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GOP groups take stock after $380M loss



Published: Fri, November 9, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.

Associated Press

WASHINGTON

Republican-leaning independent groups were supposed to be a key to victory for Mitt Romney. But they ended up being among the big losers of the presidential race, spending an eye-popping $380 million on ads to oust President Barack Obama only to come up woefully short.

Unleashed by the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, which allowed wealthy individuals and corporations to spend freely to influence elections, these super political-action committees and other groups played a big role in GOP victories in 2010 — only to fall down badly two years later in their first national electoral test. Republican losses from the top of the ticket on down are forcing the groups’ leaders to re-examine their strategy and determine how best to spend their donors’ money going forward.

Among those feeling the sting of defeat:

American Crossroads and its nonprofit arm, Crossroads GPS. Together, the two groups spent $180 million on ads to oust Obama.

The Crossroads organization, co-founded by former President George W. Bush’s longtime political counselor Karl Rove, also spent $76 million on ads to help Republicans running in competitive Senate seats, but the GOP lost five of seven of those races. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce spent $33 million on ads for losing Republican Senate candidates.

Restore Our Future, a super PAC founded by former Romney advisers specifically to boost him, spent $91 million on commercials. Americans for Prosperity and American Future Fund, two nonprofits founded by the billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch, together spent about $66 million on presidential- campaign ads.

Several smaller groups rounded out the total, including the Republican Jewish Committee, the Ending Spending Action Fund, and Thomas Petterfy, a Hungarian-American billionaire who spent $2.8 million on ads he starred in himself.

Several other enormously wealthy donors also saw their investments in outside groups apparently go down the drain:

Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam, were the top contributors to Republican-leaning groups. The couple gave at least $53 million to organizations supporting former House Speaker Newt Gingrich during the GOP nominating period and later to groups trying to help Romney, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks campaign spending.

Texas-based leveraged buyout specialist Harold Simmons and his wife, Annette, contributed $24 million; Texas builder Bob Perry gave $21 million, and TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts gave nearly $13 million.

Carl Forti, a senior strategist for the Crossroads groups and Restore Our Future, said the ads run by outside groups helped mitigate Obama’s fundraising advantage and kept Romney in the game.


Comments

1fd6636(255 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

All that money pissed down the drain. WHY would these ultra-wealthy would put all these millions into Romney? So they could have a puppet in position to satisify all their personal greedy ambitions thats why. Oh yea, its for betterment of our country. Foolish IDIOTS!!!! All that moneys could of went to some good! Proves Obamas Right, Raise their taxes!!!! They have proven now that they do have the money for higher payment of their fair shares! One thing these "richies" cant buy: A majority of votes!!! F-k um!!!

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2jeepers(127 comments)posted 1 year, 10 months ago

Just where did the money go? Maybe to employees of advertising companies who produced the ads. Maybe to employees of radio/television/internet companies. Also, employees of printing co.s got some of the "wasted" money. You can call it wasted, I choose to think of the jobs it created, and supported. I am sure all of you know how these richer than you people should have spent THEIR money. REMEMBER THIS-even YOU are richer than somebody-soon the government will take more of your money for the re-distribution of your wealth.

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