American Crossroads back in the game
May 19th, 2014
03:02 PM ET
3 months ago

American Crossroads back in the game

(CNN) - It was the poster child for outside spending the last two elections cycles, but so far in the 2014 midterms, American Crossroads has been relatively quiet.

That apparently ends now.

The pro-GOP outside group confirms to CNN that it will spend around $10 million to run ads in four crucial U.S. Senate races in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado and North Carolina. If the Republicans win back those four Democratic held seats plus two more this November, they would regain control of the Senate.

The group, co-founded and steered by Karl Rove, says it will spend more than $3.5 million in North Carolina, where first-term Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan faces a challenging re-election against state House Speaker Thom Tills. The spots will start May 20th and run intermittently through the end of August. Crossroads will shell out more than $2.8 million to run spots from June through August in Colorado, where first-term Democratic Sen. Mark Udall faces a tough GOP challenge from Rep. Cory Gardner.

Crossroads says it will spend more than $1.7 million starting next month in Arkansas, where two-term Democratic Sen. Mark Pyror could face a rough re-election against GOP freshman Rep. Tom Cotton. And in Alaska, where Democratic Sen. Mark Begich will have a fight on his hands as he runs for a second term, the group will shell out $1.8 million to run ads.

A Crossroads official describes the new effort as an "initial" buy. The spending is divided between American Crossroads, the super PAC, and Crossroads GPS, the non-profit 501c4.

Last week the group reserved more than $5 million in ad time in Alaska from September 8 through October 26.

After the January 2010 "Citizens United" Supreme Court ruling that removed legal barriers preventing corporations and unions from spending unlimited sums on federal elections, which opened the flood gates to outside groups, Crossroads became a major player in campaign politics. The group spent around $70 million in the 2010 midterms and $175 million in the 2012 cycle.

But Crossroads went through a dry spell after the 2012 elections, following disappointment by Republicans over President Barack Obama's re-election.

So far this cycle the group has spent around $700,000 in New Hampshire to criticize Democratic incumbent Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (who could also face a challenging re-election) over her support of the health care law. It went up with spots in support of former Alaska Attorney General Dan Sullivan, considered the establishment favorite in that state's GOP Senate primary battle. And it shelled out nearly $2 million in recent weeks to back Tillis in North Carolina, in his Senate primary over a bunch of more conservative rivals.

But that's paled in comparison to what the pro-GOP Americans for Prosperity has spent to run commercials. That group, backed by the deep pockets of the billionaire industrialists David and Charles Koch, has spent more than $35 million so far this cycle. And the top spender among pro-Democratic outside groups, the Senate Majority PAC, has spent more than $11.1 million to run spots.


Filed under: Alaska • American Crossroads • Arkansas • Colorado • Jeanne Shaheen • Kay Hagan • Mark Udall • New Hampshire • North Carolina • Sen. Mark Pryor
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    And CNN and the rest of the MSM should have to post publicly how much money they accept from these groups so we can understand just what kind of revenue it generates for them to play the false equivalence game.

    May 19, 2014 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    And they should ALL lose their 501(c)(4) tax-exempt status.

    May 19, 2014 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  3. rs

    The Kochs wrote another 7-figure check?

    May 19, 2014 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  4. Silence DoGood

    The Koch's American for Prosperity is incorrectly listed in the article as pro-GOP. They are pro-Corporation and are simply using the weak minds in the GOP and conservatives in general. It has nothing to do politics or ideology or America. It is about greed and the increased greed that greedy money can buy.

    May 19, 2014 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  5. ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    If American Crossroads is simply helping patriots get their message out, then why can't we see the list of donors and their donation amounts so we can all thank them?

    May 19, 2014 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  6. ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    If corporations are people, what's the gender of Koch Industries?

    May 19, 2014 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  7. Pander Bear

    Apparently the GOP isn't spreading lies far or fast enough and now needs Karl Rove to drip some slime around.

    May 19, 2014 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  8. Tommy G

    Sniffit
    And they should ALL lose their 501(c)(4) tax-exempt status.
    ---

    Riiiight.... even though the law allows participation in politcal activity as long as it is not a majority of their activity? So you want the IRS to remove Obama's organization tax exempt status as well?

    I wonder why the LSM hasn't reported the fact that MANY CONGRESSIONAL DEMOCRAT SENATORS were pressuring the IRS to go after TEA Party and other conservative groups, just as you are suggesting? Carl Levin actually provided them with a list of targets! Yeah, yeah, I know... nothing there, just another false conspiracy. It was all just one massive coincidence.

    May 19, 2014 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Tommy G

    Sniffit
    And they should ALL lose their 501(c)(4) tax-exempt status.
    -

    Riiiight.... even though the law allows participation in politcal activity as long as it is not a majority of their activity? So you want the IRS to remove Obama's organization tax exempt status as well?
    ===================================================================
    Yup. I say get rid of all of them. Overturning McCain-Feingold was a mistake. You can now legally bribe politicians.

    May 19, 2014 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  10. sonny chapman

    "Corporations are people too my friend"-except they don't go to war & get blown up, they don't don't get sick & need costly medical treatment,they don't struggle to educate their children, they don't worry about the price of gas.

    May 19, 2014 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  11. Vence

    Kochroads is back in business!

    May 19, 2014 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  12. tom l

    "You can now legally bribe politicians"
    =====

    As if that hasn't always been the case....

    So let me ask you this Rudy, if they can now be legally bribed, why do you support one side over the other? They are now both legally bribed according to you....

    May 19, 2014 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    "even though the law allows participation in politcal activity as long as it is not a majority of their activity?'

