Ron DeSantis defends ‘dark money’ during town hall sponsored by his Super PAC

Desantis AP campaign
'You've got to inform people about who you are and what you believe in and that's never anything that's free.'

During a Never Back Down sponsored town hall in Osceola, Iowa, Gov. Ron DeSantis wasn’t willing to bite the hand that feeds.

When asked directly, the Republican presidential candidate refused to condemn “dark money” in politics.

DeSantis, whose campaign is amid a budget crunch, went through a “reboot” in recent days that cut loose 38 employees, spending Thursday on a bus tour as a “special guest” of his own Super PAC.

A crowd member asked DeSantis what he would do about “dark money” and “PAC money” in politics, and the Governor’s response stopped far short of reform.

“In terms of like the money that people spend,” DeSantis said, “I think the issue is just, you know, ultimately, you’ve got to inform people about who you are and what you believe in, and that’s never anything that’s free.”

Indeed, DeSantis’ political operation illustrates how pricy a campaign can be. His team recently rolled out an astonishing $150 million Q2, with $130 million to the PAC. But there’s a caveat: of that $130 million, more than $82 million was transferred from DeSantis’ former state-level political committee.

“You know, it’s harder for a candidate to get their message out than these groups,” DeSantis continued. “And I think that candidates should be able, you know, to have maybe a little bit more permissive rules so that they can do this more effectively.”

The Governor did not explain what the “permissive rules” would be.

“And when you really crimp what they’re able to do, then you end up having, you know, a lot of these groups that go in,” DeSantis added. “I’ve had a lot of them attacking me throughout my career in politics. And that’s unfortunate, but that’s just kind of, kind of the way the cookie crumbles, but they really make it more difficult for candidates just to be able to get their message out. And I think that they should be able to do it.”

“You want to hear from the horse’s mouth. You don’t want these shadowy groups to have all the money and not allow the candidates to be able to do what they need to do,” DeSantis said.

However, at least for the near future, one of those “shadowy groups” is directly coordinating with the candidate in a way that has been atypical — until this election cycle — facilitating hearing from the “horse’s mouth” in a way the formal campaign isn’t doing now.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Dont Say FLA

    July 27, 2023 at 9:14 pm

    Everybody give Rhonda $47 for his little Rhonda Club Card. That way he will have even more money, light, dark, whatever, it’s more money for Rhonda to let everybody know directly how he’s a tiny yet raging hemorrhoid that nobody should ever vote for under any circumstance.

  • Michael K

    July 27, 2023 at 9:55 pm

    The horses mouth is actually the horses arse. There’s where the crazy, like you know, like stuff, is spewing forth.


  • Mark

    July 28, 2023 at 1:46 am

    Dark money.

    The only dark thing Rhonda likes. Everything else gets The Shopping Bag Test*.

    *Just another actual historical, racist fact no longer taught in Floriduh.

  • Sonja Fitch

    July 28, 2023 at 5:35 am

    Dark money? Racist sexist morally corrupt . Yep got to hide from the Truth. Desantis is a dark money darling.

  • Earl Pitts "Most Loved Most Hated" American

    July 28, 2023 at 8:25 am

    Good mornting America,
    Would we ever see mention of “dark money” in an article about a Democrat?
    Think about it America,
    Earl Pitts “Most Loved Most Hated” American

    • Dont Say FLA

      July 28, 2023 at 9:11 am

      Dad, Ron thinks they’re talking about the $47 from the small donor who is a black guy. Ron is concerned we will find out his campaign gave that guy $547 to donate his $47 to the DeSantis Campaign. They went up to $547 after eight refusals during negotiation.

  • Tropical

    July 28, 2023 at 8:50 am

    I thought this goober was supposed to be ‘smart’.
    He says the oddest things out loud.
    It’s like he’s trying to lose. Thank goodness for term-limits!

    • Dont Say FLA

      July 28, 2023 at 9:13 am

      People assume he’s smart because he’s so awkward and because he attended Ivy League schools. He’s awkward, but he played baseball on scholarship which just means he got in via affirmative sportsball action aka college for stupid people.

  • RonBeGone

    July 29, 2023 at 7:17 am

    Haha. Asking a Republican what they will do about dark money! How hilarious. They are the reason we are stuck with Citizens United and unlimited spending by corporations and billionaires. Asking a grifter to give up PAC money is like asking an addict to hand over their stash. Never gonna happen.

    Even after all that, the blue tsunami is coming. The youth can see through the political shilling and don’t pay any attention to the traditional media outlets these PACs are so effective at flooding.

  • Tjb

    July 29, 2023 at 11:53 am

    DeSantis did not defined “permissive rules” …. It he did, he will be admitting to corruption

Comments are closed.


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