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Outside Groups Aiding GOP Cause This Cycle

Even if the money materializes, it has yet to be determined whether and how the dozens of competitive races will be divided between the groups.

Crossroads appears to be primarily focused on the Senate (since it has already announced it is targeting key races in 10 states), while the American Action Network will focus on the House. But it appears that both groups want to reserve the right to play in any race they want, depending on the situation and the desires of their donors.

Crossroads just extended its television ad buy against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid into a fourth week and has now spent close to half a million dollars against the Nevada Democrat.

According to Law, Crossroads also plans to develop “full-service” political operations in the largest states, including Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida.

“Many independent groups tend to be media heavy, and we’ll certainly emphasize advertising,” Law explained, “but we want the capability to have boots on the ground and communicate directly with voters.”

As hot races develop over the next four months, there will be a temptation for multiple groups to swoop in on particular high-profile contests and take credit for an eventual victory, according to another GOP strategist.

“The question is, is anyone there to pick up the scraps and put races into position to win?” according to the source, who referred to MoveOn.org’s important role in the 2006 cycle when the liberal group focused on second- and third-tier Democratic opportunities and helped turn them into top-tier contests.

“I don’t know if there is a plan to do that. I don’t know if there is money to do that,” the Republican added.

For now, there is some communication between American Crossroads and the American Action Network, particularly since the two groups share an office suite on New York Avenue Northwest in Washington, D.C.

There is also considerable overlap in people involved in the groups. Rove has his hand in multiple groups, and Gillespie is involved with the Action Network, Crossroads and Resurgent Republic in addition to being chairman of the Republican State Leadership Committee, which focuses on state legislative races.

Former NRCC Chairman Tom Reynolds is on the Action Network board and is vice chairman of the RSLC. (Reynolds was New York Assembly Minority Leader before he came to Congress.) Former RNC Chairman Mike Duncan is chairman of the Crossroads board and is involved with an RSLC redistricting project as well.

“We are sharing information among many of the groups that are involved this election cycle with the goal of minimizing a duplication of effort,” said Law, a former chief legal officer and general counsel of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Crossroads can communicate with the chamber, Action Network and other outside groups but is prohibited from coordinating with the party campaign committees.

“There’s not some master plan,” according to one GOP consultant, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of potentially getting work for the groups. “The ‘well-organized right’ is never well-organized.”

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