It can be hard to keep track of the myriad outside spending groups with similar names that flood the airwaves with negative ads. To help keep them separate, ThinkProgress will be posting regular profiles of right-wing groups that are taking advantage of the Citizens United ruling to flood the airways with independent attack ads. Here is Part 1.
Created in 2010, Crossroads GPS is a tax-exempt 501(c)(4) organization co-founded by former George W. Bush campaign architect Karl Rove and Mitt Romney campaign adviser and former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie. Ironically, Gillespie in 2007 blasted the growing role of similar outside political groups, telling the Center for Public Integrity that independent spenders now “run wild, unfettered, unregulated, not subject to the same rules and regulations as the national parties. And I think that’s been incredibly unhealthy.”
As a 501(c)(4), the group is not legally required to identify its donors — unlike its affiliated Super PAC, American Crossroads. Crossroads GPS notes on its website that its policy is “to not provide the names of its donors to the general public.” It has spent millions of dollars running attack ads against Democrats, including a $25 million blitz against President Obama announced last month.
Sample Crossroads GPS ad: