Karl Rove to the White House: Thanks for Helping me Raise Money!

Karl Rove AP

Karl Rove, the former senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush, today thanked President Obama and the White House for helping him raise money for Republicans to spend in the midterm elections.

"A big 'thank-you' to @barackobama & @whitehouse for helping boost donations to @americanxroads," Rove wrote on Twitter, linking to his appearance on Fox News at left.

The White House has criticized American Crossroads, which is affiliated with Rove, and other outside groups for relying on anonymous donors to fund their spending on elections. (Though American Crossroads discloses its donors, its "American Crossroads GPS" arm does not.) It has also targeted outside groups, particularly the right-leaning business lobby the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, for potentially using foreign money to fund campaign ads, though there is no hard evidence to support that position.

Rove said on Fox that there are no foreign contributors to American Crossroads and said the White House had no credibility on the issue. He also said that "nobody cares about" the issue and suggested it has been a mistake for the White House to raise it.

Though both parties have benefited by spending from outside groups, many of which are structured so that they do not have to disclose their donors, right-leaning groups have reportedly spent eight times as much as their left-leaning counterparts.

A coalition of GOP groups are today launching a $50 million advertising push called the "House surge strategy," as the Wall Street Journal reports, "the biggest spending blitz ever by such groups in a congressional election campaign." The goal: To ensure that the GOP wins a House majority in the midterms and drive up the number of seats it ultimately takes over.

The $50 million represents more than the National Republican Congressional Committee, the official House campaign group, is spending in the entire campaign cycle. The coalition of outside groups includes American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS as well as American Action Network and the Commission on Hope, Growth and Opportunity.

Many of the ads from American Crossroads and the Chamber have been called misleading or false.

Meanwhile, Think Progress, the liberal blog whose investigation spurred the foreign money claims, is out with a new post today saying it "has identified at least 83 other foreign companies that actively donate to the Chamber's 501(c)(6)."

"Again, all of these annual dues are collected in the same 501(c)(6) the Chamber is using to run partisan attack ads," says Think Progress. "The data above reflects information from public sources, and the Chamber likely has many more foreign corporations as dues-paying members -- but refuses to divulge any of the funders for their ad campaign."

Bruce Josten, executive vice president for government affairs at the US Chamber of Commerce, told ABC News' Jake Tapper that "we're under no obligation, as any organization or association in the United States is, to divulge who its members are, who its contributors are."

Asked why the group won't open its books, Josten said, "We're not going to subject our contributors to harassment, to intimidation, and to threats and to invasions of privacy at their houses and at their places of business, which is what has happened every time there's been disclosure here."


Brian Montopoli is a political reporter for CBSNews.com. You can read more of his posts here. Follow Hotsheet on Facebook and Twitter.

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