WASHINGTON, April 17 (UPI) -- A group founded by U.S. GOP strategist Karl Rove said it took in more than $76 million from donors it did not name, some of whom gave more than $1 million.
The donations were listed in tax documents filed Tuesday by Crossroads GPS, which is registered as a social welfare organization and cannot have political activity as its primary function, but is among the leading opponents of President Barack Obama, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Two dozen donors contributed at least $1 million, and there were two donations of $10 million each, between June 1, 2010, when the organization was founded, and the end of 2011, the report said.
Documents filed with the IRS identify the donors, as legally required, but because Crossroads GPS is a 501(c)4 social welfare organization it does not have to make the names public, the newspaper said.
Crossroads GPS is affiliated with American Crossroads, a super PAC that is permitted to raise unlimited amounts of money to support or oppose candidates or issues but must operate independently of political candidates. Crossroads GPS and American Crossroads intend to spend about $300 million this year to promote conservative candidates and turn Obama out of the White House, the Times said.
Fred Wertheimer, president of Democracy 21, which advocates for campaign finance reform, said in a statement the IRS should "act to stop the farce that Crossroads GPS is a 'social welfare' organization."
"Karl Rove and Crossroads GPS are thumbing their nose at the American people. They are injecting secret, million-dollar and multimillion-dollar contributions into federal elections in direct conflict with the basic right of citizens to know the donors financing campaign expenditures to influence their votes."
Crossroads GPS spokesman Jonathan Collegio said the organization spends "a portion of its resources on political activity that furthers its social welfare mission" and contended that Wertheimer focuses his criticism on conservatives groups for doing the same thing "environmental groups and labor groups" do routinely.