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Israel writes: "The non-partisan Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed complaints Thursday with both the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) alleging that Karl Rove and his secretive Crossroads GPS violated election law and may have engaged in a criminal conspiracy to do so."

Karl Rove. (photo: Getty Images)
Karl Rove. (photo: Getty Images)


Watchdog: Karl Rove and Crossroads GPS Broke Election Law

By Josh Israel, Think Progress

17 November 12

 

he non-partisan Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed complaints Thursday with both the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) alleging that Karl Rove and his secretive Crossroads GPS violated election law and may have engaged in a criminal conspiracy to do so.

Under campaign finance law and FEC regulations, 501(c)(4) groups, like Crossroads GPS, can raise unlimited funds from wealthy individuals and corporations without having to disclose their donors. The only time donors to these secretive groups must be disclosed is when donors give more than $200 explicitly "for the purpose of furthering an independent expenditure."

According to CREW, Rove expressly asked for and received millions of dollars in contributions specifically to fund an independent expenditure effort in support of unsuccessful Republican Ohio Senate nominee Josh Mandel:

Federal law requires any outside group that makes an independent expenditure to disclose the donors who contributed to pay for such ads. Groups like Crossroads GPS normally evade this law by claiming none of their contributions were earmarked for a specific purpose. At an August 2012 fundraiser, however, Rove said an anonymous donor gave Crossroads GPS $3 million specifically for the Ohio Senate race, and told Rove it was a "matching challenge" dependent on the group raising another $3 million for the race. Crossroads GPS ended up spending $6.36 million on independent expenditures in the Ohio race, but did not disclose any donors in nine reports the group filed with the FEC.

CREW also notes that, in a 2011 letter to the FEC, Crossroads GPS said that it "understands the applicable reporting regulations" and that, should it receive "any contributions that are required to be reported," it would do so as required. Given this, CREW argues, the violations "were deliberate" and "are subject to criminal as well as civil penalties."

The Rove comment in question was reported in Bloomberg Businessweek in September. That article quoted Rove as saying a donor told him "I'll give ya' $3 million, matching challenge," and that "Bob Castellini, owner of the Cincinnati Reds, is helping raise the other $3 million for that one." Crossroads GPS would end up spending just over $6 million on the Ohio Senate race.

Tara Malloy, senior counsel at the Campaign Legal Center, told ThinkProgress that if the allegations are true, it "seems reasonable to assume the main contributor gave for the purpose of furthering that expenditure or at least that these allegations warrant an FEC investigation." But, she notes, the three Republican appointees on the deadlocked six-member Federal Election Commission often block enforcement efforts of this type and have previously noted a difference between contributions furthering independent expenditures in general — and contributions specifically furthering a particular independent expenditure. Even if Rove raised the money to fund independent expenditures in the Ohio Senate race, that interpretation of the rule would require proof that he discussed with them the exact ads before the donation.

Still, she observed, "The allegations are troubling… One would hope the FEC might investigate this matter."

Crossroads GPS may also be in hot water for its apparent failure to register as a charity in Virginia, as required by law.

 

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+159 # MainStreetMentor 2012-11-17 13:21
In an earlier post, on another topic, I stated I was not one to will ill against another, but in the case of Karl Rove I was tempted to make an exception. Well ... this IS that exception. With all his ultimately miscreant works against the People of the United States, I must confess I hope the filing of these complaints result in criminal prosecutions of the "players" and the designers of these efforts.
 
 
+37 # AMLLLLL 2012-11-17 21:25
Main St., remember that magazine cover (Newsweek?) with the picture of Roger Ailes and his exploding cigar? I hope they make one of Rove like that.
 
 
+9 # kelly 2012-11-19 10:47
Considering the last election, the same picture could be appropriate...b ut instead of a cigar in Ailes' mouth, substitute Karl Rove.
 
 
+3 # AMLLLLL 2012-11-22 07:36
I like what you've done here, Kelly!
 
 
+84 # maddave 2012-11-17 23:35
And let us hope that an FBI investigation of Rove and Crossroads GPS uncovers the identities of ALL of Superpac is donors, domestic AND foreign. It is absolutely inconceivable that--- given such an open invitation to influence our elections by our Supreme Court--- that the likes of China, Russia, Korea, Israel, the Arab States, etc would NOT attempt to interfere with our National Elections.

