In Interest Groups Unleashed, a new reader from CQ Press, I have a chapter titled "The Iron Law of Emulation." Its point is that Democratic outside groups served as a model for the Crossroads groups, which are now a model for newer Democratic groups. At US News, Elizabeth Flock writes:
Karl Rove refused to say Monday whether the influence of outside spending groups on the presidential election was good or bad for the electoral process.
"It is what it is," the former senior advisor to George W. Bush told reporters at a breakfast Monday morning. "All I know is this: the Democrats have been doing this for years, and I got sick and tired of fighting with one hand behind my back."
Rove, who founded American Crossroads, a Super PAC contributing the largest amount of money to political campaigns, defended his tactics as ones he learned from the other side of the aisle.
"Republicans were tired of the Democrats beating us by having this phalanx of liberal groups and unions talking to each other and beating up our guys and gals year in and year out," he said. "[Republicans] were looking around for a vehicle that they could support, and Crossroads is a little bit different vehicle."
Crossroads is more than "a little bit" of a different vehicle. The group raised $72 million in just 29 weeks in 2010, and Rove said his goal this cycle is to raise $300 million.