Washington (CNN) – An independent Republican group that was a major player in the midterm elections says its goal is to raise $120 million this election cycle.
In a statement Tuesday, American Crossroads and Crossroads Grassroots Policies Strategies (Crossroads GPS) said the money raised will pay for advocacy efforts "to compete with the torrent of outside money from unions and left-leaning groups."
The organizations also announced what it calls a new "Presidential Action Fund," a new initiative which it says will be dedicated to shaping issues and themes in the 2012 election cycle. A release says the fund will conduct research, polling, micro-targeting, issue advocacy, and getting out the vote efforts.
"You can't outspend the unions – but you can out compete them with a faster and leaner organization that offers more bang for the buck. That is what the Crossroads groups plan to do in 2012," says Jonathan Collegio, communications director for the two organizations.
American Crossroads, a 527 organization that must disclose its donors, and Crossroads GPS, a 501(c)(4) group, which in not required to disclose its contributors, raised more than $70 million combined in last year's midterm election cycle. The groups were created with the help of Karl Rove, the political adviser to former President George W. Bush, as well as former Republican National Committee chairmen Ed Gillespie and Mike Duncan, to supplement Republican party efforts in the midterms. Democrats criticized Crossroads' efforts for accepting funds from undisclosed donors.
The groups recently announced that they were going up with radio ads in 22 House districts in the battle over the federal budget, targeting 12 House Democrats for voting against a House Republican bill to fund the government from March through October, and praising ten GOP representatives for voting in favor of the legislation.
The ads were American Crossroads' second big ad buy of the cycle. Last month, the group also spent nearly $100,000 to run radio spots in 19 House GOP districts where the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee went up with ads attacking those Republican lawmakers for voting to cut education and research funding.