Federal Politics

Published — August 17, 2012 Updated — May 19, 2014 at 12:19 pm ET

Daily Disclosure: Crossroads GPS hits North Dakota’s Heitkamp

Anonymously funded GOP nonprofit group launches second round of ads in as many weeks

Introduction

In a one-two-punch, dark money group Crossroads GPS is back with a new ad — the second in as many weeks — hitting Heidi Heitkamp, the Democratic contender for U.S. Senate in North Dakota.

Forgot” comes a week after Crossroads GPS voluntarily pulled another Heitkamp attack ad for what a spokesman called “content issues.” The ad accused Heitkamp of spending taxpayer dollars on private airplanes when she was attorney general of the state, a claim Heitkamp denounced as “completely false.” The planes were, in fact, donated to North Dakota in 1993 by the Department of Defense.

Heitkamp faces Rep. Rick Berg, R-N.D., in the U.S. Senate race to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad.

The new ad accuses Heitkamp of establishing a pay-to-play relationship with an out-of-state trial lawyer when she was attorney general, a position she held from 1993 through 2000. Heitkamp tapped Jack McConnell, Jr., a Rhode Island attorney, to help the state implement its settlement in the Big Tobacco lawsuit of the 1990s, in which 46 attorneys general, including Heitkamp, sued major tobacco companies to recover tobacco-related health care costs.

The ad misleadingly suggests the firm got paid millions from the state’s coffers, when, in fact, the attorney’s fees came via the settlement, paid by the tobacco companies, according to Forum, a North-Dakota based media company.

Forum’s fact-check found that many of the claims in the ad are not completely true.

“Forgot” cost $162,000, according to a press release from Crossroads GPS, and is slated to run statewide for one week.

Heitkamp fought back immediately after the ad’s release, calling the claims “absolutely not true,” the Bismarck Tribune reported.

Heitkamp will get some support from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which has its own ads in the works. Last week, the DSCC reported spending more than $180,000 in support of Heitkamp’s campaign, records show.

The ad Crossroads GPS pulled last week began running as an amended version August 10. The new version is still “grossly misleading,” according to FactCheck.org.

Crossroads GPS is a “social welfare” nonprofit organized under section 501(c)(4) of the U.S. tax code and is not required to publicly disclose its donors. Co-founded by Republican strategist Karl Rove, Crossroads GPS is affiliated with the super PAC American Crossroads.

In other outside spending news:

  • Pro-Mitt Romney super PAC Restore Our Future spent $10.1 million on ads opposing President Barack Obama. This is the super PAC’s largest single buy ever. It goes towards airing “Another Month,” which will air in 11 battleground states, according to Mother Jones.
  • Pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA Action spent $1.1 million on TV ads opposing Romney.
  • Conservative nonprofit Americans for Prosperity spent $7.5 million on anti-Obama ads “Still Believe” and “Fighting For.” On Thursday, the group also released “Stop Wasteful Spending,” an ad opposing Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., who is running for U.S. Senate in Wisconsin against newly minted GOP nominee Tommy Thompson.
  • The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released an ad attacking the record of Rep. Dan Benishek, R-Mich., on Medicare. The fishing-themed ad is the first Democratic ad to attack House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan since he was tapped as Romney’s running mate, according to Politico.
  • Democratic nonprofit Patriot Majority USA’s ad “Know” criticizes Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., for his votes on Medicare and taxes.
  • Republican super PAC Friends of the Majority spent $209,000 opposing Rep. David Schweikert, R-Ariz., who faces fellow GOP Rep. Ben Quayle in an August 28 primary. According to documents filed Thursday with the Federal Election Commission, one of the super PAC’s top donors is Corinne Quayle, Ben’s sister, who gave $50,000 to the super PAC in later July. Slightly more than half of the $475,500 that the super PAC has raised has come from out-of-state donors, a Center for Public Integrity analysis found. Among the non-Arizonans to contribute? Wyoming investor and GOP super donor Foster Friess, who gave $25,000 to the group in June.
  • New super PACs: Animal rights activist Julie Caramante registered four more anti-horse slaughter super PACs, bringing the total to 45 state horse super PACs; Political Action Cartoons in Washington, D.C., also registered as a super PAC.

