We donâ€™t know who the contributors are to Karl Roveâ€™s Crossroads GPS because they can hide behind provisions in federal tax law designed to protect donors to â€œsocial welfareâ€ charities, but we do know how much each gave, and we do know generally, from Crossroadsâ€™ annual 990 filings with the I.R.S., how the money was spent. In 2012, according to its own statement, Crossroads GPS spent $74.2 million not on commonly understood social welfare objectives but on direct political activities.
Crossroads raised the money for its 2012 tax-exempt activities from 291 unnamed men and women who wrote checks for a total of $179.7 million, an average contribution of $617,525 â€“ nearly 12 times the 2012 median household income in the United States of $53,046, and 22 times the 2012 per capita income of $28,051.
We know now that in 2012 the 291 people who funded Crossroads got zip for their money. But somebody must still be donating, because Crossroads is still in business. They’re pouring a lot of money into the midterms and might actually turn the Senate over to the GOP, which IMO would be an unmitigated disaster for America. On the other hand, it’s possible their ads won’t make that much difference. For example, Crossroads is still running anti-Obamacare ads that even Glenn Kessler thinks are stuck in a time warp.
There’s no question that the “dark” money is giving a Reublicans a huge advantage, but even if dark money contributions were equal, an equal number of plutocrats on each side of the aisle does not create government of the people, by the people, and for the people.