From Open Secrets:
With the 2016 election cycle bringing previously unmatched amounts of “dark money” spending by politically active nonprofits, one group stands out for blazing its own trail: Conservative Solutions Project, the 501(c)(4) social welfare organization supporting Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-Fla.) aborted presidential campaign.
In an election cycle that saw an influx of single-candidate dark money groups, most have chosen to spend on opposition research and polling, so far, rather than joining the scrum with millions of dollars of supportive advertisements. But CSP spent millions on ads and mailers that were never reported to the FEC, using funds from donors whose identities will remain hidden.
New tax documents obtained by the Center for Responsive Politics show that within weeks of Rubio throwing his hat in the ring on April 13, 2015, the nonprofit had raised $13.8 million — $13.5 million of which came from a single, unnamed donor. And most of the money that went out the door went to firms and consultants running the group or to other agencies closely linked to Rubio and his campaign.
The consultants always win
For all that was made of the two Florida heavyweights — Jeb Bush and his protégé Marco Rubio — becoming political enemies, they always had one thing in common: The consultants and lawyers around them profited handsomely off their political aspirations. While Team Rubio doesn’t have its Mike Murphy, it does have at least half a dozen consultants who won big even though Rubio lost, and that’s illustrated in CSP’s first filing.
Nearly 89 percent of CSP’s spending went out the door as…