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Karl Rove
Bush's Brain. That's not meant
as a compliment.
Mitt Romney's weekend retreat for his top fundraisers, "two days of policy sessions and campaign strategy discussions," according to WaPo, includes exceedingly prominent Super PAC adviser Karl Rove—and it's creating a bit of a stir. That whole "campaign strategy discussions" bit would be illegal, since Super PACs like Rove's American Crossroads are not allowed to coordinate campaign strategies with candidates. Since we here at Daily Kos would never presume someone as upstanding as Karl Rove (cough) would be involved with something illegal, untoward or otherwise sleazy (cough), we can only assume the plan is for Karl Rove (cough) to hide under his chair for those parts.

But it's getting attention. The Obama campaign's chief lawyer, Bob Bauer, is currently in the middle of an exchange with Rove over the matter (well, now it's also about Rove lying his very Republican ass off on Fox News about Bob Bauer). As far as lawyer fights go, this one could be pretty fun. Some excerpts:

You suggest that Crossroads is clearly a "social welfare organization" engaged in issue advocacy. But just this morning, in The Wall Street Journal, you boast about the role that Crossroads is playing in helping Governor Romney shrink "the campaign money gap". Karl Rove, "Romney Shrinks the Campaign Money Gap", The Wall Street Journal (June 21, 2012) [link]

While you somehow believe that just describing Crossroads activities as "policy"-focused is enough to spare the organization any disclosure requirements, your choice of labeling does not by law determine the nature of your product. This is precisely the position taken by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

And, of course, in neither this column nor your Fox appearance do you mention that your organization has also made millions of dollars in so-called independent expenditures—that is expenditures that are expressly campaign-related and reportable to the Federal Election Commission. You also fail to note was that Crossroads has refused to disclose the donations used to make even these clear-cut campaign expenditures. The FEC has asked for this doner information; Crossroads has refused. [...]

I look forward to your response, including the correction of the record about my representations. I understand that you will be traveling to join Governor Romney this weekend at a luxury fundraising event in Utah—an appearance that press reports not "could raise questions because of campaign finance laws barring any coordination between super PACs and actual campaigns". Phillip Rucker, "Romney Plans Posh Weekend Donor Retreat Featuring Karl Rove and VP", (June 20, 2012) [link] But I would ask that this trip not delay the immediate correction of your misstatements that I am requesting.

I'm not sure anyone can credibly argue that Crossroads is issue-oriented and not candidate-oriented; a mere scan through the attack ads they've put out against Romney opponents would seem to nix that premise right there. And I'm not sure Crossroads has a leg to stand on in refusing to disclose donor information to the FEC. Whether the FEC will do anything about it (or even can do anything about it, given the ridiculous weakness of campaign finance laws when it comes to Super PACs, and thank you very much, Supreme Court, for foisting this new bit of corporatized campaign rancidness upon us) isn't yet clear. But at least people are finally beginning to ask the questions.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Puhlease.... (11+ / 0-)

    Laws are such a quaint concept.

    They are for Little people and Democrats.  

    Republicans have this thing called money.  It trumps laws.


    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 05:04:56 PM PDT

  •  Can I get you a lozenger, Hunter? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    niemann, Matt Z


    A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen, and philosophers and divines. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

    by tb mare on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 05:07:50 PM PDT

  •  Rove breaks law. Water remains wet. (7+ / 0-)

    What a loathsome, loathsome man.

    Clearest proof there is no God: Carl Rove & Roger Ailes in the same place, and no lightning or meteor strikes obliterate them both.

  •  title (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mike Kahlow, tharu1, blueoldlady

    That's one of those "does a bear etc.," type questions, isn't it.

    Just Win, Baby. -- Al Rodgers, Feb. 24, 2012

    by OLinda on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 05:09:36 PM PDT

  •  my immediate reaction (5+ / 0-)

    to your title was along the lines of "Does the sun rise in the east?"

    Good to keep this in the public eye as much as possible, and I'm happy to see the Obama campaign on the case. It's not exactly frogmarching the little turd off to the ignominy he so richly deserves, but it's a start.

    Republicans stand for raw, unbridled evil and greed and ignorance smothered in balloons and ribbons. -- Frank Zappa

    by Mnemosyne on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 05:15:07 PM PDT

  •  My favorite Rove picture - let it be. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  IOKIYAR dontchaknow n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z

    We kidnap. We torture. It's our policy. Embrace it or end it!

    by Mosquito Pilot on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 05:18:25 PM PDT

  •  By law... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KenBee, blueoldlady

    I'm guessing you mean that quaint legislative document that 5 conservative justcies partisans will rule unconstitutional if and when Federal Election Commission v. Crossroads GPS is argued at the Supreme Court.

  •  When is he NOT breaking the law? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, hnichols, blueoldlady

    Despicable turd blossom...

    For a better America, vote the GOP out of office whenever and wherever possible and as soon (and as often) as possible!

    by dagnome on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 05:20:55 PM PDT

  •  He's not breaking the law. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:


    He's walking right up to its edge and pissing on it.

    •  Just like every Republican Governor, Seceratery of (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mike Kahlow

      State, State AG, every Senator and Congressman, some SCOTUS judges, the bankers, lobbyists, billionaire Super PAC donors, industry titans...they have ALL been dancing on the edge of the law often dipping a toe or three or four across that line for far too long.

  •  No laws for the political class, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    unless they piss off the oligarch, like Blagojevich, who appointed that US senator that wasn’t supposed to be there, or Edwards and that thorn-in-the-side public option. Other than pissing off the oligarch, there are no laws for the political class.