CLANDESTINE FOREIGN TAMPERING WITH OUR ELECTIONS IS ANOTHER MAJOR REASON WHY CITIZENS UNITED MUST BE REVERSED!
 
 
+48 # Joe Bob 2012-11-18 00:12
That FatHead thinks he can do anything he wants to.... hung out with Cheney too long, I suppose.
 
 
+32 # in deo veritas 2012-11-18 07:52
They should both hang out together in prison. They will hang out forever in hell.
 
 
+7 # tm7devils 2012-11-19 17:47
There is no hell...it's up to us to create it for them!
 
 
+22 # doneasley 2012-11-18 14:07
Quoting Joe Bob:
That FatHead thinks he can do anything he wants to.... hung out with Cheney too long, I suppose.


Rove was a filthy, sleazy, traitorous dirtball long before Cheney came along. He should've long ago been UNDER THE JAIL.
 
 
+10 # kelly 2012-11-19 10:49
He and Cheney met when he was president of the young republicans when he was in college. It was also when he met George H.W. It was a match made in hell for the rest of us.
 
 
+35 # LeeBlack 2012-11-18 08:19
The hearings which were being demanded by McCain and Graham last week should have been shelved by the media and replaced by calling for hearings on CrossRoads.

A criminal investigation of this kind would do more than almost any other actions for sinking Citizens United.
 
 
+18 # robniel 2012-11-18 10:19
Quoting MainStreetMentor:
I must confess I hope the filing of these complaints result in criminal prosecutions of the "players" and the designers of these efforts.


Go farther -- hope for convictions and lenghty sentences.
 
 
+78 # erogers 2012-11-17 13:44
The laws do not apply to Karl Rove. He has yet to see a law that he feels should apply to him or his Crossroads GPS. By the way, just what in the hell does that silly name stand for?
 
 
+22 # BlueReview 2012-11-18 06:06
"Grassroots Policy Strategies"




"Grassroots" my a**.
 
 
+21 # in deo veritas 2012-11-18 07:53
The GPS is the main road to perdition. The road the Rethugs have been leading us down for decades.
 
 
+28 # in deo veritas 2012-11-18 07:56
Rove's outing of Valerie Plame weakened our CIA effectiveness and is therefore against the national interest. Thus by definition an act of treason. Why the hell has he not been made to pay for that? It would be a good way for Holder to justify the office he holds.
 
 
+110 # NanFan 2012-11-17 13:46
Time to throw the thieving, lying Rove ASS in jail! Go get 'em.

N.
 
 
+77 # lasholiver72 2012-11-17 14:35
So can Rove and his ilk go to prison NOW? So tired of him and his slimy co-conspirators !
 
 
+33 # CAMUS1111 2012-11-17 15:28
Rove was too busy blo*ng Marcus Bachmann or vice versa--the pillsbury doughboy and speedy alka seltzer caught on film. Talk about denial.
 
 
+11 # in deo veritas 2012-11-18 07:57
Sorry I missed seeing that. I would not want to watch right after eating a meal.
 
 
+74 # sibbaldflats 2012-11-17 17:59
Rove really is the enduring face of the GOP. He's such a persistent reminder of sleaze and depravity, yet his party still managed to grab nearly half the vote. Does Rove, or the equally persistent voter suppression not matter to these people? In a sane country, these factors alone would automatically mean a complete electoral slaughter; they shouldn't stand a chance. You know the "fringe" parties that don't get an invite to the big debates? This Rovian crap should have reduced the GOP to that.
 
 
+25 # georip 2012-11-17 22:21
There is a lot of talk about how the GOP is going to have to reform itself to be of any relevance in coming elections. It would be a big hurdle for them to make to have to, once again, disavow the crooked old guard of the Bush Machine. Instead the Bush Regime may come marching back in with Jeb the Bush, southern governor and confederate rebel. There is a civil war going on, after all.

I think you are right, Rove, or Rumsfeld, or Cheney, or any supporters of the Bush Cabal, are the enduring face of the GOP. Mitt Romney offered a pin striped continuation of the same falsity. The greed component will ultimately destroy them, but they have come close to destroying us all.
 
 
+11 # doneasley 2012-11-18 14:37
Quoting georip:
... Mitt Romney offered a pin striped continuation of the same falsity. The greed component will ultimately destroy them, but they have come close to destroying us all.


