First on CNN: Tea party activists bomb list of Crossroads donors
March 14th, 2013
02:02 PM ET
1 year ago

First on CNN: Tea party activists bomb list of Crossroads donors

(CNN) - About 200 donors to Karl Rove's group "American Crossroads" may be receiving an interesting letter soon: Don't donate to American Crossroads.

Conservative activist Brent Bozell, chairman of the group ForAmerica, obtained the list and plans to send a letter blasting Crossroads' role in last year's election and the creation of its new independent group for the 2014 mid-term elections.

Rove, the former top political adviser to President George W. Bush, generated strong pushback from tea party groups earlier this year when he announced the formation of another offshoot, "Conservative Victory Project," dedicated to helping electable candidates sail through Republican primaries.

"Mr. Rove and his allies must stop blaming conservatives for his disastrous results," the letter read. "It is time for him to take ownership of his record. He must also stop posturing himself as a conservative: his record supporting wasteful government spending and moderate candidates over conservatives spans decades."

Leaders from other conservative and tea party groups–including Tea Party Patriots, Family Research Council, Tea Party Express–co-signed the letter, which went to donors who've made six- or seven-figure contributions to Crossroads.

During the last cycle, American Crossroads and its non-profit arm, Crossroads GPS, spent more than $104 million on federal elections with a success rate of 1.3%, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Regardless of its success rate in 2012, Crossroads played a major role in the election and in the 2010 mid-terms, when Republicans took back the House of Representatives.

The letter, however, points to the multiple 2012 Senate races in which Crossroads spent money against the Democratic candidate, yet the Republican candidate failed to win. Those include races include Wisconsin, New Mexico, Ohio, Virginia, Montana and North Dakota.

"As conservative leaders who represent millions of grassroots conservatives, we strongly urge you to consider this information as you are making your decisions about political giving in the future," the letter concluded.

Critics, including Bozell, argue Rove is using the Conservative Victory Project to push out tea party voices from the Republican Party. He's expected to make the same argument when he speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Saturday.

"Now, in an attempt to explain the astonishingly low return on the hundreds of millions of dollars investment in Crossroads, Karl Rove and others are attempting to blame conservatives and the tea party," the letter read.

Asked for a response, American Crossroads communications director Jonathan Collegio said: "We are relentlessly focused on stopping President Obama’s agenda, winning the Senate and expanding the conservative majority in the House.”

And Rove has previously said he's not looking for a fight.

"Our object is not to be for the establishment, it's to be for the most conservative candidate that can win," Rove said last month during an appearance on Fox News, where he is a paid contributor.

"This is not tea party versus establishment," he continued, pointing to Crossroads' past support for candidates like Marco Rubio and Rand Paul, both of whom were backed by national tea party groups in 2010.

– CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.

– UPDATE: An earlier version of the story stated the letters would be sent through email.

Dear

You have likely heard over the last several weeks about a new effort called the Conservative Victory Project that will be supported by Karl Rove and the Crossroads organizations. Their stated purpose is to identify conservative candidates in Republican primaries capable of winning elections. As leaders in the conservative movement who have been active in conservative and Republican politics for decades, we are writing to set the record straight.

The 2012 election cycle saw our first billion-dollar campaign. Recently, the non-partisan Sunlight Foundation did an analysis of the money spent. They measured the effectiveness of

political spending by the amount of money spent on a successful effort—either electing a chosen candidate or defeating a chosen candidate. They found that the success rate of the Crossroads effort was 1.29%.

Now, in an attempt to explain the astonishingly low return on the hundreds of millions of dollars investment in Crossroads, Karl Rove and others are attempting to blame conservatives and the

tea party. But a simple analysis shows this to be simply untrue. In 2012, the only Senate Republican winners were Jeff Flake, Deb Fischer, and Ted Cruz—all of whom enjoyed significant tea party and conservative support. Meanwhile, more moderate candidates like Tommy Thompson, Heather Wilson, Rick Berg, and Denny Rehberg went down to defeat despite significant support from Crossroads.

