How American Crossroads Seemingly Violates Nonprofit Political Rules with Impunity

OpenSecrets: “In 2012, the year that Crossroads provided the lion’s share of its funding, ATR told the Federal Election Commission it spent nearly $15.8 million on “independent expenditures” — that is, direct advocacy for and against specific candidates. As OpenSecrets Blog first reported, that amounted to more than half of the total $31 million that ATR told the IRS it spent that year.

“Moreover, since the grant from Crossroads GPS made up 86 percent of ATR’s revenues that year, most of the money spent by ATR on political activity had to have been Crossroads’ money. Crossroads had already come close to spending about half of its own resources on politics, intending for its grants to other groups to fulfill its “social welfare” mandate. But by underwriting almost all of ATR’s budget, Crossroads, in effect, amplified and expanded its own political spending. And that’s to say nothing of Crossroads other grants to politically active groups.

“All this happened despite the fact that in 2012, Crossroads GPS claimed to have instituted more stringent requirements for how it selects grantees and how those grantees can use the funds.”


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