You're so right, Georip. If Mendacious Mitt and Lyin' Ryan had won the White House, it would have meant the final nail in the coffin for America as we know it. It still amazes me that a supposedly "credible" candidate can build an entire campaign on a foundation of lies.

And for sibbaldflats, above, you're right "In a sane country... they shouldn't stand a chance." But you didn't take into account the race factor (including voter suppression), which cost the Obama campaign several percentage points in the election results. No one knows how much a factor it was, but blind hatred for the Black Man in their White House was definitely a factor.
 
 
+21 # dick 2012-11-17 23:07
WHY didn't Obama reopen the Valerie Plame case? Turdblossom has a Get Out of Jail Free card, just like criminal banksters.
 
 
+17 # robniel 2012-11-18 10:23
With a second term assured the administration should now go after all the lawbreakers in the previous administration starting with Rove and Cheney.
 
 
+18 # lourdmar 2012-11-18 00:34
Another chance at putting this criminal away....no time to waste.
 
 
+30 # Regina 2012-11-18 00:55
Karl Rove is a Republican bigwig. That exempts him from the law. The Republican upper crusties all think that "freedom" means immunity from laws, regulations, taxes, and mathematics, for their special status. That's why they reacted with such shock at Obama's reelection-- they presumed that they would just coast to victory, because they were so obviously entitled.
 
 
+26 # dovelane1 2012-11-18 01:08
It's been written that the poor will sometimes rebel when being governed poorly. The rich, like Rove, on the other hand, rebel against being governed at all.

His intent, as with his co-contributors , is to have power over others, not to have power with others. And power over the environment, not power with.

He has come to believe he's above the law, and above being responsible for the consequences of his decisions.

I suspect he believes his intentions are "pure and worthy," so when he makes decisions, he focuses solely on his intentions, and then, he can rationalize away every consequence of every decision he makes.

Of course, in his own mind, he is never wrong about anything. Ironically, this probably makes him more wrong about a lot of things.
 
 
+26 # Helen 2012-11-18 04:58
It seems to me that we need a new FEC.
 
 
+21 # Tzul el Chapin 2012-11-18 06:35
Karl Rove is an evil being.
 
 
+5 # JSRaleigh 2012-11-18 07:32
I expect the Obama administration to prosecute Rove just as soon as they get finished prosecuting the criminals on Wall Street.
 
 
+4 # DPM 2012-11-18 21:15
We should never refer to Rove as anything but "Criminal Rove". Always the two words together. Spoken or written.
 
 
+4 # Grouper34 2012-11-19 09:30
This appears to me a minor complaint given the enormity of Rove's flouting of IRS regulations pertaining to 501(c)(4) organizations, among others that the organization is primarily a "social welfare" organization. Crossroads GPS doesn't qualify at all and its tax-exemption should be revoked. Furthermore, it should be fined for failure to comply with the law in the first place.
 
 
+5 # spenel334 2012-11-19 13:32
spenel334
It's about time someone tried to nab this sociopath, not that I have much hope. Breaking the law is nothing to him, but he has been smart enough to get away with it repeatedly. He was one of those guilty of revealing Valerie Plame's identity, but his lawyer learned somehow that the prosecutor knew Rove had lied, so Rove then went to the prosecutor and admitted having done so. Since he could only have been prosecuted for lying, he emerged unscathed. George Bush would have pardoned him anyway. But some of his actions have been egregious and outrageous, not to mention any other 'ous es', so it would be nice if he could at least be banished from politics. However I haven't heard of that penalty anytime in the recent past.
 
 
+2 # tm7devils 2012-11-19 18:01
... but he has been smart enough to get away with it repeatedly...
No, the exec branch and the JAG know what he has done...they just won't do anything about it!
Can someone explain that to me...
Justice is a four letter word...who knew?
 
 
+5 # ghostperson 2012-11-19 21:51
Rove is a sociopath with advanced malignant narcissism. It is time he paid the piper. Why he wasn't charged in the Plame affair is beyond me? There is something malign and evil in these Republicans without visible necks and chins: Limbaugh, Rover, Beck et eux. My fondest wish is that Rove go the way of McCarthy. Humiliated, ruined and revealed for his hypocrisy like Larry Craig.
 

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