First on CNN: Tea party activists bomb list of Crossroads donors
March 14th, 2013
02:02 PM ET
2 years 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. John in Brooklyn

    This is what happens when ANY organization gives ideological extremists power. They eventually will turn their passion for purity inward and begin to attack their own people. But, considering the ugly nature of the social politics of the GOP, it couldn't happen to a better group of people.

    March 14, 2013 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  2. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    The Teatards are mad as hell and they're not going to take him anymore!
    Karl Rove...it's what's for dinner!!

    March 14, 2013 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  3. Brian

    I'm losing track. Is this the People's Front of Judea or the Judean People's Popular Front?

    March 14, 2013 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  4. Of the masses

    Ideaology Trumps all with Conservatives. Ideaology Trumps all with Republicants. Both are the same.

    March 14, 2013 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  5. penguin

    These "free enterprise" Ayn Randists are hypocrits. They are in favor of the Keystone Pipeline even though for it to be built the GOVERMENT must exercise the Taking of private property whether or not that person owning the property doesn't want the intrusion. This is a form of SOCIALISM (it even smacks of Marxism). These same hypocrits want to open up public land to drilling and mining (oil companies want this because it is much cheaper than leasing private land). A true free market enterpriser would have the "market" set the price of leases and the property rights needed to build a pipeline. Our industries are claiming there are not enough qualified workers to do many of the jobs that are available, yet they insist the government educate them. Face it, capitalism is a great system but it only works with the help of the government.

    March 14, 2013 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  6. chilly g

    america is not the country that theses nuts want, they want a america like it was in he fifty when i had to ride on the back of the bus, well republicans thoses days are gone an will not be back. amreica forward.

    March 14, 2013 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  7. Colorado

    There is no member of congress, or state government or even a school board member with a "T" after their name. It's the Tea Party Caucus of the GOP that is ruining the entire party. The majority of the voting citizens of this country are just not that conservative. Tea Party Caucus folks are just too extreme for the bulk of the citizenry. It's a shame that they couldn't create their own party.

    March 14, 2013 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  8. Pander Bear

    Dr. Frankenstein, your Monster is here to see you.

    March 14, 2013 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  9. BCW

    GOP vs Tea Party – Next top reality show on TV. The only causality are the American people; while the GOP keep voting NO in the house for anything that can help the economy or creating jobs. Sad GO- you created a monster of Tea Party.

    March 14, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  10. Ind.

    When name calling is used your point is moot.

    March 14, 2013 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  11. Ind.

    Just like Clinton did the democrats are destroying the military.

    It's sad democrats are cutting veterans pay and benefits.

    March 14, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  12. Wake up People!

    Yes Dominican Mama, his head does look like he's about to give birth! The movie is very old probably made in 90 or 91. Check it out if you can and let me know what you think. I promise you will be LYAO.

    March 14, 2013 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  13. Rudy NYC

    It's a pretty scary thought, but Rovians just might be the "good guy" in this civil war, Rove vs. Rand.

    March 14, 2013 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  14. Clutch

    Hope cameras are in position the day this cretin decides to stroke on out. Should make America;s Funniest Video's.

    March 14, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  15. Wake up People!

    Rudy neither is good. It's like having to choose to die by Firing Squad or the Electric Chair.

    March 14, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  16. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    When name calling is used your point is moot.
    -------------------------------------------------
    Hey Diptwit, you're in the lunatic minority.
    Just because we let you speak doesn't mean you get to set the rules no matter what your Teatroll friends tell you.
    Capisce?

    March 14, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  17. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Glad you decided to stay with us Wake up People!
    We all need a break from these knuckle-dragging, rabble-rousing, bottom-feeders.
    Welcome back!

    March 14, 2013 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  18. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    If you can't stay on topic you should go sell your crazy juice some place else.
    The topic is Karl Rove's big water-head being fricassed by the out of control Teatarded Rethuglikkklans.
    I don't see anything on here about the military or your hard-on for Clinton.

    March 14, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    "It's a pretty scary thought, but Rovians just might be the "good guy" in this civil war, Rove vs. Rand."

    I'm not buying any good cop bad cop crap here. I don't care which one's the head and which one's the tail....it's all part of the same serpent...which has now decided to swallow itself, and that makes me happy.

    March 14, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    The face pictured with this article ... a poor Canadian doesn't even have to ask what american party he's from. Then you find out what he did to Valerie Plame .... a poor Canadian AGAIN doesn't have to ask what american party he's from.

    Just LOVE HIM UP repubs .... he's THE MAN!!!!

    March 14, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  21. VancCanadian

    Check out the face with this article ... I wonder what party a face like THIS comes from.
    Check out the Valerie Plame activities .... I wonder what party activities like THAT come from.

    LOVE HIM UP repubs ... we all know you think HE's THE MAN!!!!!

    March 14, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  22. Jack

    I just have couple things to say. As a conservative for most of my life, until this group of misfits came along.I have seen the conservatives self-destruct a number of times, but this the best yet!

    And anyone who listens Ryan should know that he won't be where is at if it wasn't for SSI government program. He and his family could have been homeless in Wisconsin.

    March 14, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  23. Ind.

    Dominican mama 4 Obama – Thanks for proving my point and also knowing who you are.

    March 14, 2013 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  24. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    A picture is worth a thousand words.
    This one is saying:
    "Mommy! Mommy those guys over there said they wanted to kick my behind twelve ways till Sunday. They said you looked like a man and I looked like something that should've been aborted. I'm scared Mommy, I'm soooo scared, I think I"m going to pee myself and cryyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!".

    March 14, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  25. Larry L

    Republicans now have an internal conflict where the Karl Rove group, based on greed, "swift boat tactics", and cheap deception is pitted against the Tea Party crowd, based on fear, hate and bigotry. It's a humerous prediciment since the fat-cats created the Tea Party to simulate an actual grass-root movement – when it was actually funded by a few billionaires to energize crazies with social hot-buttons. They created a monster... a really crazy one...

    March 14, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
1 2 3