Texas Builder Bob Perry Gave $7 million to American Crossroads, Reports Show

Money and Washington, campaign finance, cash, money, campaign donation, contributions, election, fundraising, capitol hill, congress, house, senate AP

AP

Texas builder Bob Perry, who in 2004 funded the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" campaign targeting Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, donated $7 million to conservative group American Crossroads between September 1 and October 13, according to the Wall Street Journal.

American Crossroads, which was founded with help from Republican strategists Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie, raised $15 million in September and early October alone, according to recently-released reports by the Federal Election Committee. According to Politico, more than two-thirds of that money came from a total of three individuals and two corporations.

Perry is known for bankrolling Republican causes, but his recent donation - made in a series of incremental checks over the course of several weeks - is one of the biggest political contributions made by an individual in the course of American history, according to the Journal.

In addition to Perry, major contributors include Robert Rowling, the owner of Gold's Gym and CEO of TRT Holdings; the Alliance Resource Group, a diversified coal producer with operations in the eastern United States; and Wayne B. Hughes, of Public Storage, the largest self-storage company in America.

Both Rowling and Alliance Resource Group gave contributions of $2 million or more, according to Politico. Hughes gave $1 million.

Other public contributors to American Crossroads during the current election cycle include Donald Trump, who gave $50,000, as well as Harold Simmons and Carl Linder. Both Simmons and Linder were donors for the Swift Boat campaign in 2004, and Simmons was also a major donor for the "American Issues Project," which ran ads tying President Obama to former Weather Underground member Bill Ayers during the 2008 election campaign.

American Crossroads, along with its partner American Crossroad GPS, have pledged to donate $65 million to Republican campaigns in the 2010 elections. The groups have played a major part in funding conservative candidates in tight election races - particularly as the Republican National Committee faces internal rifts and fundraising difficulties.

Politico points to several corporations, including Universal Health Care and MDI Imaging, that have made public contributions to American Crossroads - but reported that most corporate donors are contributing through American Crossroad GPS, where their donations can remain secret.

The Democratic National Committee has gone on the attack against Rove for his attempts at "stealing our Democracy" and for "spending millions from secret donors to elect republicans to do their bidding in congress."

Rove, in turn, thanked the White House "for helping boost donations" for the groups as a result of the condemnation.


Lucy Madison
Lucy Madison is a political reporter for CBSNews.com. You can read more of her posts here. Follow Hotsheet on Facebook and Twitter.

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