As for their independence: It would be illegal for them to coordinate their attacks with the candidates they're helping, or with Republican Party committees. But among themselves, they're proud of the way they synchronize their efforts.
"If one group puts an ad on television in a certain congressional district, they let everyone else know that," says Jonathan Collegio with American Crossroads. "This way they don't double up on the advertising."
This teamwork didn't happen by accident. But it's hard to grasp just how interconnected these secret donor groups are — so it may help to take a look at this map.
In addition, here’s an example using someone you've heard of: Karl Rove, President George W. Bush's top political strategist.
Rove co-founded American Crossroads, which later set up Crossroads GPS. Together they've run ads in at least 30 races around the country. They both use the same media services firm to buy airtime for their ads, Crossroads Media, which isn't related to them.
Other clients of Crossroads Media include House Republican leader John Boehner, the Republican National Committee, and the Republican Governors Association, or RGA.
This fall, the RGA received a donation of $3.5 million from Bob Perry. You might recognize that name, since Perry helped to fund the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ads against presidential candidate John Kerry in 2004.
This fall, Perry made another donation: $7 million to American Crossroads, the group co-founded by Karl Rove.
This clearly isn't a bunch of individual, independent groups — as you can see from the map. It's one big network: a Republican campaign operation, working outside the official party.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
American Crossroads and Its Brethren
NPR describes the connections between American Crossroads and related groups: