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Fitzgerald reports: "Karl Rove and his investors were the biggest losers on Election Day."

Karl Rove did not get a good return on the $176 million dollars spent by his PAC on the 2012 election. (photo: CNN)
Karl Rove did not get a good return on the $176 million dollars spent by his PAC on the 2012 election. (photo: CNN)

Karl Rove's $176 Million Strikeout

By Alison Fitzgerald, Bloomberg News

09 November 12


Karl Rove and his investors were the biggest losers on Election Day.

he Republican strategist created the model for outside money groups that raised and spent more than $1 billion on the Nov. 6 elections - many of which saw almost no return for their money.

Rove, through his two political outfits, American Crossroads and Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies, backed unsuccessful Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney with $127 million on more than 82,000 television spots, according to Kantar Media's CMAG, an ad tracker based in New York.

Down the ballot, 10 of the 12 Senate candidates and four of the nine House candidates the Rove groups supported also lost their races.

The results have angered some Republicans who blame Rove for "sidelining conservatives" and diverting money from them.

"Right now there is stunned disbelief that Republicans fared so poorly after all the money they invested," said Brent Bozell, president of For America, an Alexandria, Va.-based nonprofit that advocates for Christian values in politics. "If I had 1/100th of Karl Rove's money, I would have been more productive than he was."

Donald Trump posted a message on Twitter saying: "Congrats to @KarlRove on blowing $400 million this cycle. Every race @CrossroadsGPS ran ads in, the Republicans lost. What a waste of money."

Jonathan Collegio, a Crossroads spokesman, declined to comment. Attempts to reach Rove were unsuccessful.

Rove argued Thursday that Romney lost in part because President Barack Obama outspent him on TV when outside groups are taken out of the equation.

"This shows that money does matter in politics," Rove said on Fox News, where he is a paid commentator. In hindsight, Romney should have used his resources to defend himself because that isn't the strong suit of groups like Crossroads, Rove said.

Obama aired more than twice as many ads on local broadcast and nation cable as Romney during the general election, according to CMAG. However, when outside groups such as the ones Rove steers are added in, each side had about the same number of ads on TV.

The Election Day results showed Rove's strategy of bringing in huge donations from a few wealthy benefactors and spending that money almost completely on television advertising failed. The Center for Responsive Politics estimates the two Crossroads groups spent about $176 million, making them the top non- candidate and non-party spender of the election. Rove has bragged of raising more than $300 million for his groups.

American Crossroads, a super-political action committee, discloses its contributors and spending to the Federal Election Commission. Its affiliate, Crossroads GPS, is organized as a nonprofit social-welfare group that conceals its donors and reports only a fraction of its political activities.

"If the rule in politics is you win or lose by the election results, Karl Rove is a big-time loser in the 2012 presidential and congressional races," said Fred Wertheimer, president of Democracy 21, which advocates for limits to campaign spending.

Still, "Karl Rove certainly knows how to make a lot of money for political consultants and TV stations," he said.

Democrats also piled on. "If Crossroads were a business, and Rove was the CEO, he'd be fired for getting a poor return on his investment," New York Sen. Charles Schumer, the chamber's third-ranking Democrat, told reporters Thursday at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast.

The return on investment for American Crossroads donors was 1 percent, according to an analysis by the Sunlight Foundation, a Washington-based group that advocates for open government. The group calculated the number based on how much of the money was spent supporting winners.

For donors to sister-organization Crossroads GPS, the success rate was 13 percent, the group said. That's a lower return than for donations to the National Republican Congressional Committee and to the two major Democratic congressional super-PACs, according to Sunlight.

Houston homebuilder Bob Perry gave $7.5 million to Rove's American Crossroads and another $8 million to Restore Our Future, a super-PAC that supported Romney. He also gave $1 million to Independence Virginia, a super-PAC that backed former Republican governor George Allen in a U.S. Senate race. Allen, with 47 percent support, lost to another former governor, Democrat Tim Kaine, who won 52 percent of the vote. Even after the losses, Perry spokesman Anthony Holm said the super-donor has no regrets.

"Bob Perry will always support efficient government and pro-liberty and opportunity agendas, always," Holm said in a telephone interview. "He was proud to do it this election cycle and is likely to continue into the next cycle."

The Crossroads groups spent $10.2 million in an effort to oust Ohio Democrat Sherrod Brown from the Senate, and overall outside groups spent much more. Brown beat his opponent, State Treasurer Josh Mandel, 50.3 percent to 45.1 percent, with an independent candidate winning 4.6 percent of votes cast.

"His brand of politics is pretty discredited," Brown said of Rove on a conference call. "He thought spending $40 million against me and against the president would bring us down."

Rove was particularly upset about Romney's Ohio loss. A former adviser to George W. Bush, he was acting as a commentator on Fox News when the network called the state for Obama. Rove, on air, said he didn't believe it. He continued to argue with the newscasters while shuffling through papers and calling Ohio's secretary of state and Romney's campaign manager for more information.

"This is premature. We've got a quarter of the vote" outstanding, he said. Fox didn't withdraw its Ohio call for Obama and neither did other networks, predictions that ultimately proved true when the final votes were counted.

Rove's groups spent $11.4 million in their bid to defeat Kaine in Virginia. They spent $7.76 million trying to unseat Florida Sen. Bill Nelson, according to CMAG. Nelson, a Democrat, held his seat as well. The CMAG estimates are for ads on broadcast TV and national cable from April 10, 2012 through the day before the election.

