Nonprofit public policy advocacy organization One Nation spent nearly $13 million in 2021 running ads that targeted vulnerable Democratic incumbents to preserve the filibuster and reclaim Senate majority in 2022. Former McConnell chief of staff Steven Law is at the center of the 501(c)4 organization, which isn't required by law to disclose donor names.
“Basically, One Nation is a political entity masquerading as a nonprofit,” said Robert Maguire, the research director for the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. “One Nation only exists to help Republicans in the Senate, it’s not a social welfare organization.”
Maguire helped author an in-depth report on the group’s tax filing, which were handed over to him physically.
“They have a policy of only providing physical documents. They don’t have to email it to you,” Maguire said. “The whole system is antiquated. The ambiguity and difficulty getting the information helps them.”
OpenSecrets estimated that One Nation was the biggest outside “dark money group” spender during the 2020 cycle.
"Senate Republican leadership-aligned 501(c)(4) nonprofit One Nation was the top spender, shelling out around $125 million between political contributions and ads," the report stated. "The Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC tied to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) that shares staff and resources with One Nation, received more than $85 million from the dark money group."
"Just as we have stood against radical legislative proposals being considered this year, One Nation will look for every opportunity to oppose liberals’ reckless legislative agenda that is making gas and groceries more expensive while slowing our economic recovery,” said Jack Pandol, spokesperson for One Nation.
“The tactics used by dark money groups like One Nation have evolved and even matured over time as the outer bounds of what you can get away with are more clear,” said Brendan Fischer, director of federal reform at the Campaign Legal Center.
“It increasingly looks like One Nation is ensuring that its spending is complementary to that of its super PAC. One Nation spends a lot of money in non-election years, effectively roughing up Democratic candidates and then the super PAC comes in and advocates more directly against those Democratic candidates,” Fischer said. “It’s sort of a one-two punch.”