American Crossroads back in the game
May 19th, 2014
03:02 PM ET
9 years 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.

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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. salty dog

    Unions, who represent tens if thousands of workers, you don't know jack

    May 19, 2014 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  2. Tommy G

    Carl Levin wasn't the only Democrat pressuring the IRS to target conservative and TEA PArty groups. There were MANY OF THEM. This was a well organized and coordinated effort to silence their political opposition.

    You will hear the response from the targeted grous and people this November.

    May 19, 2014 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  3. Gurgyl

    --Halliburton is a biggest bribe, where are you, Donna? Reagan Trickle-Down is a bribe by tax evading lobby, where r u?

    May 19, 2014 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    "Let freedom ring!! Let freedom of speech and the marketplace of free ideas work!!"

    Except they're not free. They cost millions of dollars if you want them to be heard and you are effectively rendered silent if you can't compete because you can't afford the price-tag for being heard. Moreover, there is no conceivable justification in the universe that those millions of dollars should be tax exempt, although it would amuse me to no end to see one of the typical Teatrolls who posts here attempt an argument to that effect.

    May 19, 2014 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  5. Thomas

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


    I'm with you on that !

    We need a vote on that .

    May 19, 2014 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  6. Former republican, now an independent

    Before the Supreme Court put U.S. Elections up for sale to the highest bidder, funding came from the citizens of the U.S. Now we have no idea where the money comes from, and with Karl Rove's close ties to Saudi Arabia, I suspect they are channeling millions through Rove and this organization to influence American elections.

    May 19, 2014 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  7. rs

    ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    If corporations are people, what's the gender of Koch Industries?
    Wrong question. What religion does Koch Petrochemical practice?

    May 19, 2014 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  8. Silence DoGood

    @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!!!
    Giving the country over to corporations and a small set of rich people is freedom to you? I think a civics lesson or at least a good dictionary is in order.

    May 19, 2014 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  9. don in albuquerque

    Thats both sides sweetie pie. Forgetting a few groups. It is bribery made holy.

    May 19, 2014 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  10. RANDEL

    that's the face of the republican party; old, rich, angry white guy. now for sure Obama has been a poor president in my opinion but he's no where near as bad as his predecessor. Obama hasn't started any personal wars for glory and mortgaged the country to pay for it. Obama is stuck paying interest on Bush's loans from China while busy botching the healthcare reform Americans wanted and voted him in to do. but guys like this ex police chief mirror what's wrong with this country. it's still not inclusive but rather exclusive and it tends to be these guys in charge. all good? no, it's not.

    May 19, 2014 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    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....

    You continually blog your support of Republican dogma yet single out his comment for criticism?

    May 19, 2014 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
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