Michael Beckel contributed to this report.

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SOUTH JERSEYTed SiroisMark SullivanTom LarkinAnonymous Recent comment authors
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Mark Sullivan
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Mark Sullivan

Trump needs to conduct these activities because the entire MSM media, excluding Fox, is campaigning against him 24/7/365.

Didn’t Monica’s boyfriend’s wife and various criminal enterprises outspend Trump by almost 2-1?

CapitalistRoader
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CapitalistRoader

Why wouldn’t he get an early start on fund raising? Hillary outspent him two-to-one in 2016. The Dem’s are the party of big money. The President knows this and is attempting to get a jump on it. Of course the Dem candidate will outspend him in 2020 so it’s only rational that he starts fund raising now.

George Young
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George Young

Oh brother. We just 8 years of the Campaigner – in – Chief. Where was this journalistic rectal thermometer then. Just another article about 2000 words too long that merely takes another slap at Trump for something he far from initiated.

j stevenson
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j stevenson

The big difference between Trump and all the rest is his refusing to accept funds from lobbyists, so they don’t have the White House access they are used to. These are the donors who buy the presidency and are as pixxed off that he won the election as are the media and the Dems. Lobbyists have never been shut out of the WH and Trump has told them he is not for sale.

jan v
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jan v

all the lobbyists are running all our government agencies and all the career civil servants who know how to run the country have been fired. YOU think this is a good thing ? what a crock…

thomas alessi
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thomas alessi

I am for Trump

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Trump needs to be impeached and tossed in prison. Then have the key thrown away so he will never be free. Then he can see how it feels not to have freedom.

Mark Sullivan
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Mark Sullivan

Thank you for the usual insightful leftist low IQ Snowflake response.

barney
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hes not imprisoning them hes sending them back to their country chill tf out

SOUTH JERSEY
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SOUTH JERSEY

WHY DONT YOU HAVE FREEDOM?

Tom Larkin
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Tom Larkin

First, something positive. I was happy to learn of empirical information in article. BUT, the article was so slanted against President Trump as to be deemed fake news (“Perhaps Trump just lied.” (Two different issues)). The article mentions that President Trump raised over $67 million, but ended 2018 with $19 million. President Trump spent over $40 million 2016 and 2017. President Trump conducted 57 political rallies. The article notes the hats and T-shirts sold, but NEVER MENTIONS THE INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF REPUBLICAN SENATORS during a mid-term election that lost the House and the number of political rallies in… Read more »

Ted Sirois
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Ted Sirois

At least Trump is getting donations from willing donors. Fresh from his first election, Obama used billions of our children’s tax dollars to save thousands of union jobs in the car industry and bailed out the banks and many Wall Street businesses. This secured his source of reelection funds for his reelection four years later.

South Jersey
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South Jersey

TRUMP 2020; IS AN AMAZINGLY SMART MAN! VERY ORIGINAL & CREATIVE. I AM HAPPY TO HAVE HIS AS POTUS.

SOUTH JERSEY
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SOUTH JERSEY

THIS ARTICLE WAS OBVIOUSLY WRITTEN BY, A TRUMP-HATE-GROUP. THAT FEELS; IT IS NOT NORMAL TO BE SUCCESSFUL WITH YOUR OWN BRAND NAME. WHEN, IF FACT, IT IS NORMAL! >>>>> THIS IS >>> FAKE NEWS!!! <<<< ie: A PACK-OF-LIES; SPUN INTO; DEFAMATION OF CHARACTER. FOR A SINISTER-AGENDA OF; FASCIST DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST, COUP D'ETAT

David
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David

Are you on some kind of drugs? Writing in caps makes me think that you are grumpy old fart or a uneducated hillbilly.