U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk has a reputation as a prodigious fundraiser.
During this election cycle, he's getting some help from friends outside
of his normal political circle, too.
The Sunlight Foundation has been tracking all of the reported spending by outside groups in this season's federal campaigns. According to their data, which Capitol Fax highlighted this morning, independent groups have already dished out roughly $3.7 million attacking Kirk's rival, Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Alexi Giannoulias.
All but $290,000 of that total came from American Crossroads, a 527 group
founded in March by Karl Rove, and its tax-exempt partner Crossroads
Grassroots Policy Strategies. Neither arm of the operation will disclose
its donors. Following the Citizens United U.S. Supreme Court decision,
corporations and rich donors can give unlimited cash to these groups.
Kirk seems to be cashing in.
Crossroads GPS, for what it's
worth, could be the subject of a government probe. Democracy 21 and the
Campaign Legal Center have already filed
a joint complaint with the IRS, claiming the group is violating U.S.
tax laws that limit the political activities of non-profit groups. U.S.
Sen. Dick Durbin is urging the tax collectors to get involved, as well. Stay tuned ...