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February 10, 2016

Karl Rove Group Gets Long-Sought Nonprofit Imprimatur

Crossroads GPS, the advocacy group founded by Republican strategist Karl Rove and one of the most prominent "dark money" entities in American politics, has been granted 501(c)(4) status by the Internal Revenue Service after a five-plus-year wait, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Mr. Rove established Crossroads in June 2010, five months after the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision that lifted limits on campaign donations by corporations and unions. Since that ruling, 501(c)(4) "social welfare" nonprofits, which are not required to disclose their donors, have become major vehicles for spending on campaign advertisements.

The IRS officially conferred nonprofit status on Crossroads in November and made it retroactive to June 1, 2010. The organization has raised and spent more than $330 million on election-related ads supporting conservative positions and criticizing Democratic candidates. Campaign watchdog groups have repeatedly singled out Crossroads in calling for IRS and Federal Election Commission to clamp down on dark money.