Expect to be bombarded in the near future with vitriolic campaign ads paid for by organizations that Karl Rove helped attain financing for.
American Crossroads and Crossroads Grassroots Political Strategies are poised to spend a minimum of $2 billion between now and the end of the 2012 campaign season. Both groups are financed by the Republican party under Karl Rove’s direction and are ostensibly grassroots, populist political organizations that file taxes like other non-profits do.
As a result of theCitizens v. Federal Election Commission Supreme Court decision in 2008, corporations, non-profits, and unions are legally able finance campaign ads and media buys because of free speech. Prior to the landmark decision, campaign ads and media buys were regulated by the McCain-Feingold Act and past Supreme Court decisions which limited the powers of corporations.
The fear that Citizens v. Federal Election Commission will grant corporations and Republicans more power in elections is the truth because traditionally Republicans outspend Democrats in elections because many have more wealth at their disposal and many corporations have large amounts of cash on hand to spend in this way. The reality that corporations can buy elections is downright frightening given that a majority of US corporations have proven that they are without consciences.
In the last election cycle, Republicans outspent Democrats by a large amount. If Republicans spend the $2 billion they are in planning to in the next election cycle, it is likely they will outspend the Democrats by far.
There is a chance that the IRS will rule that one or more of the organizations funded with Karl Rove’s assistance does not meet the requirements to file their taxes as a non-profit under the IRS guidelines for a 501(c)(4). The beauty of a 501(c)(4)
filing status for Republicans lies in the fact that a non-profit filing under this status can finance political ads without limits and without having to disclose its donors. The IRS guidelines require the non-profits to spend over 50% of their time on social activities which aren’t related to elections. Given Karl Rove’s sneakiness and the reputation of these new organizations already, I’m skeptical that Crossroads is meeting that goal.