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21/10/2010

#yn-upshot-banner img { display:block; width:661px; height:80px; }Thu Oct 21, 11:36 am ETSwift Boat donor gives $7 million to American Crossroads

American Crossroads, a conservative group that has spent millions to boost GOP candidates in the 2010 midterms, raised $15 million in the last six weeks, nearly half of that from a single Republican donor.

According to , the group raised $7 million alone from Bob Perry, a press-shy Texas home builder perhaps best known as the donor who provided the seed money for . The Swift Boat group, one of the first and best-known so-called 527 political committees, spent nearly $20 million on ads attacking John Kerry in the '04 presidential campaign.

Perry, who was a top contributor to George W. Bush's presidential campaigns, has been a go-to donor for Republicans over the years. All told, he and his company, Perry Homes, have contributed more than $20 million to GOP candidates, parties and outside conservative groups since 2002, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. That doesn't include the $7 million to American Crossroads or a recent $3.5 million check to the Republican Governors Association-or political donations that aren't subject to public disclosure.

Perry wasn't the only major contributor to American Crossroads. According to its FEC report, the group also raised $1 million from B. Wayne Hughes, the chairman of љPublic Storage, and $3 million from Robert Rowling and his company, TRT Holdings, which owns Gold's Gym. All told, Rowling and his company have now contributed $5 million to American Crossroads since March; Hughes has contributed $2.6 million.

The group also reported a $2 million contribution from Alliance Resource Group, an energy company in Tulsa, Okla. љPerhaps the best-known donor to the group was New York developer and TV star Donald Trump, who contributed $50,000 to American Crossroads on Oct. 6.

Since July, American Crossroads has spent roughly $20 million-with most of that money distributed in the last six weeks. Since Oct. 1, the group has spent nearly $500,000 a day on ads and communications to boost House and Senate GOP candidates, according towith the FEC.

Crossroads GPS, its sister group, has spent roughly $12 million since July-including nearly $9 million since Oct. 1, according to . (That's an average $450,000 a day.) But that group, which is filed as a 501-c4 political committee, is not required by law to disclose its donors.

The two groups, linked to former Bush strategists Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie, hadto raise $50 million on the 2010 elections, but last weekto $65 million.

(Photo of Bob Perry: Melissa Phillip/Houston Chronicle via AP)

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