At the Crossroads

Liberal groups demand disclosure from conservative Super PACs while accepting money from secret groups

June 21, 2012

Liberal protesters funded by secretive, big money non-profits marched to the headquarters of a conservative super PAC on Wednesday to protest the influence of secretive big money in politics.

Starting from a downtown Hilton in Washington, D.C., protesters marched more than a mile in sweltering heat before arriving at the headquarters of American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS, the political group cofounded by Republican strategist Karl Rove.

The event was sponsored by such liberal groups as the Campaign for America’s Future, Rebuild the Dream, People for the American Way, Public Campaign, The Other 98%, Health Care for America Now, Alliance for Justice, Public Citizen, and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

According to the event flyer, which included a picture of Karl Rove in an orange prison jumpsuit, the groups held a "march to indict" American Crossroads "for the crimes of trying to buy our elections and keep people from exercising their right to vote."

The protesters announced they were "indicting" Rove on five counts, including "collusion with secretive groups to keep people from exercising their right to vote" and "engaging in fraudulent use of nonprofit status in order to shield their political activity from public scrutiny."

"You are hereby commanded to cease and desist from these action that are undermining our democracy and the American dream," the crowd chanted. "Failure to comply will result in a citizens arrest. Karl Rove, you are indicted!"

Karl Rove was not present.

Many of the groups sponsoring the rally engage in the same tactics they claim to deplore.

"The protest is cute—reminds me of college, when the vegans protested the vegetarian bar at the cafeteria for serving honey—except the vegans were wearing leather shoes," American Crossroads communications director Jonathan Collegio said.

"Here, groups are marching for donor disclosure, but many don’t disclose their own donors. Some are actually funded in part by SEIU, the dark money kingpin of the left which itself doesn’t disclose donors."

For example, the Campaign for America’s Future, which describes itself as "the strategy center for the progressive movement," does not disclose its donors. It could not be reached for comment.

Billy Wimsatt, the partnerships director and co-founder of Rebuild the Dream, was unsure if his organization released its donors. When asked if he knew who funded the group, he said, "That’s not my job."

Rebuild the Dream was co-founded by former Obama green jobs czar and 9/11 Truther Van Jones, with help from the liberal activist group MoveOn. The organization was not available for comment to disclose its donors.

Jones’ other organization, Color of Change, does not reveal its sources of funding.

As previously reported by the Free Beacon, Common Cause, another sponsor, claims to be a nonpartisan organization fighting to get big money out of politics, but runs smear campaigns against conservative politicians and groups while accepting money from Democrats such as former New Jersey Senator and Governor Jon Corzine.

The rally briefly included a chant of "four more years!" for President Obama, who took more Wall Street donations than any other candidate in U.S. history during his 2008 campaign.