Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies (GPS), a 501(c)(4) social welfare group that claims to dedicate itself to pursuing political issues at hand, has recently been questioned over it’s political overspending. The group’s co-founder, Karl Rove, was left scratching his head after the accusations, wondering why his group had been singled out when other “… groups have operated for decades in the same way GPS does without Democrats complaining,” he said.
The answer to this question is simple: over the last two elections, Crossroads GPS has outspent more than any other 501(c)(4) organization using political funds . For instance, In October 2012, Crossroads GPS spent more that $41 million in negative advertisements in one month which is more than the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) spent in one year on all their expenses combined.
What’s even more outrageous is that Crossroads GPS has a very small staff for being such a well-funded organization. With only eight employees and zero volunteers, the fact that Crossroads GPS does not disclose the identity of their donors raises the question of where all the funds actually go. Compared to other conservative groups, such as the National Rifle Association (NRA) which has a considerably larger staff that includes volunteers, Crossroads GPS most definitely stands out from the rest when it comes to the spending of its funds.
In the debate over the recent Internal Revenue Service (IRS) targeting scandal, it is often difficult to determine how some groups such as Crossroads provide for social welfare when the groups have secretive ways of spending their money, all the while claiming tax-exemption come tax time. 501(c)(4) organizations are expected to keep their intentions focused solely on social welfare and unfortunately Crossroads GPS has seemed to have lost sight of that goal.
Krysta Loera is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire.