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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Carl Forti, American Crossroads, and Coordination

At The New York Times, Nicholas Confessore profiles Carl Forti, political director of American Crossroads, founding partner in the Black Rock Group and founder of the pro-Romney super PAC, Restore Our Future.
In those roles, his work embodies the coordinated punch brought by like-minded groups to the effort to oust President Obama and give Republicans full control of Congress.
And as a veteran of Mr. Romney’s inner circle, he brings to the effort a keen understanding of the Romney campaign’s needs even as he is barred by campaign finance law from working directly with it.
Now, with Mr. Romney prohibited from spending much of the cash he is raising until after the Republican convention in August, Mr. Forti and his clients are filling in the breach: Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies, Restore Our Future and other Forti-linked groups have spent at least $35 million on advertising in 17 states against Mr. Obama since early April, according to the Campaign Media Analysis Group.
Most of the advertising has been placed through a company called Crossroads Media, founded by one of Mr. Forti’s Black Rock partners and housed in the same office suite. So far this cycle, Crossroads and Restore Our Future have broadcast ads in about 40 Senate and House races as well as the presidential race, officials at the groups said, a breadth unmatched in the world of independent spending.
“We came up through the party infrastructure, where you are forced to look at the entire national battlefield,” said Brian O. Walsh, a friend and former colleague of Mr. Forti’s who directs the American Action Network, a tax-exempt group closely allied with Crossroads.
American Crossroads and its tax-exempt affiliate, Crossroads GPS, are expected to spend $300 million on the presidential campaign and Senate races; Restore Our Future is planning to raise at least $100 million and possibly more. Americans for Job Security, a tax-exempt trade association that spent $9 million in 2010 but is not required to release the names of its donors, shares office space with Black Rock and retains one of Mr. Forti’s partners as a consultant.