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Richard Crowson: Dark Side Of The Money

Richard Crowson

There’s a creeping, ghoulish specter out there haunting the state of Kansas this Halloween. The green, misty tentacles of its hot, fetid breath are curling and twining around us and even entering the very ears of Kansans everywhere. It’s called dark money.

The secretive spending by special interest groups during this election season has led to Kansas being the state with the “highest percentage of TV ads paid for by secretive outside money,” according to a recent story in the Wichita Eagle.

Ever since the Supreme Court ruled that political contributions count as “speech,” dollars have begun to “speak” louder and louder. So much money is “speaking” in Kansas now that what was once “speech” is now something very close to a scream.

TV ads are shouting to us that this or that candidate is either an evil spawn of Satan, or Mother Theresa’s role model. Dark money is hollering incessantly at Kansas voters. After a while you just can’t help responding. I had just jumped up onto the coffee table and let forth a primal scream in response to a yelling, dark money-funded TV ad. Then my dog, Lucy said, “Get a grip, man. You have an enlightened alternative to this beast called dark money.”

She continued, “You can dispel the darkness with light. You have a chance to contribute some light money to a positive, constructive force here in the Wichita area. Make a contribution to KMUW’s Fall Fund Drive.”

I considered Lucy’s suggestion and I knew she was right, as always. If money is speech, then we should let our money speak out for the sort of informative, intelligent and entertaining cause that KMUW represents. It’s the enlightened alternative to dark money. Let your money speak loudly and clearly for the bright light that is KMUW. Darkness need not prevail this Halloween.

Richard Crowson is not only a editorial commentator for KMUW. He's also a cartoonist, an artist and a banjo player.