Monthly Archives: July 2011

RAW Story: Karl Rove’s Crossroads trolls for guys on gay hook-up app Grindr

-By Kase Wickman

July 27, 20141- Conservative political group Crossroads GPS, co-founded by former Bush adviser Karl Rove, is notorious for spending millions on political advertising, most recently doling out $20 million for anti-Obama ads. It wasn't until this week, however, that the placement of their ads drew as much attention as the content.

A tipster notified The Hill that one of the group's "blank check" ads — with the message that President Barack Obama's spending is out of control — have begun scrolling along the bottom of a smartphone app called Grindr. Grindr allows gay and bisexual men to locate other gay men in their immediate vicinity, opening the door to a sexually-charged encounter.

Huffington Post: Crossroads GPS, Priorities USA Violate Tax Laws: Reform Groups Allege In IRS Petition

-By Dan Froomkin

July 27, 2011- WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service should crack down on organizations that are soliciting anonymous tax-free donations for blatantly political purposes, two good-government groups demanded Wednesday.

Political organizations like Karl Rove-affiliated Crossroads Grassroots Political Strategies (GPS) have embraced 501(c)(4) tax status as a way to secretly funnel unlimited contributions from big donors into colossal political-advertising buys — unleashing a flood of secret campaign money the likes of which haven't been seen since Watergate.

Unlike section 527 of the tax code, which was explicitly created for political advocacy groups, section 501(c)(4) doesn't require groups to disclose their donors. But that designation was intended for what are known as "social welfare" groups.

Huffington Post: DNC Runs New Spanish-Language Ad To Counter Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS

-By Amanda Terkel

July 22, 2011– WASHINGTON — The Democratic National Committee is out with a new Spanish-language ad meant to reinforce the party's appeal to Latinos and counter a similar ad running from a conservative group.

The first ad buy by the DNC in the 2012 season, the spot accuses Republicans of wanting to "end the Medicare guarantee while protecting tax cuts for the very rich," while stressing that President Obama "extended health insurance to our children," financial aid for students and middle-class tax cuts.

The DNC spot will be running in Reno, Las Vegas, Tampa, Orlando, Miami, Denver, Albuquerque and Washington, D.C.

The ad hits back at Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS, which also went on the air with a Spanish-language ad on Monday. That spot ran in Denver, Colorado Springs, Albuquerque, El Paso, Las Vegas, Reno, D.C., Miami, Orlando and Tampa.

NYT: Political Advocacy Groups Denied Tax-Exempt Status

-By Stephanie Strom

July 19, 2011- Three nonprofit advocacy groups that recruited and trained potential political candidates in the last several years have been denied tax exemption by the Internal Revenue Service.

Copies of the letters informing the groups of the decisions were heavily redacted by the I.R.S. when it released them last week, so it was impossible to know the names of the organizations involved, or which political party they might have worked with.

“You are not operated primarily to promote social welfare because your activities are primarily for the benefit of a political party and a private group of individuals, rather than the community as a whole,” the I.R.S. wrote in the letters. “Accordingly, you do not qualify for exemption.”

Huffington Post: How Foreign Money Can Find Its Way Into Political Campaigns

-By Dan Froomkin

July 18, 2011- WASHINGTON — Every election cycle brings new concerns about foreign interests influencing U.S. elections and secretly funneling money to U.S. political campaigns.

Yet foreign governments and corporations are openly spending tens of millions of dollars a year buying influence in Washington by hiring well-connected lobbyists, according to research by the Sunlight Foundation and others who have examined the filings those lobbyists have to make to the Justice Department.

And some of that money may well be wending its way into politicians' election coffers through the generous campaign contributions those lobbyists routinely make to buy access and reward friends.

Wall St.Journal: Obama Owns the Debt-Ceiling Fiasco

It doesn't help that he's declared high-speed rail and even unspent stimulus funds as untouchable.

-By Karl Rove

July 14, 2011- President Barack Obama and Congress face a mess if the federal government hits the debt ceiling Aug. 2. The Bipartisan Policy Center, a Washington think tank, projects that the government will receive $172 billion in revenues between Aug. 3 and Aug. 31, but it is on the hook to spend $306 billion, leaving a shortfall of $134 billion.

On Tuesday, Mr. Obama told Scott Pelley of CBS News that "there may simply not be the money in the coffers" to issue Social Security, veterans and disability checks after Aug. 3.

Not so. The $172 billion in revenues collected over the rest of the month can pay the $29 billion interest charges on the national debt, Social Security benefits ($49 billion), Medicaid and Medicare ($50 billion), active duty military pay ($2.9 billion), Department of Defense vendors ($31.7 billion), IRS refunds ($3.9 billion), and about a quarter of the $12.8 billion in unemployment checks due that month.

There will, however, be no cash for highway construction, no checks for federal workers or retirees, no agriculture payments, no open national parks. Interest rates are also likely to rise if U.S. debt is downgraded, adding massively to the deficit and further damaging the economy. This would be a disaster with no political winners.

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