The Crossroads groups bet successfully - although less than $200,000 - on Republican Deb Fischer to win an open seat in Nebraska.

On the House side, Rove scored wins in five of nine races. Among those winners was David Valadao of California's 21st District, where Crossroads GPS spent $437,390, and Republican Tom Latham who beat Democrat Leonard Boswell in Iowa with the help of $432,640 from Crossroads, according to CMAG.

Still, in Nevada's 4th District, where Crossroads was most active, Democrat Steven Horsford beat Republican Danny Tarkanian by almost eight percentage points.

Serving as a Democratic counterweight to Rove was Bill Burton, a former Obama aide who left the White House to form Priorities USA Action. That super-PAC raised and spent about $67 million, a fraction of the budgets for the pro-Romney groups that carried a 100 percent return with Obama's re-election victory.

"There will be a lot of questions raised about just how much bang for their buck Republicans got out of super-PACs," Burton said. "Billionaires on the Republican side are probably wondering what difference their contributions made in this election."

He said he spoke with many of his own large donors Thursday and described them as "ebullient."

Majority PAC, which aided Democratic Senate candidates, spent about $37 million, and 70 percent of that money was used in successful elections. House Majority PAC backed Democratic congressional candidates with $31 million; 44 percent went into winning races, the Sunlight study found.

Other groups emulated the Rove approach, bringing at least $306 million of untraceable donations into the 2012 races, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Americans for Prosperity, founded 10 years ago by industrial billionaires David and Charles Koch, didn't have much of a better night than the Rove groups.

The nonprofit group raised and spent $140 million this year, President Tim Phillips said in an interview.

It bought about $34 million in TV ads attacking Obama and urging people to vote him out. Its $14 million purchase of TV ads in Senate races also turned up few victories.

"We leveled the playing field, but we weren't quite able to get it done," he said.

The largest chunk of the money, $1.2 million, went into the Wisconsin Senate race, according to CMAG.

"Have you seen Tammy Baldwin's voting record?" a woman asks with disgust in a spot than ran about 800 times last month. Baldwin, the Democrat, won last night

The group also spent $622,400 on ads attacking Nelson in Florida, $513,000 on McCaskill in Missouri, $486,000 on Kaine in Virginia, $466,000 on Joe Donnelly in Indiana and Jon Tester in Montana. Those Democrats all won.

AFP made $754,000 in ad buys in Nebraska and Nevada and saw its preferred Republican candidates win in those races.

Phillips said the group is in politics for the long haul, and compared Republicans with Democrats in 2004, when they lost the White House, yet went on to win Congress in 2006 and the presidency in 2008.

Phillips has said he is modeling the group after voter- turnout efforts billionaire investor George Soros made in 2004. Soros put up $24 million - at the time a record - in a failed effort to defeat Bush.

"George was certainly disappointed at Bush's victory in 2004, but he did not feel that he had made a mistake," said Michael Vachon, his spokesman. "He felt he acted out of his conviction that Bush was leading the country in a dangerous direction."

Soros, however, pulled back on his political activities after the loss. It remains to be see whether rich Republicans will come back for another round after these results.

Sheldon Adelson, whose family's $53.4 million investment in federal candidates and outside groups made him 2012's top donor, didn't give money to American Crossroads. Yet he, too, saw his preferred elected officials swept away. Adelson, the 25th richest person in the world according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, is head of Las Vegas Sands Corp., the world's largest casino company.

While leaving Romney's post-election party in Boston last night, Adelson was asked by a Norwegian television reporter how his political donations were spent.

"By paying bills," he said. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+173 # MainStreetMentor 2012-11-09 15:17
I'm not one to wish ills on another. But, in the case of Karl Rove, I'm tempted to make an exception.
+112 # robniel 2012-11-10 00:34
One of Rove's excuses is that Romney lost momentum because of Superstorm Sandy, which was "an act of God". Well, excuse me, but doesn't that mean that in his belief system Romney's "God" acted to keep him out of the presidentcy?
+36 # sofi12 2012-11-10 13:28
Yes, robneil, one would think it does mean just that. The problem with these people (one of their problems) is that the "God" they are fond of invoking is quite homophobic, racist and mysoginistic. He is also all-male. I have questioned several theologians whom I consider to be bright and responsible, and they have all said "God" is both male and female. You might not know that if your religious reading has been exclusively the Bible, all of whose books were written by men in an age when women had the approximate status of cattle!
+1 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2012-11-14 19:54
Voltaire: "God is a comedian playing to an audience who is afraid to laugh." When Romney, Rove and others were prematurely laughing their way to the presidency, God was laughing at them.
+17 # BeaDeeBunker 2012-11-10 02:29
Tempt away, MSM!
+7 # AJJax 2012-11-10 08:12
smile, laugh, cheer, enjoy, and then read this, and get to work:
+143 # BradFromSalem 2012-11-09 15:27
This is scary. Just think how strong the Democratic win was last Tuesday. The massive propaganda campaign surely moved some votes to the Republicans, and they still lost. And they still complain. But their reaction of disbelief when they lost is the real eye opener.
They really believe the policies they want will work. By and large these bozos may be cynical, cheaters; but on top of that they are very stupid. They are so stupid that they are very dangerous.

I often jokingly say they must have missed school when they taught history or arithmetic. They really did. And since they really believe it, their sincere belief in stupid, unprovable ideas, and misinterpreted history is what many people pick up on. Scary.
+130 # NanFan 2012-11-09 17:30
Karl Rove has ALWAYS been "a loser," even when he drove W. to the White House right through the lying propaganda, vote rigging, and the Supreme Court.

