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American Crossroads Group, Organized under Sec. 527, Raises Millions

By Greg Goodsell
June 29th, 2010
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Some of the Republican Party's best-known insiders are building an ambitious fundraising machine for the upcoming fall elections. The group, called American Crossroads, is trying to reach its goal of raising $52 million by November. American Crossroads is a 527 organization, named for a section in the tax law that is exempt from limits on campaign fundraising and spending that apply to party-affiliated groups.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The group got off to a good start with a $1 million contribution from Trevor Rees-Jones, president of Dallas-based Chief Oil and Gas. However - there was some consternation when the group announced that it had only raised $200 for the entire month of May.

Former U.S. Chamber of Commerce lawyer and now president of American Crossroads, Steven Law has said the group has about $30 million in pledges that Rove, Gillespie and others secured during recent trips to various cities.

"We feel very good about the progress we've made," Law said.

He said the idea for American Crossroads grew from talks last fall from fellow conservatives who feel liberals outhustled the GOP after the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law in 2002. He says that subsequent court rulings set new limits - and opportunities - for political activities.

The goal, Law said, is to build "an enduring and robust outside organization that can, in the long run, compete with the very successful groups the Democrats have built."

Four affiliated political groups are working closely with American Crossroads. They freely admit that they are trying to catch up with Democratic rivals. The groups are Resurgent Republic, which "seeks to replicate on the right the success Democracy Corps has enjoyed on the left," it says on its Web site; the American Action Network, which will conduct polls, place TV ads and provide other services for conservative candidates; American Action Forum, a related "policy institute," and the Republican State Leadership Committee, a 527 group that helps Republicans in state elections.

Most surprisingly, American Crossroads has no qualms about backing tea party favorites. Among its first actions was spending $360,000 on TV ads in Nevada criticizing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who faces tea party-backed Republican Sharron Angle this fall.

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