Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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July 23, 2010

KARL ROVE AND A FEW BILLIONAIRES WALK INTO A BAR.... About a month ago, a right-wing outfit called American Crossroads, created by Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie to destroy Democratic campaigns, reported on its recent fundraising. After raising over $1 million in start-up funds, the GOP campaign operation had collected only $200.

While the figure prompted some guffaws, the delight on the left was short-lived -- because that initial fundraising report proved to be misleading. Rove's operation has actually collected $4.7 million since its launch, and a spinoff entity called American Crossroads GPS pulled in $5.1 million in June. All of these resources will go towards smearing key Democratic candidates over the next 100 days.

American Crossroads GPS can legally hide its donors, while the regular ol' American Crossroads is required to report on its contributions and expenditures. So, while secrecy rules the day for the spinoff operation, Justin Elliott reports on who's filling the coffers of Rove's original campaign operation.

Virtually all of the $4.7 million raised by Karl Rove's new conservative outfit was contributed by just four billionaires, three of whom are based in Dallas, Texas, and two of whom made their fortune in the oil and gas industry. [...]

Salon's review of its IRS filings show that four billionaires have contributed 97 percent of the $4.7 million it has raised to date. There are no limits on how much corporations, unions, and individuals can donate to 527 groups.

When Rove's attack entity was launched, it was billed as a "grassroots" effort. If you count for conservative, billionaire oil men as "grassroots," then American Crossroads is living up to its billing.

Also note, the original idea was for the outfit to raise $50 million for anti-Democratic attack ads. Kenneth Vogel reported this week, the goal was likely be easily surpassed: "A spokesman on Tuesday said American Crossroads GPS, combined with its parent group, intended to raise a combined total of 'approximately $50 million' to attack Democrats and boost Republicans headed into the 2010 midterm elections. But that seems to be a downgrading of ambitions, given that when American Crossroads publicly launched it boasted that it would raise between $50 million and $60 million, while the spin-off has set a budget of $43 million, according to the 'concept paper.'"

Democrats can take some comfort in the RNC's humiliating problems, but Rove and his cohorts are in a position to make up the difference. They won't legally be able to coordinate with the parties, but they'll be smearing Democrats relentlessly over the next couple of months, thanks to unchecked and unlimited contributions from billionaires to a shadowy GOP operation.

Steve Benen 1:20 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (14)

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Comments

It's 2004 once again...

Posted by: wildone on July 23, 2010 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

If you count for conservative, billionaire oil men as "grassroots," then American Crossroads is living up to its billing.

Sure they are! It's just that the lawn is a little... sparse. Only four blades of grass.

Posted by: Grumpy on July 23, 2010 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

Karl rove is trying with all its heart to make law unnecessary , rich blessings from his good friends who appreciate no bid contracts , child labour and feudal symmetry . All this with heaven blessed solemnity , and which will fall gracefully in place when republicans seize power , this time for one thousand years . Karl is a brain you see , and the brain sees that treating unequals as equals is more costly than merely crushing them .

Posted by: FRP on July 23, 2010 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

"They won't legally be able to coordinate with the parties..."

They will. This is Karl Rove we are talking about; laws are for keeping the coloreds and longhairs from smoking dope, not for Real Americans. They'll coordinate with the GOP and its candidates, and if they get caught, deny it and cry about the "criminalization of politics" (read: "criminalization of crime").

Posted by: Gangis Khan on July 23, 2010 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

these people really dont like democracy do they?

Posted by: Kill Bill on July 23, 2010 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

-Ever notice how many commercials are on the TeeVee? That's because they work!

Even print ads scream "As Seen On TV!", as though television gives credence to a product.

And so, GOP smear campaigns will produce the desired result.

Of course, the Dems will fight back. Won't they?

Posted by: DAY on July 23, 2010 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

(loud applause, stadium quality)

voice: and I say to you that Government by and for and of the idle Rich shall not perish from this earth.

