Nonprofit profile: Crossroads GPS

Quick stats on Crossroads GPS, supporting Republicans

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Type of organization: 501(c)(4)

Employer Identification Number: 27-2753378

Supports: Republican candidates

Founded: 2010

Location: Washington, D.C.

Website: crossroadsgps.org

Social media: Facebook pageTwitter profile, YouTube channel

Finances:

For the group's fiscal year that ran from June 1, 2010, through May 31, 2011:

  • Total revenue: $48.4 million
  • Total expenses: $25.6 million
  • Net assets: $6.1 million

IRS Form 990 filing: 2010, 2011

Principals:

  • Steven Law (president): Deputy secretary of the Labor Department under President George W. Bush; also served as executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee in 1998 and 2000. He was chief of staff for Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., from 1991 to 1997. He also served as chief counsel to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
  • Karl Rove (co-founder, strategist and fundraiser): Former political stragetist for President George W. Bush.
  • Ed Gillespie (co-founder): Former chairman of the Republican National Committee and an adviser to President George W. Bush. In April, he became an adviser of GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s campaign.
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  • Both Rove and Gillespie were also founding advisers of American Crossroads, the super PAC closely linked to Crossroads GPS.

Profile:

The Karl Rove co-founded nonprofit Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies, or Crossroads GPS for short, broke its own spending records in 2012.

Crossroads GPS’s $17 million outlay made it one of the biggest outside spenders in the 2010 midterm elections, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Between January 2011 and mid-June of 2012 alone Crossroads GPS spent more than $44 million on broadcast, cable and radio ads in the presidential and congressional races, the the Center for Public Integrity reported. And by Election Day, Crossroads GPS reported spending nearly $71 million on political advertisements to the Federal Election Commission — including issue ads aired within the final weeks of an election and ads that expressly advocated for or against candidates.

As a 501(c)(4) nonprofit, Crossroads GPS can raise unlimited funds from individuals, corporations or trade associations — and must report donors of $5,000 or more to the Internal Revenue Service. But it needn’t publicly disclose its funders.

Its first tax forms show two dozen of its 96 contributors gave at least $1 million since its inception, but the forms do not list the donors’ names.

One of those donors was the Republican Jewish Coaltion, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit, which gave $4 million to Crossroads GPS in 2010, according to research by the Center for Responsive Politics.

Crossroads GPS threw support behind Heather Wilson, a former congresswoman from New Mexico who ran as a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate. Wilson sat on the Crossroads GPS board of directors from August 2010 to February 2011. In the summer of 2011, Rove headlined a fundraiser for the ultimately unsuccessful Wilson.

Crossroads GPS also backed GOP Senate candidates in several other contentious races, including Virginia, Nevada, Ohio, Wisconsin, Indiana, Montana and North Dakota. The group did not report any independent expenditures in U.S. House races until September, as the Center for Public Integrity noted at the time.

Overall, Crossroads GPS saw seven of its 24 preferred candidates win during the 2012 election cycle, including GOP Sen. Dean Heller, won beat back a challenge from Democratic Rep. Shelley Berkley in Nevada.

Crossroads GPS is linked closely with the super PAC American Crossroads, both of which were created in 2010. Together, they raised $123 million through the end of 2011. Sixty-two percent of this money went to GPS, according to a Center for Public Integrity report.

See more data on Crossroads GPS at OpenSecrets.org.

Advertisements:

  • Stopwatch” ran on June 5 for two weeks in 10 states, “backed by a $7 million ad buy,” according to GPS. The ad, which ran in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, New Hampshire, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia, criticized the Obama administration’s handling of the national debt.
  • Too Much attacked Obama for rising gas prices and urged voters to call a White House phone number to support “better energy policies.”
  • Basketball” featured a mother who supported Obama in 2008 “because he spoke so beautifully.” Now she’s concerned about the national debt, the healthcare law and her kids’ future.
  • "Priorities" opposed Rep. Tim Bishop, D.N.Y. He barely eaked out a victory in 2010 against Republican businessman Randy Altschuler, who unsuccessfully tried again in 2012 to unseat him.
  • For more ads, see Crossroads GPS's YouTube channel.

Last updated: Jan. 22, 2013