POLITICS
10/25/2012 11:21 pm ET | Updated Oct 26, 2012

American Crossroads Final Efforts Heavily Funded By Swift Boat Donors

WASHINGTON -- Karl Rove's American Crossroads, the second-largest super PAC, burned through cash fast in October. The group raised $11.6 million in the first half of the month and spent $21 million, leaving it with $6.4 million cash.

The super PAC has been spending big to attack President Barack Obama on the economy, including one advertisement featuring Oscar-winning actor and director Clint Eastwood. These ads are helping Mitt Romney swamp the airwaves with anti-Obama ads in campaign's final few weeks.

The pro-Mitt Romney effort is being funded by a familiar cast of donors. In October, American Crossroads finally reassembled the entire cast of top donors to the infamous Swift Boat Veterans for Truth to fund its final run of television advertisements aimed at defeating President Barack Obama.

The Swift Boat group ran a series of damaging ads against 2004 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry. Questions were raised about the connections between the campaign of then-President George W. Bush and the independent group, particularly between the donors, which gave to both efforts.

The last of the top three donors from the Swift Boat group to give to American Crossroads, T. Boone Pickens, gave $1 million in the first few weeks of October. He was joined by Bob Perry, the largest donor to the Swift Boat efforts, who gave $1 million in October, bringing his total giving to American Crossroads to $7.5 million. Harold Simmons, the second-largest Swift Boat donor and the second largest super PAC donor in 2012, gave $4 million to American Crossroads this month, bringing his total giving to the group to $19.5 million.

These three former Swift Boat donors accounted for more than half of American Crossroads' $11.6 million raised in the first 17 days of October.

The group has raised a total of $99 million for the 2012 election and has spent $68 million on independent expenditures to defeat Democrats from the White House on down.

American Crossroads raked in donations from some of its own stash of big donors beyond those previously linked to Rove's electoral efforts. Robert Rowling and his TRT Holding Co. gave $1 million to the super PAC. Weaver Popcorn gave $500,000, Univision founder Jerry Perenchio gave $500,000, Ed Bosarge gave $100,000 and Richard Gilliam gave $250,000.

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