It was firmly expected that Republicans would capture the Senate in 2012. It is inexcusable that they failed and, in fact, lost two seats. The facts speak for themselves. It was not conservatives.

Not one moderate Republican challenger won. According to the Sunlight Foundation, not one Senate challenger supported by Crossroads won.

There was another, equally important reason Republicans fared so poorly: Groups like Crossroads squandered hundreds of millions of dollars in what were arguably the most inept campaign advertising efforts ever.

Mr. Rove and his allies must stop blaming conservatives for his disastrous results. It is time for him to take ownership of his record. He must also stop posturing himself as a conservative: his record supporting wasteful government spending and moderate candidates over conservatives spans decades.

No matter how he positions himself in this attempt at damage control, Mr. Rove's efforts will not elect the type of leaders who will come to Washington to fight for conservative principles. In fact, they are likely to stifle the emergence of candidates like Marco Rubio, Pat Toomey, and Rand Paul. Further, the model that will be employed by the Conservative Victory Project has proven to be ineffective and a waste of political resources.

As conservative leaders who represent millions of grassroots conservatives, we strongly urge you to consider this information as you are making your decisions about political giving in the future.

Signed,

L. Brent Bozell
Chairman, ForAmerica

Jenny Beth Martin
Co-Founder, Tea Party Patriots

Richard Viguerie
Chairman, Conservative HQ

David Bossie
President, Citizens United

Amy Kremer
Chairman, Tea Party Express

Hon. Ken Blackwell
President, Constitutional Congress Inc.

William Walton
Rappahannock Ventures

Diana Banister
Director, Citizens for the Republic

Kay R. Daly
President, Coalition for a Fair Judiciary

Elaine Donnelly
President of the Center for Military Readiness

Brian Brown
President, National Organization for Marriage
Chairman, ActRight.com

Curt Levey
President, Committee for Justice

Phil Burress
Chairman, Citizens for Community Values Action

Susan A. Carleson
President, The American Civil Rights Union

Craig Shirley
Reagan Biographer

Ralph Benko
Forbes.com Contributor

Frank Gaffney
President, Center for Security Policy * (* for identification purposes only)

Tony Perkins
President of the Family Research Council.


Filed under: Fundraising • Karl Rove • Tea Party
soundoff (57 Responses)
  1. rs

    ahhhhh! The circular firing squad is at it again! The GOP is completely and utter lost. They must be getting to the point where they have to regret cooking up the whole TEA Party scam. That has ruined their brand for a generation- if the GOP lasts that long.

    March 14, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  2. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Hmmmm... It looks like Turd Blossom isn't such a brain anymore! This is what happens when you spend your life lying, cheating and hating. Karma!

    March 14, 2013 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  3. Former GOP

    Now, now children, let's stop fighting or you will get no desert!

    March 14, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  4. Al-NY,NY

    They love to eat their own.....num num num

    March 14, 2013 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  5. Miz

    I love this and hope they continue to keep up the infighting! Heck, it's thanks to this inane rhetoric that my state was able to elect a great Democratic senator (even if he is a tad moderate), rather than a Tea Party misogynist– and, yeah, the fact that the TP candidate still managed to get a decent amount of votes is a black mark on my state that Republicans will sadly wear with pride.

    March 14, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  6. Luke,AZ

    The Republican party is imploding . The tea partiers are trying to take over the Republican party. Rand Paul will become the new leader and moderates will be banished from the party. Even Rove is'nt regressive enough. The circular firing squad has started shooting.

    March 14, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  7. DrScott622

    Oh Boy! Wait til Daddy Bush gets wind the Tea Party is going after Rove! Daddy needs Rove to get Jeb elected! Expect a former CIA smear campaign against the Tea Baggers from the Bush Family.