The tyrants and people of hubris like Rove and his ilk ALWAYS get creamed in the end, because they push their Bit Lie up against the truth.

Truth always wins when people don't fear it, and that is what we saw in this election from the President on down.

Take a hike and hang out with the Donald, if he'll still talk to you, Rove. And don't count on the murky, confused Fox to keep you around much longer either...even they know when they've been "outed."

+92 # herman_the_german 2012-11-09 23:26
When W went to the White House the World lost. Rove is blind enough not to realize this.
0 # pwehrle 2012-11-10 10:34
ARe you the singer who lives in Simi??
0 # pwehrle 2012-11-10 10:35
Are you the fellow that was Erwin's friend??
+1 # herman_the_german 2012-11-11 11:32
I live in Chula Vista. Don't know any Erwins.
+54 # robniel 2012-11-10 00:28
Rove is so far inside the bubble that he cannot begin to believe that there are such things as facts.
+54 # WestWinds 2012-11-10 00:43
Rove has no more credibility any more. He is now the architect of the biggest political failure in the history of the US bar none.
+24 # hkatzman 2012-11-10 10:35
Quoting NanFan:
Truth always wins when people don't fear it, ...

NanFan, I think you've summed it up well here. Rove promoted fear of terrorists and Muslims to create the Bush/Republican victories.

He tried to create fear of Obama, but Obama was not scary enough for most of the country.

However, I wonder about that part of the country that he successfully got to fear Obama. How do we work alongside someone who so totally fears all possible compromises?
+2 # KittatinyHawk 2012-11-10 19:53
No fear of OB...Racists.
+1 # Sacrebleu! 2012-11-15 12:18
"The tyrants and people of hubris like Rove and his ilk ALWAYS get creamed in the end, because they push their Bit Lie up against the truth."

I unfortunately have to disagree: Hitler drove his country to near annihilation.
+48 # Todd Williams 2012-11-10 07:17
Brad, I'm too old to be scared of those assholes. I think it's pretty damn funny that my two Rethug friends who were still preaching crap to me the night of the election, are afraid to call me now. And I refuse to call them or gloat. It's just politics and we won!
+1 # bmiluski 2012-11-12 10:13
Unfortunately, given their nature, they'd have no problem calling you had you lost.
I recieved an anti-Obama e-mail the day after the election. They'll never stop. They're like zombies......
+33 # Sandy G 2012-11-10 07:38
...and the saddest part of the whole thing is that they (the Rabid Republicans) seem to think they won!
+19 # bingers 2012-11-10 19:37
Sadly you're exactly right. As I'm fond of saying, the only 5 reasons for voting Republican are ignorance, stupidity, insanity, bigotry and greed. There are no others.
+3 # bmiluski 2012-11-12 10:15
Those people cannot grasp the concept of responsibility. If something goes wrong it's always the big bad government's fault. To this day they will not accept the responsibility for leading our country to the edge of the financial abyss when they voted for gwbush...twice.
+129 # Firefox11 2012-11-09 18:22
Karl Rove outed himself on the Fox network election night. The comment, made by Fox anchor Meghan Kelly when Rove insisted that the remaining Republican precincts in Ohio would give the votes necessary for Romney to win that state's electoral votes, will stand the test of time..."Karl, is this real math,or the math you do as a Republican to make yourself feel better."
+38 # NanFan 2012-11-09 21:02
Quoting Firefox11:
Karl Rove outed himself on the Fox network election night. The comment, made by Fox anchor Meghan Kelly when Rove insisted that the remaining Republican precincts in Ohio would give the votes necessary for Romney to win that state's electoral votes, will stand the test of time..."Karl, is this real math,or the math you do as a Republican to make yourself feel better."

My point exactly, and by the way, in the previous post I meant "Big Lie," not "Bit Lie," but I bet you all knew that. ;>)

+24 # X Dane 2012-11-10 13:38
He insisted that the remaining precincts would give Romney the win, because they were SUPPOSED, to be FLIPPED....stol en! It didn't work, that's why he was so shocked.
+11 # KittatinyHawk 2012-11-10 19:55
Guess they are all flabbergasted as me..OB got Florida I am soooo glad but amazed more
+4 # bmiluski 2012-11-12 10:11
Yeah, because our hackers out-hacked their hackers. They thought they'd get away with AGAIN!
+1 # KittatinyHawk 2012-11-10 19:54
Lost Florida too boys
+71 # Kayjay 2012-11-09 20:45
We need more moments/electio ns like Tuesday's. it may be a preview of better times to come. Rove may be shocked and dismayed, because this they are not used to PREPAYING $$$$ for an election victory which never showed up. They are the few, we are the many. Let's embrace a populous form of politics.
+63 # ljblinddog 2012-11-09 22:50
Rove has proven that media gives you the opportnuity to demonstrate you have nothing of interest to say.
+79 # ghostperson 2012-11-09 23:06
For the last year, I had begun to believe that I was having outer body experiences. No woman I knew even considered voting for Romney, yet, the GOP claimed after the debate that the female vote was breaking for Romney. A similar story in Ohio with variations on the theme throughout the country. What the election showed me was that the facts I observed and saw were correct and the GOP claims, the self-hype, that they all came to believe fervently was mass hysteria. They wanted it to be so, they said it was, then, came to believe their own falsehoods on many subjects and levels. This isn't politics or ideology. It's pathology.The classic definition of "ignorance" is the refusal of knowledge. The GOP is classically ignorant. I feel nothing but relief that the American public, or a majority of them, had the acumen and critical analytical capability to see through GOP bull shit and that is with a full court press against education by the party of the ignorant. Yeah, Americans! You came through. You have affirmed my faith in this country. Just wish it hadn't taken sooooooooo long. Does anyone but me ever wonder what our world would be like now if the Supreme Court hadn't elected George W. Bush in 2000? The GOP has awakened the sleeping giant, now, there are in deep doo doo.
+34 # WestWinds 2012-11-10 00:41
Don't get too thrilled too soon: George Prescott Bush, Jeb's son, has just filed papers in Texas to run in the next election. As if we hadn't had enough of the Bush's to date.
+9 # ghostperson 2012-11-10 20:58
Well, not to dismiss your concern, but as was said in 2004, the only bush that voters wanted to see in the White House was Laura's. A person named Bush can only be elected to something in Texas. The presence of the name on a ballot outside that state causes milk to curdle and cows to abort calves.
0 # bingers 2012-11-10 21:51
+23 # dovelane1 2012-11-10 02:23
In poker terms, it is called a "bluff." Acting like you have more in your hand that you actually do, and hoping you can get the other players to believe you, so they will throw in their hands.

