Crossroads CEO Steven Law on CBS:
John Dickerson: Last week I talked to the Democrat in charge of the Congressional campaign committee and he said had it not been for crossroads, 2010 wouldn't have happened the way it did, it wouldn't have gone so badly for the Democrats. What's your response to that?
Steven Law: Well, I appreciate him saying it, but I don't think it's just us. I think one of the things actually that was a critical factor in 2010 was that, and for this I think we do deserve a little credit, is that we were able to bring together a lot of different groups that all had the same mission in mind, and particularly as it pertained to the House, we were able to legally share our plan, share our strategies, divide up the playing field, so that we weren't all running to the same ball and therefore duplicating efforts. I think it was that effort where we were able to spread out the number of groups involved, make sure that we were maximizing the use of our resources that achieved the results, particularly in the House.
At Politico, Maggie Haberman offers some detail on coordination:
When former Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie joined Mitt Romney’s campaign last month, he cut ties with other groups he’d been involved with after seeking legal advice — most notably American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS, two of the most prominent conservative groups playing a major role in third-party spending this cycle.
There is no prohibition against the top GOP power-broker hopping from an outside group to a campaign. The only rules against such movement go the other way, barring consultants from moving from a campaign to a super PAC during a certain time period.
Yet the prohibited flow of information, under the coordination rules, follows from campaign to outside groups and not in reverse, experts said, because campaigns generally set the messaging priorities and targets. For instance, when ad-maker Fred Davis left Jon Huntsman’s campaign to join the super PAC supporting Huntsman, there was a 120-day window in which Davis couldn’t do anything.
As [Ken] Gross noted on Gillespie, “He could be a conduit of information that could compromise coordination, but it’s highly doubtful that anybody at that level would be clumsy enough to do it because it’s so unnecessary.”
To that end, there are no rules prohibiting coordination among outside groups — and even if there were, it’s easy to monitor one group’s ad spending and follow-up with spending to amplify a certain message.