November 20, 2014

Crossroads GPS and Kentucky Opportunity Coalition Have, Word for Word, the Same Mission

By Matt Corley

McConnellIn his reelection victory earlier this month, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was significantly aided by outside groups, who spent millions on TV ads blasting his opponent, Alison Lundergan Grimes. The top outside group supporting Sen. McConnell was a dark money nonprofit called the Kentucky Opportunity Coalition (KOC), which spent $14 million between 2013 and 2014 – half of which the group told the Federal Election Commission was officially in opposition to Ms. Grimes’ election.

In the Los Angeles Times yesterday, Joseph Tafani revealed that KOC raised nearly $6 million in 2013, more than half of which came from just four donors. Mr. Tafani also noted, as others have previously, the close ties between KOC and Karl Rove’s Crossroads network of outside groups, which includes the super PAC American Crossroads and the dark money nonprofit Crossroads GPS. Scott Jennings, an adviser to KOC, played coy when asked by Mr. Tafani about KOC’s Crossroads connection, saying that the group consults with "a number of other issue advocacy organizations."

If the 2013 tax filings of KOC and Crossroads GPS are any indication, the two groups do more than just consult. In fact, they have the exact same mission. Essentially word for word. Observe:

Kentucky Opportunity Coalition:

Crossroads GPS:

The two groups’ largest program services are identical as well.

Kentucky Opportunity Coalition:

Crossroads GPS:

That’s not all. The descriptions of the groups’ missions, which are expanded upon in a later section of the tax filings, also mirror each other. For instance, both groups say that they “advocate policy outcomes on pending legislative and regulatory issues such as: health care reform, taxes, spending and deficits, congressional reform and energy and environment.”

The overlap in the two group’s tax filings aren’t all that surprising. After all, KOC and Crossroads have the same treasurer, Caleb Crosby, and the forms were prepared by the same accounting firm, Atchley & Associates. More importantly, both groups claim nonprofit status based on supposed “social welfare” goals, but do little else than pour money into elections while shielding the identities of donors.

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