Obama, and many other democrats had the belief in themselves and their policies, to call that bluff, and so, won the hand.

It would be good to remember this tactic, as I am sure we the people will see it again.
+18 # Bruce Gruber 2012-11-10 06:11
It is not ONLY the manipulation and kool aid propaganda provided from the 1% to the classically ignorant 'wanna-believer ' holdouts of the white supremacist blamers. It is the cowardly understanding by that 1% that if humane, co-operative, progressive policies and regulatory functions are ever allowed to develop and flourish so will truly (d)emocratic society. The elitism of manipulation, greed and divided "individualism" will not have all that many suckers.

The President should challenge Repubs to pass his agenda for a two year test run. If they were correct, then they should be able to win the Senate instead of buying it. Then they could go back to the three card monte of trickle down. Not likely, huh?
+49 # Beenie 2012-11-10 06:12
When women vote, Democrats win! There are more women than men in this country and it is WE who have the political power! We need to use it and have things go OUR way for a change. I'm sick of stupid, white men.
+1 # bmiluski 2012-11-12 10:19 upidity and racism comes in ALL COLORS.
+39 # angelfish 2012-11-10 00:05
There is something inherently obscene about the amounts of money spent on this election. At THIS time, when this country is in such crises, not to mention the people who would have benefited from it, for the Parties to have, literally thrown that money away on Attack Ads, etc, is criminal. I hope that one of the best things to come of all that waste is that Election reform WILL come to fruition and "Citizen's United" will be overturned.
+42 # X Dane 2012-11-10 00:09
With all due respect to the theories and sentiments posted above, I think there is a very different reason for Rove's disbelief and frantic behavior on election night.

I think he had a FLIPPING OF THE VOTES lined up.....(Many of us worried about loosing the election because of that!!)

....But due to the many lawyers and monitors the democrats had in the field, Roves minions Were NOT able to do it. I DO guess, that is why he was so shocked at the the count.

Remember, that is exactly what happened in Ohio in 2004. The election was stolen from Kerry. They flipped about 5-600000 votes on the machines. Rove thought he could do it again and was shocked when it didn't work.
+25 # Lolanne 2012-11-10 09:23
Quoting X Dane:
With all due respect to the theories and sentiments posted above, I think there is a very different reason for Rove's disbelief and frantic behavior on election night.

I think he had a FLIPPING OF THE VOTES lined up.....(Many of us worried about loosing the election because of that!!)

....But due to the many lawyers and monitors the democrats had in the field, Roves minions Were NOT able to do it. I DO guess, that is why he was so shocked at the the count.

Remember, that is exactly what happened in Ohio in 2004. The election was stolen from Kerry. They flipped about 5-600000 votes on the machines. Rove thought he could do it again and was shocked when it didn't work.

That's exactly what I've been thinking, X Dane. However he had it arranged, it didn't work out as planned and he just couldn't believe it!

Could be it was due to all the eyes watching; could also be the machines didn't work as they expected them to when the hacking was tried. Whatever it was, I am forever grateful! And I hope rove and co self-destructs out of sheer rage!!
+16 # panhead49 2012-11-10 10:58
Quoting X Dane:
With all due respect to the theories and sentiments posted above, I think there is a very different reason for Rove's disbelief and frantic behavior on election night.

I think he had a FLIPPING OF THE VOTES lined up.....(Many of us worried about loosing the election because of that!!)

....But due to the many lawyers and monitors the democrats had in the field, Roves minions Were NOT able to do it. I DO guess, that is why he was so shocked at the the count.

Remember, that is exactly what happened in Ohio in 2004. The election was stolen from Kerry. They flipped about 5-600000 votes on the machines. Rove thought he could do it again and was shocked when it didn't work.

Ah, the joy of cell phone technology - I think it was the posted You Tube video of the voting machine flipping an Obama vote to Romney that made them rethink the stealing of the election this time around. BUSTED!