    And you really think political activity isn't the majority of what they're doing if they're literally targeting specific races for their messaging with the not even remotely debatable primary goal of helping certain politicians get elected? It's unabashed thwarting of the regulations and everyone knows it. It just serves BOTH sides to have this kind of scofflaw behavior taking place, so the politicians don't and won't bother to fix it. Note that my abhorrence of this dark money crap is non-partisan...but you can't help but try to push more conspiracy theories against Obama/Dems and consistently defend this blatant refusal to enforce the law and fix this problem because you think it is an advantage for the GOP/Teatrolls.

    May 19, 2014 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  14. salty dog

    Tommy, absolutely, grid rid of all of them, your party is reliant on dishonest ads, I've not seen one that has any truth to it, just saying. Its obvious, and well accepted that your party wants this to be a money game, as they represent only thw wealthy. Will you say that tax cuts for the rich will make the working class lives better? Its called trickle down economics, and been proven and accepted as total BS, yet you rwnj accept it as Gospel, that says a lot, even Romney said trickle down economics doesn't work. That's how we arrived at record inequality, and you honestly believe more money to the top will somehow solve the issue of too much money at the top, its as ridiculous as it sounds.!

    May 19, 2014 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  15. Rudy NYC

    sonny chapman

    "Corporations are people too my friend"-except they don't go to war & get blown up, they don't don't get sick & need costly medical treatment,they don't struggle to educate their children, they don't worry about the price of gas.
    --------------------------------------
    WARNING: They don't have the right to vote. "Taxation Without Representation." It's coming. Trust me.

    May 19, 2014 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  16. Donna

    Rudy NYC
    You can now legally bribe politicians.
    --

    Unions have been doing it with Democrats for decades. Where was your outrage?

    May 19, 2014 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  17. salty dog

    95% of all wealth to the top 1%,and the gop sincerely wants you to believe if it were a little higher, it would be financially beneficial to the poor and working class, please. Its actually sad to think anyone could believe that garbage.

    May 19, 2014 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  18. it must be said

    Let freedom ring!! Let freedom of speech and the marketplace of free ideas work!! Let the people decide what and who they believe!! NO GOVERNMENT CENSORSHIP OF POLITICAL SPEECH!! NO LEFTIST DICTATORSHIP IN THE USA!!!

    May 19, 2014 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  19. ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    "I wonder why the LSM hasn't reported the fact that MANY CONGRESSIONAL DEMOCRAT SENATORS were pressuring the IRS to go after TEA Party and other conservative groups, just as you are suggesting? Carl Levin actually provided them with a list of targets! Yeah, yeah, I know... nothing there, just another false conspiracy. It was all just one massive coincidence."

    Levin sent an email to the IRS asking whether it was sending out additional info requests to applicant groups, given the proliferation of these groups after Citizens United. He cited a 1997 IRS rejection letter to National Policy Forum (Haley Barbour's old group), and asked the Shulman of the IRS, asking whether it was still the position fo the IRS that 501(c)(4) groups could not engage in nay partisan political activity (even as a secondary activity).

    These are all legitimate questions – and not anything close to "pressuring" the IRS. And Levin citing the rejection letter for a conservative group? Big whoop – there were probably more for conservative groups than progressive to choose from.

    GET OVER IT!

    May 19, 2014 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  20. ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    @Donna
    Rudy NYC: "You can now legally bribe politicians.
    -

    "Unions have been doing it with Democrats for decades. Where was your outrage?"
    ___
    Trust Donna to say the dumbest thing. Unions have to disclose the contributors and the amounts. Groups like American Crossroads do not. Use the Internets to read up on the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act, which requires unions disclose all sources of income that adds up to more than $5,000.

    Or in other words, Donna: You epic fail AGAIN.

    May 19, 2014 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  21. CryBabies

    Donna....".But that doesn't count" or "its not the same thing". The blinders are on all the time to simple facts .

    May 19, 2014 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  22. Rudy NYC

    Donna wrote:

    "You can now legally bribe politicians."

    Unions have been doing it with Democrats for decades. Where was your outrage?
    -----------------------------------------
    Nowhere. I am not prone to fits rage against the machine. What makes you think unions were bribing Democrats, and where is your proof of it? My post advocated campaign finance reform.

    May 19, 2014 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  23. Name JK. SFL. THE GOP HOWDEE GOWDEE SHOW with special guest ISSA the CLOWN

    Does that mean we have toils remand have our ears ASSAULTED by the PROFESSIONAL LIER ,kkkarl rove from the GOP??????

    May 19, 2014 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  24. The REAL Truth...

    @it must be said – Let freedom ring!! Let freedom of speech and the marketplace of free ideas work!! Let the people decide what and who they believe!! NO GOVERNMENT CENSORSHIP OF POLITICAL SPEECH!! NO LEFTIST DICTATORSHIP IN THE USA!!!
    --------------------------–
    Yes, it must be said the free speech allows posting of this BS. No matter how fascist one is, 1st Amendment rights DO NOT extent to free flowing LEGAL corruption of the political process. You should hang out a banner... FOR SALE: US Congress, State and Local politicians...

    May 19, 2014 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  25. Rudy NYC

    tom l

    "You can now legally bribe politicians"
    =====

    As if that hasn't always been the case....

    So let me ask you this Rudy, if they can now be legally bribed, why do you support one side over the other? They are now both legally bribed according to you....
    ---------------------------–
    Uh, because I supported one side or the other in the past.
    Let me point out the obvious to you. Your guy can be bribed, too. Why do you support him?

    May 19, 2014 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
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