AMERICAN CROSSROADS WINS BIGGEST OUTSIDE SPENDER OF THE WEEK: The biggest independent expenditure spenders of the week are American Crossroads and the National Federation of Independent Business. So far this week, the conservative group American Crossroads and its related 501(c)(4) advocacy group, Crossroads GPS have spent more than $3.4 million on mailings, TV advertisement production, TV placements and other expenditures (see their advertisements here). That is almost $3 million more than the next biggest spender (other than the national committees). The candidates American Crossroads supported or opposed this week were:
$720,000 opposing Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.)
$600,000 opposing Alex Giannoulias, a Democratic Senate candidate in Illinois
$500,000 opposing Sen. Patty Murry (D-Wash.)
$400,000 opposing Robin Carnahan, a Democratic Senate candidate in Missouri
$346,000 opposing Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.)
$267,000 opposing Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Penn.), who is running for Senate
$246,000 supporting Marco Rubio, a Republican Senate candidate in Florida
$230,000 opposing Jack Conway, a Democratic Senate candidate in Kentucky
$87,000 opposing Lee Irwin Fisher, a Democratic Senate candidate in Ohio *UPDATED: 12:57pm*
I'd asked American Crossroads Communications Director Jonathan Collegio yesterday about Max Baucus's letter to the IRS questioning the tax status of groups like his, and Collegio responds:
The law is clear, and we follow it carefully. It provides for the establishment of groups that promote any variety of issues, from labor issues to environmental issues to the tax relief and economic issues that are in our platform.
The group is, of course, best known for its work on behalf of candidates -- but groups on both sides have gotten away for a while with framing their spending as "issue ads," and there's no reason to think that's about to change.
American Crossroads ad against Bennet: