Shadow Campaigns Taking Over GOP

Supreme Court allowed groups to spend freely
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 30, 2011 4:20 PM CDT
Conservative Groups Eclipsing GOP as Campaign Organizers
Karl Rove, former Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor to US President George W. Bush, speaks at the 2008 Mortgage Bankers Association Conference and Expo October 21, 2008, in San Francisco.   (Getty Images)

Conservative groups operating outside the public eye are carrying much of the water for Republican campaigns, the New York Times reports. Thanks to a Supreme Court decision that uncaps contribution limits, right-wing organizations like Americans for Prosperity and Karl Rove's American Crossroads are spending hundreds of millions of dollars—on television ads, social media, and grass-roots outreach for next year's federal elections.

Staffed by party veterans, these groups are targeting possible Democratic weak spots like Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico, where President Obama did surprisingly well in 2008. Even the GOP's holy grail—its voter list—is being outsourced so groups can update it. Not all Republicans are pleased by this threat to traditional party structure, but it's more or less free money—and "we have the party’s best interests at heart," says the president of American Crossroads. (More Republican Party stories.)

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