Several nonprofit organizations that don't disclose their donors but have been deeply involved in partisan politics during the last several years have received multimillion-dollar contributions from groups that are familiar players in Republican circles.
The GOP nonprofits -- American Action Network, which spent $26 million on ads in the 2010 mid-term elections; Crossroads GPS, which spent $16 million; and the American Future Fund, which laid out $9.6 million -- are all organized under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. They and the individuals who run them have strong ties to some of the same political networks, research by OpenSecrets Blog shows.
One of the previously unreported donor groups, according to forms filed by nonprofit groups with the Internal Revenue Service, is the Republican Jewish Coalition, which gave $4 million in 2010 to Crossroads GPS -- perhaps the most well-known of the outside spending groups that were running ads in the 2010 cycle, with ties to GOP strategist Karl Rove.
American Action Network also received a $4.5 million grant in 2010 from PhRMA, the brand-name pharmaceutical makers' trade group, IRS forms indicate, and PhRMA gave another $300,000 to the American Future Fund. The latter group continues to be very active, announcing a new anti-Obama ad today that it says it will spend $4 million to air in nine states.
American Future Fund also received a 2010 gift of $2.4 million from the American Justice Partnership, according to the IRS. AJP was established by the National Association of Manufacturers to "battle greedy trial lawyers' scam lawsuits and win legal reform fights in states all across the country," according to its website.