New Super PACs Challenge Rove Dominance

Tuesday, 24 Dec 2013 10:47 AM

By Lisa Barron

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With the 2014 election season looming, several new GOP Super PACs are gearing up to wrest money and power from American Crossroads, the group co-founded by Republican strategist Karl Rove.

New groups in states such as Texas, Iowa, West Virginia and Louisiana are challenging Crossroads' national dominance and highlighting the super PAC's poor performance in 2012, when it saw few electoral victories, reports The New York Times.

"Certainly, I think there's a level of frustration with the state of things in D.C," Randy Cubriel, an Austin lobbyist who established Texans for a Conservative Majority to back Sen. John Cornyn, told the newspaper.

"I think a group like ours, coming from the state, is probably a little more effective than some of the national groups. It's not a one-size-fits-all thing," he added.

Crossroads, for its part, is pressuring donors and supporters to commit to the super PAC and assuring them it will play a more active role in states with big Senate races.

It has already helped to set up local groups such as Kentuckians for Strong Leadership to back Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who faces a tea party challenger in the primary.

But some conservative leaders have accused Rove of trying to crush anti-establishment candidates, according to the Times, and many conservatives will steer clear of any super PAC connected to Crossroads.

The Republican establishment, however, is gaining financial support from a surprising source — labor unions — reported the National Journal.

The International Union of Operating Engineers and the Laborers' International Union of North America directed a total of $400,000 in September and October to the Republican super PAC Defending Main Street, a group dedicated to beating tea party challengers in 2014.

"Hopefully, we'll go into eight to 10 races and beat the snot out of them," Main Street President Steven LaTourette told the Journal.

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