WASHINGTON — A pair of conservative groups founded with the help of Republican political guru Karl Rove raised more than $70 million since their inception last spring, making them the undisputed leaders of an onslaught of outside spending during the 2010 midterm campaign, according to new disclosures Thursday.
American Crossroads, a "super PAC" that can raise and spend as much money as it wants, took in nearly $28 million in donations, weighted heavily with large contributions from financiers, oil tycoons and other wealthy individuals, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission.
Spokesman Jonathan Collegio also said Thursday that a sister group, Crossroads GPS, took in about $43 million this year. Because it is organized as a nonprofit, the second group does not have to reveal its donors.
The disclosures were part of a wave of filings from political committees and organizations due Thursday at the FEC, covering the period from just before the Nov. 2 elections through Nov. 22.
The filings showed that both parties took on a lot of debt this year — Republicans to capitalize on the pro-GOP environment, and Democrats in an unsuccessful bid to prevent the damage.
The Republican National Committee had $15 million in debt at the end of last week and $1.9 million in the bank.
The GOP's House-race fund, the National Republican Congressional Committee, carried $12 million in debt and had $4.7 million in the bank.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee was in even worse financial shape, carrying $19.5 million in debt with $3 million in the bank. Over all, the DCCC spent $120.2 million on the election.
Total spending on the midterms could eclipse $4 billion by the time all the receipts are counted, including more than $400 million by independent groups.