As to the rest of the money blown by R's - Bwahahahahahaha hahahaha! Oh well, it should 'trickle down' through the economy, right?
+11 # X Dane 2012-11-10 13:27
panhead 49. THANKS a LOT. You just confirmed what i thought. Rove was SURE he had it IN THE BAG. And shocked when it didn't work......Than God
+4 # bingers 2012-11-10 19:41
I believe you're exactly on the money there.
+10 # grouchy 2012-11-10 00:16
Could it be that many of these guys are secret agents working for the corporate advertising guys? In that case, they are most certainly highly successful!
+21 # frdboesl 2012-11-10 00:20
Turd Blossom lived up to w's nickname for him! May he follow others that live on lies, like Glenn Beck and Rush. We need truth and facts. Not propaganda. But look at who owns most of the media. What do you think our chances are?
+33 # X Dane 2012-11-10 01:04
Oh! by the way, I remember, when Rove got Bush SELECTED in 2000. He said that he was going to make the republican party the dominant force for the next 50 years !! Hows'that worken for ya Rove????

I am so thrilled that he BLEW ALL that money for NOTING. Barbara K said "You can't BUY the country!!" I was not so sure, although I certainly hoped she was right. Thank god she WAS.

She was so strong and positive even when the "trolls" were way more than negative. they were horrendously nasty. But NOTHING got her off the right in correct ...track.

I would like to see those nasty guys, Trump the Koch Bros. Adelson and Rove.....EXPLOD E FROM THE FRUSTRATION they must feel after they flushed all that money down the drain.
+38 # BeaDeeBunker 2012-11-10 02:42
I would like to remind everyone that the fight is not over since the House is still filled with $$$backed, knuckle dragging personhoods, who march in lock step to the head Boner. In the Senate there is still 'Bitch' McConnell to deal with.

The really bright spot is that the Senate is now 1/5 female. Most of these women are mothers, and they are sending Rove to bed without his supper.
+24 # Independentgal 2012-11-10 09:11
Rove may be the most prominent of those who failed to shove the right-wing agenda down our throats, but McConnell is the biggest failure over all. What a creep. If only the people of Kentucky will be smart enough to get rid of this despicable human being in 2014, we won't have to see his disgusting face or hear his disgusting voice anymore.
+40 # DaveM 2012-11-10 02:46
Speaking of the Supreme Court, am I the only one who is grateful that the next few appointments will not be made by a Rove puppet?

I hope, and to some extent believe, that the time in the spotlight for Rove and his cronies is over.
+22 # Independentgal 2012-11-10 09:14
You are not alone! The Supreme Court makeup is one of the most important things that was decided by this election. The thought of more Scalia's would be too much to bear!
+13 # X Dane 2012-11-10 12:16
No you sure are NOT. I heaved a great sigh of relief, when it was clear that Obama won. The Supremes are of course the most important Dave , but there are so many judges that need to be confirmed.

There is a huge backlog in the whole court system, because the republicans hoped Obama would be out in 2012. And lower court judges are important too. Our justice system is anything but just. Many people have to wait for far too many years to have their cases heard.
+16 # Ralph Averill 2012-11-10 04:37
"Obama aired more than twice as many ads on local broadcast and nation cable as Romney during the general election, according to CMAG. However, when outside groups such as the ones Rove steers are added in, each side had about the same number of ads on TV."
Am I being overly optimistic to believe that maybe nobody's tv ads made a difference, on either side? Is it possible that the American electorate , bathed in advertising from the cradle, has evolved an immunity to it and matured to the point of becoming grown-up, critical observers of reality in spite of all the noise around them? At least enough voters to swing an election by enough of a margin that no hanging chads or Ohio electronic voting shenanigans would make a difference? Is it possible that the 2012 election was a turning point and the era of ad-free elections is upon us?
Advertising executives shudder at the thought.
+7 # bingers 2012-11-10 19:47
One thing I enjoyed hearing about the ads was that Obama, not smart enough to be a businessman, (right?) was able to buy his ads at a 50% lower rate than the businessman candidate. As for how good an idea it is to have a businessman running the executive branch, we've had 2 businessman presidents, Hoover and Bush.

Maybe Franklin would have been a good businessman president, but he was too smart to want to be one.
+21 # USA2012??? 2012-11-10 06:01
Well, as history has so implanted the concept, when you screw up this bad it's time to take a long vacation into obscurity. Therefore, I say let Karl Rove pack up his toys, get out of DC, and find another rock to crawl under. I simply can't imagine that anyone in this country could be responsible for such a tremendous loss without dire consequences from those who contributed to their and his fiasco.

Just how much money is Rove responsible for amassing, and is all that money accurately accounted for: if there is such a thing?
+34 # Beenie 2012-11-10 06:10
We have 2 years til the next election, let's put our money together and get rid of John Boehner and Eric Cantor!!!!!
+18 # X Dane 2012-11-10 12:26
Right on.....but Mitch McConnel is a disgusting old jerk too. He HAS to go. He stood on the floor in the senate and declared after their 2010 win, ....(where they promised that jobs was THE important issue).... That their primary objective was making Obama a one term president.

I was so shocked and furious I nearly threw something at my TV. How can we get people to find GOOD candidates to run against him in 14???
+4 # unocelestial 2012-11-11 14:08
McConnell, Ryan and Issa, too!!!!
+18 # cvm79 2012-11-10 07:02
It goes to show how out of touch they are with mainstream America. Hopefully the Republican controlled Congress will understand this before they push us over the "Fiscal Cliff."
+35 # Barbara K 2012-11-10 07:28
If nothing else, we proved that our Country is NOT FOR SALE. I hope the corrupt Rove and his ilk lost BIG on the election, and that they remember that the next time they plan to cheat and steal an election. American people are smarter than that and we will not allow it to happen.
+29 # pernsey 2012-11-10 07:33
The thing that kills me is they have learned nothing. They are still trying to figure out ways to manipulate people to vote for them, and that if they say it enough times it makes it true.