(more thunderous applause)

We own FOX, the wall street journal, Sarah Palin, Rush...

(more applause)

And with Your help we will own America too!!!

Vote Republican this fall

(applause)

Black screen goes to grey to clear to reveal one guy in a luxurious room with a stereo and a mike,

Fade to black...

-------------------

Dems please turn up volume on this issue

Posted by: KurtRex1453 on July 23, 2010 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are H. L. Hunt (you possibly know his background), a few other Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.

-Dwight D. Eisenhower

Posted by: dr sardonicus on July 23, 2010 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

Imagine what this country could accomplish if those billionaire fuckers paid their fair share of taxes.

Posted by: chrenson on July 23, 2010 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

Things like this make me view political campaigns as a gigantic redistribution of wealth from a variety of groups to television and radio stations. I don't know if it's good or bad as a whole, but something to think about: hundreds of millions of dollars being fed into media outlets that are in many cases using airwaves that belong to the American people (over the air stations are simply borrowing them in exchange for serving the public interest, which they rarely do). And in doing so, typically degrade the public debate.

Posted by: meander on July 23, 2010 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

What are our options to counter such a massive coordinated effort to distort the truth?.
Democrats really need to figure this out and fast.

I am seriously concerned that:
An an already under-informed electorate +
A lazy right of center mainstream media appartus +
unlimited advertising dollars for distortions, half tuths and flat out lies about Demopcrats will equal an even larger loss of seats in the fall.

These Rove funded ads will make Breibert look like NPR

Seriously what can we do on a grassroots level to combat the baseless allegations.??

Posted by: lib4 on July 23, 2010 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

If you count for conservative, billionaire oil men as "grassroots,"[...] -- Steve Benen

Green grow the dollars...

Posted by: exlibra on July 23, 2010 at 8:08 PM | PERMALINK

Call it the Billionaire Butt Boys Club.

Posted by: Roger Ailes on July 24, 2010 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

How is this so different than Obama's Campaign to Ruin Colorado Democrat Andrew Romanoff's Run for the US Senate?

Obama's effort to ruin Romanoff was right out of the Karl Rove Playbook.

The base was already angry with Gov. Ritter for allowing the Obama Administration to push him into "appointing" the "never elected to anything" Michael Bennet.

Almost the entire activist base of the Colorado Democratic Party was behind Romanoff,
but Obama Announced his support for Romanoff's opponent, "appointed" Senator Michael Bennet before our Primary.

Obama then Came To Denver CO to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for Bennet BEFORE OUR PRIMARY, EVEN BEFORE OUR CAUCUS was over,

Obama CAUSED over 460,000 ROBO CALLS TO DEMOCRATS IN COLORADO for Bennet,

OBAMA PARTICIPATED in a STATEWIDE TELECONFERENCE TO 20,000+ DEMOCRATS JUST BEFORE THE ELECTION,

OBAMA HAD ORGANIZING FOR AMERICA (OFA), OBAMA's PRIVATE ARMY, go door to door for Bennet
and make calls for Bennet,

and the last few days of the campaign, OBAMA HAD TELEMARKETING DONE FROM WASHINGTON DC TO COLORADO DEMOCRATS for Bennet.

OBAMA'S CAMPAIGN TO RUIN ROMANOFF and STEAL OUR COLORADO PRIMARY SUCCEEDED.

Obama's effort would not have been done better
IF Rove himself Had Done It.


Many Romanoff Supporters will not be working for Bennet in the General Election as we consider this primary Stolen.

We urge all who agree with us to
1. Stay a registered Democrat and
2. Don't vote for Ken Buck or Bennet, Instead

3. Vote a straight ticket
BUT
LEAVE THE BALLOT "Blank" NEXT TO
MICHAEL BENNET's NAME

And send a message to President Obama and Democratic Party elites that Stealing our Primary Has Consequences.

Don't do it again.

Posted by: John H Kennedy, Denver CO on August 19, 2010 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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