WASHINGTON, May 30 (UPI) -- Republican third-party groups plan to spend about $1 billion to help the GOP win the White House and take control of Congress, officials said.
People knowledgeable about the organizations' internal operations said the total includes previously undisclosed spending plans by billionaires Charles and David Koch, who are directing funds to county-by-county operations in battleground states, Politico reported Wednesday.
The Washington publication said it learned that Koch brothers-related organizations plan to spend about $400 million ahead of the 2012 elections, about twice what they planned to commit.
Restore Our Future, the Super PAC supporting presumptive Republican Party presidential nominee Mitt Romney spent nearly $50 million in the primaries and is expected to meet its goal of spending $100 million more, Politico said. American Crossroads and the affiliated Crossroads GPS, the groups conceived by George W. Bush administration operatives Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie, are expected to pony up $300 million.
"The intensity on the right is white-hot," said Steven Law, president of American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS. "We just can't leave anything in the locker room. And there is a greater willingness to cooperate and share information among outside groups on the center-right."
The $1 billion in third-party money is in addition to the Romney campaign and the Republican National Committee saying they intend to raise at least $800 million combined.
By contrast, Priorities USA Action, the Super PAC backing President Obama's re-election, has had fundraising struggles and hopes to spend about $100 million, Politico said. Organized labor also could add $200 million to $400 million in Democratic backing.
"We're not making any attempt to match American Crossroads or any of those groups with television ads ... Progressives can't match all the money going into the system right now because of Citizens United, so we have to have a program that empowers the worker movement," Michael Podhorzer, AFL-CIO political director, told Politico, referring to the Supreme Court decision that effectively ended restrictions on political contributions from the general funds of corporations and unions for independent electioneering.