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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Monday, December 6, 2010

American Crossroads and Citizens United

FIRST LOOK – CROSSROADS GPS, a Republican outside group, will release a polling memo from Glen Bolger of Public Opinion Strategies on how to message the coming extension of tax cuts for everyone: “Voters are EVENLY divided on the question of extending the tax cuts for people earning $250,000 or more. Republicans support extension, Democrats oppose it, and Independents are split on the issue. … Supporters of extended tax cuts for all should drive the message that the best way to balance the budget is to cut spending, grow the economy, and create new jobs. Raising taxes on small businesses and job creators will make things worse.” See the 5-page memo Results (21-page PDF)

The Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling in January ushered in a big money free-for-all for non-party groups, including trade associations, unions, and corporate-friendly nonprofits. Such groups may now raise and spend oodles of previously-banned corporate and union treasury money on elections, often in secret. The GOP-friendly PAC American Crossroads and its partner nonprofit, Crossroads GPS, for example, pulled in more than $70 million during the midterm campaign.

But the national party committees still face the same old contribution limits and disclosure requirements. For major donors, particularly corporate contributors reluctant to anger shareholders or consumers, secretive outside groups look a lot more appealing. The party committees “absolutely got the short end of the stick” in the Citizens United ruling, said Brett Kappel, counsel to the government relations group at Arent Fox.