The thing they dont get is people are rejecting the teabaglican policies. They are out date, out of touch, and out of time. They need to come back to reality, not just keep changing reality and lying through their teeth until they can get enough people on their side.

Another point I would like to make is if they believe that they have the right answers and they are right...why keep lying to people? Why keep making up stories to get votes? If they had a sound solution that they really believed in then why not present it, instead of making everything a secret? They know their views are unpopular. What woman is going to vote for the government to have all this power over her reproductive system and pay into a system that wont help her feed a child once shes forced to have it? Not many that I know.

They have out of touch policies, no matter what spin Karl Rove puts on reality. Hes trying to make his own reality and its literally caving in on him now like lined up dominoes that just got pushed.

My honest assessment of Rove is he needs a good psychiatrist and some meds to bring him back to reality. I find what he does repulsive and apparently the voters do too, because all the money he raised got rejected by reality.
+7 # X Dane 2012-11-10 13:07
I agree with you.....B U T....In some of the states they obviously do NOT. I had hoped the trolls would be voted out...HALLELUJA H, Allen West WAS....But in too many places the T bags DO speak for the voters.

There are a lot of people that are hateful, and people who do NOT feel as we do, that we should help each other. That is the way we will ALL succeed.

I don't think any shrink could help Rove. From his early youth he has been a fanatical republican, and as I wrote in the earlier comment. His goal IS to make the republican the strong dominant party.

He simply doesn't understand that it has become old reactionary white folk's party, and they are fast becoming a permanent minority.
+15 # Tje_Chiwara 2012-11-10 07:37
Don't forget the money really helped "keep" the House . . . and with their long-term stategy of voter ID laws and success at capturing redistricting opportunities, he kept substantial advantages for regressives for the forseeable future.

And the IDEA war goes on. Think of all those who were impacted by the lies and negative energy he created. They remain dogged foes of reason and compromise, and real progress will be slowed or stopped by them --- Only until we reduce the MONEY in politics, compel universal voting, support and achieve non-partisan redistricting, and secure a national voting system that is incorruptible, we must continue to fight the Rove and his ilk . . . .
+8 # X Dane 2012-11-10 13:15
I agree with you about getting the money out of politics...but I am VERY impressed with Montana. They FOUGHT to keep outside money out of their senate election, to NO avail.

