Bloomberg News

One Donor Gave One-Third of Pro-Republican Group's Funds

April 17, 2012

Former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove at the Republican National Committee's meeting. Photographer: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove at the Republican National Committee's meeting. Photographer: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies, a nonprofit group affiliated with Republican adviser Karl Rove, got more than one-third of its revenue in the last seven months of 2011 from a single, unidentified donor, according to documents filed with the Internal Revenue Service.

According to the forms, $10 million of the group’s revenue from June 1 to Dec. 31, 2011, which totaled $28.4 million, came from the donor. The next highest contribution, from a different donor, was $4.3 million, according to the forms.

Nonprofits incorporated as 501(c)(4) organizations, like Crossroads GPS, don’t have to identify their donors, unlike groups operating expressly as political action committees. Crossroads GPS spent more than $17 million on ads to help elect Republicans in 2010, Federal Election Commission reports show.

“I’m quite certain this is where the corporate money is going,” said Craig Holman, a lobbyist for Public Citizen, a Washington-based advocacy group that favors stronger campaign finance laws. “For the most part, the wealthy individuals who want the president to know who paid for the White House are in the super-PACs. The corporations who don’t want their customers to know who they’re funding are in the 501cs.”

Crossroads said it took in $77 million from June 1, 2010, through Dec. 31, 2011. It also received a single contribution of $10.1 million before June 1, 2011, as well as donations of $5 million, $4.5 million and $4 million.

Sharing the Wealth

The group shared its largesse with other Republican-leaning nonprofits. Crossroads contributed $500,000 to the American Action Network, headed by former Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman, which spent more than $19 million on ads to elect Republicans in 2010; and $50,000 to the 60 Plus Association, which supports privatizing Social Security and spent more than $7 million on ads on behalf of Republican congressional candidates in 2010.

In addition, Crossroads gave $3.7 million to the National Federation of Independent Business, which is suing to overturn President Barack Obama’s health-care law that expands coverage to millions of uninsured Americans. NFIB reported spending more than $1 million on ads to help elect Republicans in 2010, as well as another $1.5 million that it kept hidden and said was exempt from requirements that it disclose campaign spending.

To contact the reporters on this story: Heidi Przybyla in Washington at hprzybyla@bloomberg.net; Jonathan D. Salant in Washington at jsalant@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jeanne Cummings at jcummings21@bloomberg.net.


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