Republicans have big plans for the 2012 elections — and a big network of donors to make those plans happen. Their network, organized by former Bush advisor Karl Rove, is made up of a diverse mix of players, including super PACs, non-profit groups, and billionaire titans, like the Koch brothers, and looks to use new rules on independent spending to defeat Democrats this year. Politico goes inside “Karl Rove’s super PAC” and finds it’s not quite like anything we’ve ever seen before:
Karl Rove first pulled the group together to coordinate independent spending in the run-up to the 2010 midterms – and it worked. The coalition — including groups that hadn’t always played well together — has been credited with helping boost Republicans to sweeping victories across the country…
Dubbed the Weaver Terrace Group for the Northwest Washington address where Rove convened the first meetings in his living room, the meetings are now hosted in the downtown Washington offices of a pair of linked powerhouses conceived by Rove, American Crossroads and Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies.
An email sent to attendees Friday by Crossroads spokesman Jonathan Collegio warned participants that POLITICO “is calling folks up asking who attends the Weaver Terrace meetings” and included as a reminder “for those of you who don’t remember the rules of the road” a YouTube link to footage from the film “Fight Club.” In the clip, Brad Pitt’s character says: “The first rule of Fight Club is: You do not talk about Fight Club. The second rule of Fight Club is: You do not talk about Fight Club.”
Politico details there’s a good deal of infighting within the coalition over priorities — House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is accused of using his super PAC to benefit his own interests, while the Koch brothers, who are attending Rove’s meetings, might also be plotting to form their own outside spending alliance. It all sounds like the kind of back-room dealing you’d expect from super villains — except there’s a lot of money on the line, all of which will try to influence how you vote:
The roster of groups and players represented at the meetings, most of which do not disclose their donors, reads like a guide to who will shape the 2012 elections on the right — their combined spending plans tallying upwards of $600 million.
Weaver Terrace is anchored by the Crossroads groups, which plan to spend as much as $300 million ahead of Election Day 2012 and have also positioned themselves as funders of other conservative groups, and American Action Network. It spent $30 million during the 2010 campaign, when it shared the New York Avenue office suite with Crossroads, and likely will shoot for at least that sum this year.
Other participants have included the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which is planning to a 2012 play of more than $50 million, Americans for Job Security, Americans for Tax Reform, an anti-abortion rights group, and the Republican Jewish Coalition
If this is fight club, does that make Karl Rove Brad Pitt?