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Crossroads GPS charges into House race

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Crossroads GPS, a conservative nonprofit outside spending group, began a $2.3 million ad campaign Wednesday, including the Crossroads network’s first reported foray into congressional races and ads in four tightly contested Senate races. With its entry into the House race, Crossroads is now active at all levels of the national election.

This campaign is part of a larger $10 million-plus offensive from Republican strategist Karl Rove’s Crossroads network that began this week. Super PAC American Crossroads just announced an $8.8 million campaign targeting President Barack Obama.

Crossroads GPS’ ads target Senate races in Montana, Nevada, North Dakota and Wisconsin as well as New York’s 1st Congressional District, where Republicans are trying to oust Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop:

The anti-Bishop expenditure by Crossroads is its first in this election, but Bishop is no stranger to the group.

In 2010, just after Bishop barely beat Altschuler for the first time, Crossroads launched radio ads urging Bishop to support extending tax cuts. Because the ad did not explicitly urge a yes-or-no vote for Bishop — the election had just concluded, after all — it did not need to be reported to the FEC.

The new Crossroads ads come a week after ads by Prosperity First, a super PAC that appears to be solely dedicated to ousting Bishop. Prosperity First is bankrolled by wealthy hedge fund executive Robert Mercer, as the Center for Public Integrity reported last week.

As a 501(c)(4) nonprofit, Crossroads GPS is not required to publicly disclose its donors.

The super PAC and nonprofit have primarily focused their spending on the presidential race. American Crossroads’ newest ad, “Next,” features business owners who say Obama’s economic policies have hurt them, including one man who says Obama treats them like “the enemy.” The presidential ads will run in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia, according to Politico.

American Crossroads’ biggest donors include Harold Simmons and his chemical company Contran Corp., homebuilder Bob Perry, former Univision owner Jerry Perenchio, and Crow Holdings, which is owned by real estate mogul Harlan Crow.

In other outside spending news:

Who paid for that political ad? You might be surprised by the answer. Email us at disclosure@publicintegrity.org and we will try to find out. Describe the advertisement — was it mean or nice? Will it affect your vote? When and where did it run and what were the names of the candidates? And please tell us what the disclaimer at the end says, and we will check it out.

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