    March 14, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  8. The Real Tom Paine

    The Purges have begun......and they call liberals fascists?

    March 14, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    Karma and irony...two great tastes that taste great together. Excuse me while I pour myself a bowl of Schadenfruede Flakes....

    March 14, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  10. DumbasRocks [R]s

    By the way, in that reprinted letter, the stupidity level of the political analysis is monumental. No lessons learned by [R]s in 2012 bodes exceedingly well for [D]s in 2014.

    Also, concerning the signees and their affiliations, the Taliban couldn't come up with a broader list of anti-American organizations.

    March 14, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  11. Matt

    The monster has turned on its creator destroying everything he once loved and cherished. Both will be consumed by the fires of their own doing. A fitting end to both Frankenstein and his monster.

    March 14, 2013 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  12. rs

    The Real Tom Paine

    The Purges have begun......and they call liberals fascists?
    ________________________________
    Got that right!

    March 14, 2013 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  13. PtBarnumBoy

    Can I put this show on pause while I run to the concession stand for popcorn and a soda? Sure don't want to miss the ending.

    March 14, 2013 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  14. DumbasRocks [R]s

    Luke,AZ states about the [R] partry: ".....and moderates will be banished from the party". That boat has long left the dock.

    March 14, 2013 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  15. Kiki

    IIt's not even fun to watch. The people of this great nation are suffering and what are they offering NOTHING, NADA, that's ashame.

    March 14, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  16. Tommy G

    Tea Party people have to do a better job at vetting and preparing their candidates. That is all Rove was saying. Poorly prepared candidates has cost the Republicans control of the Senate and Karl Rove knows that.

    March 14, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  17. Wake up People!

    I love to watch the GOP eat it's own.

    On a lighter note..... Has anyone ever seen the movie Nothing but Trouble with Chevy Chase, Dan Akroyd, Demi Moore and John Candy?? Dan and John play multiple roles, but Dan plays the judge. Doesn't Rove look just like the judge?

    March 14, 2013 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  18. Rudy NYC

    Trust me, folks. For what it's worth, in this battle, Rove vs. Rand, Karl Rove and his establishment Republicans are the "good" guys.

    March 14, 2013 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  19. DumbasRocks [R]s

    Tommy G: "poorly prepared" candidates? Do you really think the likes of Mourdoch, Aikin, etc. were "poorly prepared"??!! Sorry, but these and other [R] candidates were well beyond "poorly prepared"...they were just flat-out rightwing bafoons who floated to the top inside the rightwing cesspool.

    March 14, 2013 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  20. Randy, San Francisco

    Rove and the Republican establishment is getting its just reward for letting Tea Partiers get out of control.

    March 14, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  21. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Karl Rove's forehead looks as if it is getting ready to give birth.

    March 14, 2013 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  22. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    The teaparty, the garbage of America !!!!!

    March 14, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  23. George W

    The Republican Party is Well and Will Take the Senate back next Year..........In Spite Of All You "NAY"Sayers.Stop Attacking The So-Called RICH and Lets Get A BALANCED BUDGET......... without Decimating the Military

    March 14, 2013 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  24. Rudy NYC

    George W wrote:

    The Republican Party is Well and Will Take the Senate back next Year..........In Spite Of All You "NAY"Sayers.Stop Attacking The So-Called RICH and Lets Get A BALANCED BUDGET
    ------------
    The right wing's "let's balance the budget" argument would have a little bit of crediblity if they accepted the fact that their last Republican President told the The People that he was "temporarily raising the deficit" to help the economy.

    March 14, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  25. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ Wake up People!
    I haven't seen the movie Wake up but Karl Rove's forehead looks as if it is getting ready to give birth.
    Is that what a person's face looks like when it is getting ready to have an apoplectic fit because the Party that they have been fleecing, er, helping wants to eat him alive and kick his bones unceremoniously to the curb?
    Just asking.

    March 14, 2013 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
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