Make us your home page
Instagram

Rove's 'super PAC' helps Rubio in surge

A new and powerful "super-PAC" tied to Republican strategist Karl Rove, fueled by out-of-state corporations and billionaires, is swooping into Florida to put its money behind front-runner Marco Rubio in the U.S. Senate race.

American Crossroads spent nearly $250,000 so far on pro-Rubio mailings aimed at absentee voters, according to a report filed Tuesday with the Federal Elections Commission. The group can shell out unlimited money on Rubio's behalf, thanks to a Supreme Court ruling earlier this year that allows corporations and wealthy individuals to funnel money directly to campaigns.

"This group is really at the forefront of this new phenomenon of super PACs," said Dave Levinthal, a spokesman for the Washington-based Center for Responsive Politics, a campaign watchdog group. "We've been saying that the Supreme Court decision would open up a brand-new avenue of money and influence, and we're seeing that very much come true."

American Crossroads is among a number of outside, special interest groups influencing the race for Florida's coveted open Senate seat and helping Rubio erode the fundraising edge held by Gov. Charlie Crist.

As of early August, the Republican-turned-independent governor had $8 million, compared to Rubio with about $4.5 million and Democrat Kendrick Meek with about $2.6 million.

American Crossroads raised more than $9.3 million between January and August, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Two of its largest donations came from the oil and gas industry. Rubio is the only candidate in the Senate race who favors expanding offshore oil drilling. Crist was once open to more oil exploration, but changed his position after the BP oil spill.

Another recent donation to American Crossroads came from Daniels Manufacturing Corp., an aircraft and aerospace company based in Orlando that has received millions of dollars in federal contracts.

"I like his politics," president George Daniels said of Rubio. "He's pro-defense, pro-lower taxes and has been that way for a long time, as opposed to the flip-flopping governor."

American Crossroads has spent millions of dollars attacking Democratic candidates. The source of some of its money is a secret because it is affiliated with a nonprofit arm, Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies, that is not required to disclose donors to the IRS.

"The Washington special interests know about Marco Rubio's hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded giveaways here in Florida, and are hoping there's more money where that came from should he win," said Crist spokesman Danny Kanner.

A spokesman for American Crossroads said the group is prepared to spend more money in Florida if Rubio's lead slips.

A CNN-Time-Opinion Research poll released Wednesday found Rubio with 42 percent of the vote, Crist with 31 percent and Meek with 23 percent.

The pro-Rubio mailing features pictures of the Democratic establishment in Washington and assails them for running up the federal deficit. "Marco Rubio will get our economy moving forward again and rein in out-of-control spending in Washington, D.C.," it says.

Miami Herald staff writer Lesley Clark contributed to this report.

Rove's 'super PAC' helps Rubio in surge 09/29/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 29, 2010 11:17pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Legalized medical marijuana signed into law by Rick Scott

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed into law a broader medical marijuana system for the state, following through on a promise he made earlier this month.

    Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation on Friday that legalizes medical marijuana in Florida.
  2. Line of moms welcome Once Upon A Child to Carrollwood

    Business

    CARROLLWOOD — Strollers of all shapes and sizes are lined up in front of the store, and inside, there are racks of children's clothing in every color of the rainbow.

    At Once Upon A Child, you often as many baby strollers outside as you find baby furniture and accessories. It recently opened this location in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser
  3. Pastries N Chaat brings North India cuisine to North Tampa

    Business

    TAMPA — Pastries N Chaat, a new restaurant offering Indian street food, opened this week near the University of South Florida.

    The menu at Pastries N Chaat includes a large variety of Biriyani, an entree owners say is beloved by millions. Photo courtesy of Pastries N Chaat.
  4. 'Garbage juice' seen as threat to drinking water in Florida Panhandle county

    Water

    To Waste Management, the nation's largest handler of garbage, the liquid that winds up at the bottom of a landfill is called "leachate," and it can safely be disposed of in a well that's 4,200 feet deep.

    Three samples that were displayed by Jackson County NAACP President Ronstance Pittman at a public meeting on Waste Management's deep well injection proposal. The sample on the left is full of leachate from the Jackson County landfill, the stuff that would be injected into the well. The sample on the right shows leachate after it's been treated at a wastewater treatment plant. The one in the middle is tap water.
  5. Honda denies covering up dangers of Takata air bags

    Autos

    With just a third of the defective Takata air bag inflators replaced nationwide, the corporate blame game of who will take responsibility — and pay — for the issue has shifted into another gear.

    Honda is denying covering up dangers of Takata air bags. | [Scott McIntyre, New York Times]