Karl Rove’s Crossroads Groups Double 2012 War Plan to $240 Million

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/walkadog/4336478992/in/photostream">Beverly & Pack/Flickr

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Lost in the build-up to President Obama’s big jobs speech Thursday night was a bomb of an announcement, first reported by Peter Stone of iWatch News, from American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS, the conservative independent expenditure groups that are two of the heaviest hitters in the political money game. Founded in 2010 with help from Bush guru Karl Rove, the Crossroads groups are now trumpeting a new fundraising target to double their planned haul of $120 million for the 2012 elections. Yes, you read that right: the Crossroads groups say they will raise a whopping $240 million to vanquish President Obama, help GOPers win the Senate majority, and strengthen their House majority.

Here’s some context for that $240 million target. In the 2010 election cycle, American Crossroads, a super PAC that discloses its donors, and Crossroads GPS, a 501(c)4 that doesn’t disclose, spent an estimated $43 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. That same cycle, all outside spending groups, excluding party-affiliated committees, spent just over $300 million.

To help them reach their eye-popping fundraising goal, the Crossroads groups have tapped one of the most successful GOP fundraisers of them all, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour. A former DC lobbyist, Barbour helped rake in a record-setting $115 million as chair of the Republican Governors Association from 2009 to 2010.

“Both Governor Barbour and Karl Rove are prodigious fundraisers and brilliant strategists, and we are honored to have them both engaged with us,” Steven Law, president of both American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS, said in a statement. “We are reaching high in our fundraising goals because we believe this is going to be a destiny-shaping election for our country.”

Michael Beckel, a spokesman for the Center for Responsive Politics (and a Mother Jones alum), a non-partisan group that tracks money in American politics, described American Crossroads as “the top dog” in the 2010 midterm elections. He said that Crossroads’ new goal would blow past anything seen two years ago. “It looks like this arms race is ramping rather quickly.”

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WHO DOESN’T LOVE A POSITIVE STORY—OR TWO?

“Great journalism really does make a difference in this world: it can even save kids.”

That’s what a civil rights lawyer wrote to Julia Lurie, the day after her major investigation into a psychiatric hospital chain that uses foster children as “cash cows” published, letting her know he was using her findings that same day in a hearing to keep a child out of one of the facilities we investigated.

That’s awesome. As is the fact that Julia, who spent a full year reporting this challenging story, promptly heard from a Senate committee that will use her work in their own investigation of Universal Health Services. There’s no doubt her revelations will continue to have a big impact in the months and years to come.

Like another story about Mother Jones’ real-world impact.

This one, a multiyear investigation, published in 2021, exposed conditions in sugar work camps in the Dominican Republic owned by Central Romana—the conglomerate behind brands like C&H and Domino, whose product ends up in our Hershey bars and other sweets. A year ago, the Biden administration banned sugar imports from Central Romana. And just recently, we learned of a previously undisclosed investigation from the Department of Homeland Security, looking into working conditions at Central Romana. How big of a deal is this?

“This could be the first time a corporation would be held criminally liable for forced labor in their own supply chains,” according to a retired special agent we talked to.

Wow.

And it is only because Mother Jones is funded primarily by donations from readers that we can mount ambitious, yearlong—or more—investigations like these two stories that are making waves.

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