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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

American Crossroads Ads

The Center for Responsive Politics reports:
ROVE-BACKED GROUP KEEPS NEW ADS COMING: Television viewers in Nevada, Colorado, Missouri and Kentucky are seeing new attack ads paid for a group called “Crossroads GPS” targeting the Democratic Senate candidates in each state, Talking Points Memo reports. Crossroads GPS, or Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies, is a 501(c)4 non-profit group conceived by some of the highest profile Republican strategists, including Karl Rove, President George W. Bush’s political guru, and Ed Gillespie, a former chair of the Republican National Committee. The group was launched in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling that overturned a ban on corporate donations to groups producing communications that advocate for or against federal candidates.

Because it is organized under section 501(c)4 of U.S. tax code, donations to it are not tax-deductible, and it is allowed to engage in more overt political messages and lobbying compared to 501(c)3 non-profits, which face more restrictions but are allowed to raise tax-deductible donations. This status also allows the group to avoid disclosing any information about its donors until well after the election -- as it won’t submit any filings to the Internal Revenue Service until months into 2011.

One of the group’s related organizations, American Crossroads, has registered with the Federal Election Commission and reported raising $5.3 million through the end of July, according to a Center for Responsive Politics review of its most recently filed report. The bulk of that money came from wealthy individuals and corporations. Individuals, groups and corporations giving more to American Crossroads than they legally would have been allowed to give to a political committee prior to Citizens United include Southwest Louisiana Land LLC; Tejon Exploration Company; TRT Holdings Inc.; Dixie Rice Agricultural Corporation; the Jerry Perenchio Living Trust; B. Wayne Hughes, the chairman of Public Storage; investor William Harte; investor Dian Graves Stai and investor J.J. Matthews.

And such spending by organizations of all political stripes is likely to continue unabated during the next 60 days until the election. Evan Tracey of Kantar Media/CMAG, which tracks media spending, recently told trade publication Advertising Age that groups are on pace to spend a record $3 billion on TV ads this year. So far groups have spent a combined $864 million on political TV ads so far this cycle -- $50 million more than was spend during the 2008 elections, Tracey said.