A ton of money was spent to defeat John Tester. But the Montanans were strong and they did NOT get swayed by all that money. They MEANT it when they said they wanted money OUT of politics
+3 # bingers 2012-11-10 19:48
It wasn't the money, it was the gerrymandering.
+16 # Capn Canard 2012-11-10 08:08
lol... ah the schadenfreude. Oh poor Karl Rove, that gelatinous slug, a schweinhund arschloch, sheisekopf joder cara... scum, a cancerous growth on the freedoms of actual real human beings.
+8 # X Dane 2012-11-10 13:17
Dear Capn, why don't you tell us what you REALLY FEEL? This was most entertaining and I LOVE it.
+9 # kalpal 2012-11-10 08:17
Losing other people's money is something rich guys fully understand and find acceptable since they have done it in the past and will do it in the future. Losing your own so badly may grate for awhile but they will get over it and keep trying to buy what they want, hegemony over the nation's legislatures and eradication of the rights of average Americans to have any say in how this nation is run.
+17 # MarieLavoe 2012-11-10 08:29
carl rove will never get it, he is so full of himself. He looked maniacal the other night on fox.
+7 # tswhiskers 2012-11-10 10:44
Amazing as it seems, I suspect the Republicans will not get it either. They've only learned that denial is so much more pleasant than the truth.
+10 # tswhiskers 2012-11-10 08:59
I am SO glad I was wrong about the election. I was afraid that between Big Money and peoples' short attention and memory spans we would lose it to Romney. The only complaint I have now is that my Congressman is a Tea Partier. Well, can't win 'em all. Pernsey is right. Most Reps. can't face the truth that Americans, by and large, can't stomach their agenda. Mitch McConnell has made an ass of himself with his stubbornness. Boehner seems to be living in reality, altho he still hews to the Party line on camera but without the fire in his belly. If only Dems have the courage for a fight, we should come out with more jobs, with the "economic cliff" flattened, with Medicare and Soc. Sec. judiciously reformed, and hopefully with a country no longer living in fear.
+17 # Abigail 2012-11-10 09:14
PROPOSAL: Each candidate should be allotted the same amount of time, spread however the candidate wants over a limited period, On a first come, first serve basis. If a candidate wants to buy more time, an equal amount of time must be offered to all other candidates free of charge. The TV channels will lose money, one might say. Wait a minute- who owns the rights to the frequencies over which the TV channels operate? Not the TV channels who are licensed by the FCC, but the we the people, who grant the powers to the FCC to regulate the use of all RF, VHF, UHF and all other higher frequencies. Some are allotted to Air Traffic Control, some to radio stations, some to defense systems, some to HAM radio, some to TV Channels, etc. We, the people, own the right to use these frequencies that the TV channels are making money on so that we, the people, are losing our democracy. Let's take back our right to regulate these frequencies and tell the TV channels that they must go along with our regaining control of the presidential elections or lose their licenses. We should put an end to this farce; let every candidate have equal time, and only equal time, using the FCC to enforce it. This is not a free speech issue for the TV Channels. It is a FREE speech issue for our candidates.
+3 # jky1291 2012-11-11 03:40
A Constitutional Amendment overturning Citizens' United, public financing of federal elections, and as a condition of FCC licensing, all such media must provide a reasonable and equal amount of required complementary air time for all candidates qualified for the positions for which they are competing. If these corporations have so much money to waste trying to buy politicians, they certainly don't need to be adding to the national debt, which they claim is killing our country, by paying them for worthless overpriced advertising. Additionally, political advertisements must be fact checked independently by any media accepting such ads, with heavy fines for any misinformation, false, or fraudulent ads. With such provisions, a reasonable election budget equitably divided among the candidates would return billions of wasted dollars to productive use in our economy and/or reduce our national debt, thus reducing our interest payments.
+8 # JayaVII 2012-11-10 09:40
Everything about this column fills me with disgust, especially the placid, lobotomized way the reporter accepts the ideas that it's just fine for elections to be money-driven, that democracy is just another commodity, that Congress should be a playpen of sociopathic billionaires, and that Romney's defeat boils down to poor ROI. Karl Rove isn't the disease -- he's just the presenting symptom of a stage IV cancerous system. The apparent opposition between Wall Street Right (GOP) and Wall Street Left (Dems) is a textbook example of the narcissism of petty differences, and of the old good cop/bad cop routine. We don't need more and better elections, we need a revolution, in which people reclaim their own selves, their own needs, their own consciousness.
+17 # 2012-11-10 10:20
+6 # vt143 2012-11-10 10:23
While we can all relax a bit (for now) and let out a collective sigh, we know HE'LL BE BAAAACK! This money thing in politics is not going away and will only get worse until we repeal Citizens United. In the meantime, I suggest lining up outside polling places from now on with a stack of $1 bills and blatantly seek to "buy" votes (for a buck) and ask the voter to write in Dollarman (or Dollarwoman, if you prefer) and do so until you get arrested. Arrested for a dollar! All the while Sheldon Adelson and his ilk give $125 mill and walk around free. That will turn a few heads. Do it!!
+10 # Kootenay Coyote 2012-11-10 10:50
If the Turd Blossom had been working for the Mafia, he’d be sleeping with the fishes right about now....
+7 # rockieball 2012-11-10 11:02
Hey Rove you gave us G.W. Now it's payback and paybacks are a bitch.
+5 # DurangoKid 2012-11-10 11:33
The Republican party has a daunting task ahead of it. It must recruit more people who identify with avaricious narcissists. Not everyone is impressed with their message of all for self neglecting all else, what Adam Smith called the vile maxim. On the contrary, Americans at their best are a all for one and one for all, pull together, scrappy lot. I can't count the times anonymous strangers have come to my aid and I for them. I suspect part of the Republican appeal to normal people to become Republican is all the money they throw around. It's like a fireworks display. Sound and fury signifying nothing? More money and greed to conjure up more money and more greed? Sometimes I think they must have an emotional age of between two and ten. They haven't yet learned that generosity is usually generously repaid. To them freedom is the freedom to gain everything and keep it from everyone. That kind of nonsense doesn't play well. It takes a lot of money and hype to keep the momentum going. As people learn who's the 1% and who's the 99%, it just doesn't ring true. Be assured that just as the right wing will always be with us, they will struggle to maintain a constituency. But spreading hype and money will only take you so far.
+1 # noitall 2012-11-10 14:29
Seems to have paid off sofar. Their assumption that americans and votes are for sale has lost them the presidency but they still have Obama, steering from the center right. All they have to do is speak flowery and imply a sharing of the wealth and enough americans will follow to keep them a viable representative and keeper of big bro's wealth and might.
0 # tahoevalleylines 2012-11-10 17:29
Missing in the GOP gang of empty suits is a Civil Engineer with knowledge of infrastructure (Water/Rail/ren ewable) and the courage to describe urgent need for these projects it in public.

Herbert Hoover handed over a grand suite of US civil engineering projects for FDR to build on. Hydroelectricit y came in
handy to make aluminum...

Karl Rove will need to see this: Look at NAWAPA & Swan's Book: "Electric Water", please. Quickly; we fear for your safety...
+10 # Janice 2012-11-10 11:44
+4 # bingers 2012-11-10 19:52
Quoting Janice:

Only if and when he gets to change the makeup of the Supreme Court.
+7 # stonecutter 2012-11-10 12:43
You can stuff all this analysis and bloviation where the sun don't shine! It was like watching Jabba the Hut choking and wretching as he was being strangled in "The Empire Strikes Back". How sweet it was!
+5 # noitall 2012-11-10 14:25
The media was the big winner and Elmer Fudd a.k.a. Rove THEIR salesman of the month. But Rove sold his "investors" out to his boss Murdoch, If I was one of those so-called investors relying on Rove's integrity to represent my interests (no matter how deluded), I'd be stringing him up or at least accepting that its a "shame on me" moment. Dumb asses!
+5 # ALinSTL 2012-11-10 15:55
DURANGO KID, YOU NAILED IT!!!!! The way the Repukes see the government is," A goverment of US PEOPLE, by US PEOPLE, & for US PEOPLE," & they don't consider any of US as part of their "US"...and never will.
+1 # fredboy 2012-11-10 18:10
It must have been like investing in influenza. Vicious and pointless.
+4 # KittatinyHawk 2012-11-10 20:06
A thought ran thru what is left of my brain...imagine Diebold esp Romney's Kids portions actually fixing the machines pro Democrat?
That would be an interesting story in itself. 'Romeykid goes Rogue' Diebold execs review the machines and find the fix went awol. Hacker says 'Kid' was at the helm, paid our tuition debt, we undid the doing in Ohio, Florida, Pa, Michigan and Wisconsin. We just werent' quick enough for N Carolina or W Va.
However it happened... People Spoke and that is how it should be!
May Vote 2012 Go Down in History as the Day America Drove Old Dixie Down

