Shadow groups have spent nearly a quarter billion dollars on 2010 election: analysis

RAW Story, October 27, 2010- Karl Rove's American Crossroads has drawn a lot of attention for its high-profile fundraising and lavish spending on congressional races. But Rove's group, it turns out, isn't the only one at the plate. A detailed analysis of campaign spending by cloak-and-dagger "shadow groups" — who are able to shift vast sums of money into campaign advertising and affect the outcome of competitive races — show that the groups collectively have spent nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in the 2010 cycle.

Money has already ruled the roost in American politics for years. But a recent Supreme Court decision, Citizens United, cleared the way for independent special interests groups to raise unlimited amounts of cash from companies, unions and individuals to run ads expressly supporting or opposing federal candidates for office.

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Watchdog Groups Call For Appointment of A Special Prosecutor to Investigate the Use of Secret Money to Influence Elections

Comparisons To Watergate Scandal Grows

WASHINGTON, Oct. 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Today, several watchdog groups, led by Protect Our Elections, dedicated to clean and  transparent elections sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder  requesting the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the improper use of tax exempt provisions to raise and spend hundreds of millions of dollars to influence the 2010 midterm elections.  The letter, written by Kevin Zeese, the groups' attorney and spokesman, states that groups such as  American Crossroads, American Future Fund, the Chamber of Commerce and others are violating tax law, campaign finance law and criminal law by creating tax exempt organizations to engage in partisan political activity without restriction or accountability.

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Washington Post Article Mentions POE’s FEC Filing Against American Crossroads

…"On Wednesday, for example, the watchdog groups Public Citizen and Protect Our Elections filed a complaint with the FEC alleging that the pro-Republican organization Crossroads GPS is violating federal campaign finance laws by claiming to be a nonprofit group rather than a political committee. A similar complaint was filed with the IRS earlier this month against Crossroads GPS, which was founded with the help of GOP political guru Karl Rove and is one of the leading spenders this year."…

FULL STORY HERE:

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NBC: Micheal Isikoff Predicts $250M For American Crossroads

October 21 2010- On NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, Michael Isikoff predicted that Karl Rove's Americian Crossroads PAC would raise $250 Million- mostly from wealthy, anonymous donors- in this election cycle. This is far beyond the earlier predicted figure of $75 Million. In this clip, Isikoff explains the connection between the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, and the flood of money pouring into this election through special interest groups:

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POE and Public Citizen File FEC Complaint Against Crossroads GPS

October 13, 2010: Moments ago, in conjunction with Public Citizen, Protect Our Elections filed a complaint with the FEC against Crossroads GPS, claiming that the 501c(4) nonprofit is, in fact, a political committee and should be subject to the restrictions and disclosure rules for political committees.

Crossroads GPS was formed in July 2010 by Rove and Gillespie, former Republican National Committee chairman. It shares offices with American Crossroads, a registered political committee created this year that also is the brainchild of Rove and Gillespie, according to published reports.

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The New GOP Money Stampede

Time Magazine- September 16, 2010: In recent days, Ohio voters have probably seen a TV spot ripping Democratic "stimulus and debt" policies, courtesy of a group calling itself Crossroads GPS. They may also have caught an ad by an outfit called the American Action Network praising Republican Congressmen Pat Tiberi and Dave Reichert for "standing up for fiscal responsibility." Meanwhile, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, a Democrat, is under attack from the Republican Governors Association (RGA) for being a "bad governor," while the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been touting the "pro-business" record of GOP Senate candidate Rob Portman. All of these groups are based in D.C., not Ohio. And only one of them, the RGA, is required to disclose its donors — and only a few times a year. Which makes Ohio look less like a boxing ring for the candidates than a chessboard for invisible well-funded operatives hundreds of miles away. Ohio is hardly unique. From Washington to Florida this election season, candidates risk being drowned out by a flood of advertising from a robust new network of little-known conservative political outfits. "Shadow Republican groups formed by longtime party officials and party operatives are raising and spending hundreds of millions of dollars in this election," says Fred Wertheimer of Democracy 21, a nonpartisan campaign-finance-reform group, "most of which is going to come in the form of secret undisclosed contributions."

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