-by Kim Barker
April 18, 2012- One of the most talked-about "dark money" groups of the election released its tax returns yesterday, showing it raised almost $77 million from fewer than 100 donors over 19 months. Most of the money spent in its first year went directly to political ads or grants to other groups.
The returns are the first glimpse showing how much money has been raised by Crossroads GPS, launched by GOP strategist Karl Rove in mid-2010.
April 13, 2012- WASHINGTON -- The “GPS” in Crossroads GPS ostensibly stands for grassroots policy strategies, but the Washington Post reported Friday that nearly 90 percent of the money flowing through the Karl Rove-associated group has come from as few as two dozen anonymous donors, two of whom gave at least $10 million each.
The group, known for funding hard-hitting attack ads against congressional Democrats in the 2010 elections, has said that it and its sister group, American Crossroads, intend to spend $300 million in this year's elections. Most recently, Crossroads GPS spent $1.7 million on television ads attempting to blame President Barack Obama for high gas prices.
-By Steve Benen
April 9, 2012- Karl Rove's attack operation, American Crossroads, the powerhouse of the Republican family of super PACs, is planning to begin "its first major anti-Obama advertising blitz of the year." It's unclear how big the initial round of attacks will be, but the operation has "an anticipated bank account of more than $200 million," most of which has come from undisclosed contributions.
But Crossroads is doing more than just crafting ads; it's also doing ample research as to which messages are resonating with the public. It led to this interesting tidbit.
[Steven J. Law, the group's leader, said] Crossroads research suggests that Mr. Obama's campaign has started to gain traction among critical swing voters by arguing that Republicans, including Mr. Romney, favor an "economic plutocracy" in which middle-class voters can no longer count on financial security, even though they work hard and play by the rules.
-By Ryan J. Reilly
April 2, 2012- Karl Rove said Monday that efforts by state treasurers to make hedge funds that manage state pension funds disclose donations to “super PACs” are meant to intimidate donors, comparing the situation to efforts by segregationists to scare NAACP donors in the 1950s.
“In the 1940s and 50s, a number of states attorneys general attempted to force a particular 501(c)4 to disclose its donors, the purpose was to intimidate people into not giving to that organization,” Rove said on Fox News.
“The group was the NAACP, which is a 501(c)4, has a 501(c)4 and does not disclose donors. That effort failed, in fact a Supreme Court in a 1954 case general held the right of organizations like that not to make their donors’ names public,” Rove said.
Huffington Post: Koch Brothers, Chamber of Commerce Face Possible Campaign Donation Disclosure After Ruling
-By Paul Blumenthal
March 30, 2012- WASHINGTON -- On Friday evening, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a ruling that could begin the process of revealing the identities of secret donors to groups connected to Karl Rove and the Koch brothers.
The court ruled in Van Hollen v. Federal Election Commission that the FEC rules that restricted campaign donor disclosure are not valid and must be changed to provide for disclosure.
"We are very happy to see the judge got it right," says Paul Ryan, a lawyer for the Campaign Legal Center, a campaign finance watchdog that was a part of the team challenging the FEC rules.
-By Tom Schoenberg and Jonathan D. Salant
March 31, 2012- The U.S. Federal Election Commission overstepped its authority by allowing groups that give money for election advertising to withhold the names of their donors from the public, a federal judge ruled.
U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jacksonin Washington yesterday threw out FEC regulations adopted in 2007 that let organizations and nonprofit groups keep secret the names of donors who pay for pre-election ads. She said the regulations clashed with requirements of the 2002 campaign finance law known as McCain-Feingold that groups report their ad spending to the commission.
“When the agency determined in this instance that the statute should be revised in light of legal developments, it undertook a legislative, policy making function that was beyond the scope of its authority,” Jackson said in her 31-page ruling.
-By Jed Lewison
March 22, 2012- From Karl Rove's latest Wall Street Journal op-ed:
As for the killing of Osama bin Laden, Mr. Obama did what virtually any commander in chief would have done in the same situation. Even President Bill Clinton says in the film “that’s the call I would have made.” For this to be portrayed as the epic achievement of the first term tells you how bare the White House cupboards are.
The film in question is the Obama campaign's 17-minute video on the accomplishments of his first three years in office. And if you believe Rove, the video itself dismisses the magnitude of the decision President Obama made.
-By Jonathan Weisman
March 9, 2012- Senator Orrin Hatch, Republican of Utah, joined the fight over the tax status of “Super PACS” on Friday, accusing Senate Democrats of a “politically motivated witch hunt” for their efforts to rein in tax-exempt political groups.
Mr. Hatch, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, was responding to a letter by seven Senate Democrats demanding that the Internal Revenue Service establish a clearer test limiting the politicking of 501(c)(4) groups like American Crossroads, a Republican group, and Priorities USA, a Democratic outfit. The letter, which still has not been sent, also requests stronger rules preventing corporate donors from deducting Super PAC contributions from their taxes, and it threatens legislative action if the I.R.S. fails to act.