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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Crossroads and Koch

At Politico, Kenneth P. Vogel writes of the relationship between Karl Rove and the Koch family. See here for his earlier report on the topic.) There was representation of the latter at Crossroads meetings:

They took place in the downtown Washington office suite housing the flagship outfits conceived by Rove and Gillespie — American Crossroads and its sister group Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies, plus a linked group called American Action Network.

The Crossroads groups — for which Rove provides advice and fundraising help but technically plays no formal role — initially focused on backing Republicans and attacking Democrats in competitive Senate races.

A strategist who participated in some of the meetings said: “We were tracking about 120 House races, and the Koch organization, 60 Plus, Americans for Prosperity, American Action Network all took some, and Crossroads came in and invested heavily at the end.”

“It was very coordinated,” the participant said. “There wasn’t one race in which there were multiple groups airing ads at the same time.”

Sean Noble, a Koch operative who worked with a number of groups, was among the active participants in the meetings, according to sources with knowledge of the meetings. The meetings were supplemented with more frequent conference calls in the weeks before Election Day.

But not everyone in Koch land was keen on the unprecedented coordination, as Americans for Prosperity’s President Tim Phillips attended only a couple of the meetings, telling POLITICO he bowed out because he believed they were too partisan for his group.

“We’re very much about the issues and not trying to help anybody win the majority or anything like that,” Phillips said. “It’s just not what we do. There are times when we absolutely go after Republicans who are doing stupid things.”

Phillips said it is unlikely that his group will participate in regular meetings to coordinate on 2012 strategy, either. But he added, “We talk, and there are moments where we absolutely work together and cooperate, but it’s on a project-by-project basis and on an issue-by-issue basis."