January 16, 2013

CREW Congratulates 2012’s Scoundrel of the Year: Crossroads GPS

Karl Rove
Crossroads GPS

Washington, D.C. — Most of the candidates Crossroads GPS backed lost on Election Day, but in the end, Karl Rove and his shadowy non-profit still came out on top, eking out a victory in the race for CREW’s biggest award of 2012: Scoundrel of the Year.  No group laid bare the lawlessness and dysfunction of America’s campaign finance landscape in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision quite like Crossroads GPS did during the 2012 election.

“Americans shouldn’t minimize the threat dark money groups like Crossroads GPS pose to our democracy just because Karl Rove had a bad year,” said CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan.  “Without a doubt, the attempt by billionaires and corporations to buy our democracy with unlimited secret cash was the biggest scandal of the year, and Karl Rove was the poster child for that effort.”

CREW kept a close watch on Crossroads GPS throughout the year, calling attention to the ways the group skirted the edge of the law, and even broke it outright.  To maintain its tax-exempt status and avoid disclosing its donors to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), the group disguised political attack ads as “issue ads.”  Crossroads GPS also failed to disclose donors whose contributions targeted specific candidates for defeat, in violation of federal law.

“Given the FEC’s total failure to enforce the law, Crossroads GPS has no reason to stop using these illegal tactics,” Ms. Sloan continued.  “It’s time for the IRS to wake up and take action against groups that abuse their tax-exempt status to influence our elections.  If not, Karl Rove’s spending in the next election will likely dwarf what we saw in 2012.”

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is a non-profit legal watchdog group dedicated to holding public officials accountable for their actions. For more information, please visit or contact Jordan Libowitz at 202.408.5565 or

[ Please review our commenting policy here. ]  [ Comments powered by Disqus ]
© 2015 Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, all rights reserved.
• 455 Massachusetts Avenue NW • Sixth Floor • Washington, DC 20001 • 202-408-5565 •

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington®, and the
“CREW | Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington” wordmark are registered trademarks.