My Grandma would have given you all (R) one piece of advice...Save Your Money.
Fool and their money.....
+4 # AUCHMANNOCH 2012-11-11 18:53
I wonder how much of the money raised by Rove stuck to his fingers?
0 # AJJax 2012-11-12 07:39
see Paul Krugman's blog: Karl Rove's Mission Accomplished
+1 # rockieball 2012-11-12 09:45
Well he is a Republicon and as we have seen they are just in it for greed and profit. So I would say a minimum of 30 mil.
+2 # ddarkangel 2012-11-11 22:22
Something I found so interesting right before the election, Obama ran an ad featuring a clip from the late great Texas governor Anne Richards. She was an amazing woman that Karl Rove managed to take out of office with a garbage laden "it's not true but it might be" offensive smear campaign many years ago. How fitting to bring her back to life to haunt the evil puppeteer and remind him that people are tired of his brand of lies upon lies upon lies of politicking. NO ONE is watching those endless commercials anymore.....nit e nite parasite.
0 # Ellisdtripp 2012-11-11 23:19
+3 # bmiluski 2012-11-12 10:30
Dear Red States:
We're ticked off at your Neanderthal attitudes and politics and we've decided we're leaving.
We in New York intend to form our own country and we're taking the
other Blue States with us.
In case you aren't aware that includes California, Hawaii, Oregon,
Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and the rest of
the Northeast.
We believe this split will be beneficial to the nation and especially
to the people of the new country of The Enlightened States of America
To sum up briefly:
- You get Texas, Oklahoma and all the slave states.
- We get stem cell research and the best beaches.
- We get Andrew Cuomo and Elizabeth Warren. You get Bobby Jindal and Todd
- We get the Statue of Liberty. You get OpryLand.
- We get Intel and Microsoft. You get WorldCom.
- We get Harvard. You get Ol' Miss.
- We get 85 percent of America's venture capital and entrepreneurs.
- You get Alabama.
- We get two-thirds of the tax revenue. You get to make the red states
pay their fair share.
- Since our aggregate divorce rate is 22 percent lower than the
Christian Coalition's, we get a bunch of happy families. You get a
bunch of single moms.
+2 # bmiluski 2012-11-12 10:32
CNTINUED -The Enlightened States of America
- With the Blue States in hand we will have firm control of 80% of the
country's fresh water, more than 90% of the pineapple and lettuce, 92%
of the nation's fresh fruit, 95% of America's quality wines (you can
serve French wines at state dinners) 90% of all cheese, 90 percent of
the high tech industry, most of the US low sulfur coal, all living
redwoods, sequoias and condors, all the Ivy and Seven Sister schools
plus Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Cal Tech and MIT.
- With the Red States you will have to cope with 88% of all obese
Americans and their projected health care costs, 92% of all US
mosquitoes, nearly 100% of the tornadoes, 90% of the hurricanes, 99%
of all Southern Baptists, virtually 100% of all televangelists, Rush
Limbaugh, Bob Jones University, Clemson and the University of Georgia.
- We get Hollywood and Yosemite, thank you.
- 38% of those in the Red states believe Jonah was actually swallowed by
a whale, 62% believe life is sacred unless we're discussing the death
penalty or gun laws, 44% say that evolution is only a theory, 53% that
Saddam was involved in 9/11 and 61% of you crazy bastards believe you
are people with higher morals then we lefties.
- We're taking the good weed too. You can have that crap they grow in Mexico.

Citizen of the Enlightened States of America
+1 # E-Mon 2012-11-13 05:51
Food for thought Karl... You really want "your guy" to win? The beginning of the article states that the model you created raised about $1 billion. This for one guy who's already mega wealthy. How about trying this strategy next time? Take that $1 billion and divide it up equally and send a check to every man woman and child in the US.... Approximately 350 million of us... That comes to roughly 2.86 million per person. Then tell everyone it's a small (tax exempt) token of love from "your guy". Really Karl. Contemplate that for a good long while. It's just chump change for the elite 1%, but just think how that would change the face of America! It's obscene really. The amount spent on one election, and this is just the repub-lickins. What if the election contest was all about who could give the most to the people, instead of trying to make the other guy look bad..... Some say I'm just a dreamer, but I'm not the only one....
0 # 2012-11-26 08:53
Rove is dead wrong on money and campaign success. It is the ground campaign that wins election. Taking your message through volunteer campaigners directly to the people is how campaigns are won or lost. As a 30-year veteran of both political and corporate PR campaigns, I know that the very best and most persuasive communications is one-on-one, person-to-perso n. The lunchroom and water-cooler conversations do more than cynically crafted messages paid to be placed in the media or press. People trust people they know and trust. Two-way communications supersedes one-way communication every time when the information is presented logically and personally.

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