Some commentators have said that Karl Rove made money from American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS. At the Washington Post, Glenn Kessler checked and found that the assertions are false. Rove made no money from the groups, and in fact paid his own expenses for Crossroads-related travel.
None of Crossroads’s public filings — the numerous forms filed with the Federal Election Commission for American Crossroads or the 990 forms filed by Crossroads GPS in 2010 and 2011 with the Internal Revenue Service — show any evidence of Rove receiving any disbursements.
We consulted with campaign finance experts to see if there was anything we were missing — some way that Rove could disguise payments, such as through vendors.
Several experts noted that Rove could be a part-owner of one of the media or fundraising companies that were paid by Crossroads — what Tyler had called “kickbacks.” For instance, one company loosely linked to Rove’s old Texas firm received money from Crossroads, but we can find no financial connection between Rove and that firm today.
After our queries, we received a statement from American Crossroads that exceeded any previous comments on this matter.
“Mr. Rove receives no financial benefit either directly or indirectly from American Crossroads, Crossroads GPS or any of its vendors or subvendors,” said spokesman Jonathan Collegio. “He also pays his travel expenses out of his own pocket.”
Campaign finance experts agreed the sweeping statement covered all of the bases, leaving little wiggle room, and was fairly compelling without actually examining Rove’s personal financial records.
Given that Rove’s selling point for American Crossroads is precisely that it does not waste money on consultant commissions, he is certainly putting his credibility on the line if this statement ever turned out to be misleading.