American Crossroads is the brainchild of Karl Rove, one of the country’s most reviled political operatives for his 40-year history of dirty tricks and election manipulations, from his work with Nixon and investigation by Watergate prosecutors to his retaliatory outing of CIA Agent Valerie Plame.
Rove created American Crossroads in a hostile takeover of the Republican National Committee, and funded it by joining forces with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a cabal of corporate barons opposed to any common sense regulation, health care, environmental protection, or financial accountability. The Chamber’s Chief Counsel, Steven Law, was named CEO of American Crossroads.
Rove’s group is funded by secret corporate donations made possible by a 2010 Supreme Court decision, Citizens United, allowing unlimited corporate funding of elections. Press reports indicate that AC is planning to amass and spend at least $52 million this year to support candidates friendly to Big Business, all without disclosure or accountability.
At least 85% of Americans do not want corporations buying our elections. Yet, that is precisely what American Crossroads is doing by allowing big corporations to funnel money through American Crossroads to support candidates friendly to Big Business.
We believe, based on Mr. Rove’s sordid electoral history and the corrupting influence of secret money, that AC is engaging in unethical and illegal activity during this election season. In fact, AC’s hostile takeover of the duties of the RNC without the concomitant regulatory accountability appears to be illegal on its face. Also, the payment to AC of tens of millions in secret funding from corporate CEO’s, without board or shareholder approval and without disclosure, smacks of money laundering and campaign finance violations. Indeed, for more than 100 years, federal law has prohibited corporate donations to candidates and political action committees. Citizens United did not do away with these common sense campaign finance regulations, or disclosure regulations and limits on foreign donations.
Only a robust investigation of AC will uncover whether AC is complying with federal (and state) laws. We have asked the DOJ, Congress and the FEC to scrutinize the activities of AC and to require it to comply with disclosure laws and other regulations. We have asked candidates to reject AC support. We have set out a list of action items that concerned citizens can do to counter the corrosive effects of American Crossroads.