New York (CNN) - American Crossroads, the Republican group backed by GOP consultants Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie, will launch its first television ads supporting GOP House candidates this week, as officials there boast about a fundraising surge in the wake of White House attacks on the organization.
A spokesman for American Crossroads, Jonathan Collegio, says the group, along with its affiliate American Crossroads GPS, will begin airing television ads in eight House districts on Friday, and plans to go into 15 House races by Election Day. So far, the group's focus has been on Senate races.
Separately, Collegio says American Crossroads and American Crossroads GPS have raised $13 million dollars since last Tuesday, when the Obama Administration stepped up its criticism of the organization for its big spending against Democrats without disclosing donors.
"Obama and the Democrats are shining the spotlight on us and a lot of Democrats are going to have to address their thank you notes to the White House and DNC when they lose this November," said Collegio.
Collegio says the new influx of cash brings the total money raised to $56 million so far for both arms of the group. This comes on the same day that Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois becomes the latest Democrat to call for an investigation into the groups' tax status.
American Crossroads plans to spend $2 million dollars on its initial advertisements in House races, which will focus mostly on striking behind what Collegio calls the Democrats "firewall" – competitive seats, but ones Democrats see as safer than others. American Crossroads sources admit they are also hoping to force Democrats to spend money on races where they would not otherwise have invested.
For example, American Crossroads will air ads against Democrat Joe Donnelly in Indiana and Zach Space in Ohio. Democratic party officials have said they are more confident about those candidates, but officials at American Crossroads say their internal polling shows they are beatable.
The group will also air an ad against New York Democrat Maurice Hinchey in his district, which had been considered relatively safe. The American Crossroads source says internal data shows Hinchey is vulnerable, so the group is investing there since the Republican party is not.
In fact, although the group is not legally permitted to coordinate with campaigns or the Republican party, American Crossroads officials say they are closely monitoring where the National Republican Campaign Committee is spending its resources, so that they can help elsewhere.
Another example of that is in Hawaii. Republican Charles Djou won a special election earlier this year in what had been a long time Democratic seat. The NRCC is not investing in Djou's race, so American Crossroads made it one of the eight races where it will air ads starting Friday.
"That is traditionally a Democratic seat, and holding that is just as important as picking up another," said an American Crossroads official.
Other House races where the group will launch ads: races against New York Democrats Dan Maffei and Scott Murphy and Florida's Alan Grayson. It will also air an ad to help Republican Dan Lungren's re-election campaign in California.
American Crossroads is coordinating with other GOP groups also running ads in House races, including American Action Network, and the Commission on Hope, Growth and Opportunity.
The Commission on Hope, Growth and Opportunity was started by veteran Republican strategist Scott Reed.
An official there says the group is already airing ads in 15 House districts, and plans to invest in 27 House races by Election Day, with the goal of raising and spending $25 million.