinct in encapsulating much of their message.

The message components touted some goals that were hard to dispute:

• A free and accessible internet

• Growing the economy

• Strengthening national security

• Privacy

• Supporting American innovation

• “Smart” regulation

All nearly unassailably positive attributes, at least in the abstract.

But, as with most things, the “devil’s in the details.”

Both the media outreach and the videos suggested there were some powerful interests behind this effort. So I searched further to find out what I could about who is the American Edge project and its objectives.

Firstly, it is what is known as a “dark money” organization in that its sources of funding are not discoverable. A Washington Post article suggested that Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook was the major driver behind the effort and that it would likely be used to argue against government regulations inimical to its interests.

In this week’s Think Tank, we present Doug Kelly, CEO of the American Edge project, to make his case. We gave him the first segment to do just that.

Then we brought in former Attorney General Terry Goddard, who probably knows more about dark money groups than anyone in Arizona, to engage Kelly.

Listen in and decide for yourself.

In the latter half of the show, we discuss dark money in general and the status of Goddard’s current efforts to curtail dark money through the Arizona initiative process.

The Think Tank airs on KTAR 92.3 FM on Saturday 6-7 p.m. and Sunday 9-10 p.m.

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Think Tank chats about dark money with Terry Goddard and political advocacy group CEO