Karl Rove's Crossroads groups announce $65 million ad buys

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(CBS News) The pro-Romney independent political group American Crossroads announced Monday a $40 million ad buy in eight battleground states, CBS News has confirmed, coming on the heels of a $25 million blitz by the group's sister organization, Crossroads GPS.

The American Corssroads ad campaign is for advertisements to run from Labor Day to Election Day with the goal of defeating President Obama.

Residents in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia will see the ads - states American Crossroads considers swing states and thinks will be up for grabs in the fall.

It is not expected to be the only ad buy by American Crossroads in the fall, because as the race progresses, the battleground states could change or become more pronounced. But the ads were purchased now because the rate is cheaper than when air becomes less available, especially as the presidential candidates purchase ads for a cheaper rate and have first priority.

The American Crossroads ad campaign is separate from a $25 million ad buy announced Friday by Crossroads GPS, a tax-exempt 501(c)(4) organization aligned with American Crossroads, but faces different restrictions. Per IRS regulations, Crossroads GPS can engage in political spending and advertising on issues but must also have the primary purpose of social welfare. Also, 501(c)(4) groups, since they file disclosures with the IRS, not with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), are not required to disclose their donors.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) is challenging Crossroads GPS' political activity. In a complaint filed with the FEC, the DSCC takes issue with Crossroads GPS and other tax exempt 501(c)(4)s for violating IRS restrictions and accuses the groups of raising and spending more on political efforts than they are legally allowed.

The complaint also argues that by filing with the IRS as a 501(c)(4) - and not with the Federal Election Commission - groups such as Crossroads GPS, Americans for Prosperity, and the 60 Plus Association are taking advantage of loopholes to bypass requirements to release the name of its donors.

"A Commission review will readily reveal that these 'Stealth PACs,' whose activities dwarf those of nearly all conventional PACs, have long been required to register, report and disclose their donors. Their time in the shadows is over," the complaint reads.

Jonathan Collegio, spokesperson for Crossroads, said "this latest complaint is virtually identical to the complaint filed by the Obama campaign and DNC two weeks ago - it is baseless, completely redundant and serves no purpose other than to generate headlines, as it was distributed to the news media before its recipients. Crossroads takes compliance very seriously."

  • Leigh Ann Caldwell On Twitter»

    Leigh Ann Caldwell is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.

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