  •  ianal (0+ / 0-)

    but if he doesn't have issues ...

    "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

    by indycam on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 05:30:55 PM PDT

  •  No executive orders to protect him any more. (0+ / 0-)

    "Architect of America's Disgrace, 2001-2009"

    Keep your mitts off our government!

    by Says Who on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 05:31:40 PM PDT

  •  kkkarl rove's entire life has been spent (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoldlady, vcmvo2

    breaking the law, so this is just more of the same -- he's a career criminal, & if he wasn't so pasty white, his fatass would have been in jail a long time ago.

    i have confidence, tho, one day he'll get what's coming to him -- & it won't be pretty, either.  rw asshats have a way of going out w/a nasty bang.

  •  While it's entertaining to watch Bauer taking (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KenBee, vcmvo2

    Rove and Crossroads to task, and while it's good that this issue is getting some attention (in a better-than-NOT-getting-attention way), ultimately, it matters not one iota.

    First, EVEN IF the FEC rules that Crossroad's activity violates the prohibition against coordination, the result of that finding would be a slap-on-the-wrist cost-of-doing-business sanction, AFTER the damage is done, coupled with an admonition not to do it again (until it's done again - rinse and repeat).

    Second, the modern day Republican-leaning segment of the electorate doesn't give a rosy red rat's ass about rules and laws and fair play and decency. They care about winning. ANY stratagem that protects and advances their self-perceived parochial interests trumps the general welfare.

    Today's battle is between those of us who still possess a moral compass and those who wouldn't know a moral compass if the glass broke and the needle stabbed them in the butt.

    •  But wouldn't a lawsuit be simply delicious? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      antirove, WisePiper, Gordon20024
      "On Tuesday, a lawyer for President Barack Obama filed a compliant with the Federal Elections Commission over Karl Rove’s organization, Crossroads GPS. Robert Bauer, the Obama campaign’s chief counsel, claimed the organization was unlawfully hiding its donors from the public by masquerading as a “social welfare” organization.

      Legal action against Crossroads GPS is likely to succeed, according to Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). But not until after the November elections."

      via Raw Story

      What I'd like to know is: can someone else bring a lawsuit, NOW, so that it kicks in before November?

      -Archaeo Terroirist

  •  Rove does not care about the law (0+ / 0-)

    If he was hauled up for "coordinating", which he is obviously doing, his buddies on the Supreme Court would just create a new law that makes it okey dokey to throw tons of cash at candidates with no restrictions whatsoever.

    It's called judicial activism where new laws are made up on the spot by the supremes to help out their fellow wingnuts.

    (Not to be confused with rulings that actually support the constitution but are considered to be liberal. That is in fact  judicial activism.)

  •  Tell me again, How many subpoenas did Rove (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    completely ignore?

    Now tell me why this dude is not in jail.

    Love will save you from the cold light of boring reality... But it won't save me -- SWANS

    by jethrock on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 05:49:10 PM PDT

  •  Why does it matter.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    No matter what he does the Supremes have his back.

  •  This bull pucky about (0+ / 0-)

    "Super PACs like Rove's American Crossroads are not allowed to coordinate campaign strategies with candidates" is a total scam. The SCOTUS knows it, the people know it and Karl Rove knows it. It's just a sentence they came up with to attempt to make people think these PACS were working all on their own. I'm not sure who came up with is..does any one know? But I am really resentful that whoever did thinks we Americans are so damn stupid we can't figure out the truth.

    Prejudice is a shadowy mist, which in our journey through the world often dims the brightest and obscures the best of all the good and glorious people and objects that meet us on our way. L. Shaftesbury

    by Maggie524 on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 05:54:57 PM PDT

  •  Karl can't break the law, he IS the law. n/t (0+ / 0-)

    "Four more years!" (Obama Unencumbered - The Sequel)

    by jwinIL14 on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 05:58:52 PM PDT

  •  Karl Rove always breaks the law (0+ / 0-)

    and should be in jail. He represents what is seriously wrong in this country, no accountability.

    America, We blow stuff up!!

    by IndyinDelaware on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 06:29:15 PM PDT

  •  I don't wish ill on people, but for Rove (0+ / 0-)

    I make an exception.

    "Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened." Sir Winston Churchill

    by psnyder on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 06:49:16 PM PDT

  •  A side bar to this is how much money Rove (0+ / 0-)

    has personally made from it.

    Isn't it odd that American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS, the two 501(c)(4) groups headed by Rove, share the same office space with Crossroads Media?

    66 Canal Center Plaza, Suite 555, Alexandria, VA

    While we leftie bloggers hope to scrape a few donations or ads together to buy coffee for the month, Karl Rove has a media company that makes thousands - perhaps millions - from ad buys placed by his 501 groups.

    It's a big money circle, that not only promotes their politics, but pays their members to do so.

    And we wonder why we get creamed.

    Form follows function -- Louis Sullivan

    by Spud1 on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 08:29:14 PM PDT

  •  Any attorneys in the house? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I read the reply that Crossroads sent to FEC, and if I'm reading correctly, they say that they don't have to comply with the disclosure requirements of  11 C.F.R. § 109.10 because donations were not targeted, and that they don't have to comply with 11 C.F.R. part 114 because they have "never claimed to be a qualified nonprofit corporation."

    How do they get around not "allowing targeted donations" due to being established as a (c)4, but also claim not to be a "qualified nonprofit corporation" though they meet all 5 criteria? It seems to me that their logic is circular.

    What am I missing?

    "Mitt Romney isn't a vulture capitalist: vultures only eat things that are dead." -S. Colbert

    by newinfluence on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 09:01:52 PM PDT

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