ProPublica has a rundown of Crossroads GPS' initial IRS filing, which shows the group said its focus wouldn't be on influencing elections.
The Karl Rove-backed group applied for status as a social welfare nonprofit. According to its 2010 filing, the group said it would spend money to influence elections, but that it wouldn't be the organization's main purpose. From ProPublica:
Crossroads' breakdown of planned activities said it would focus half its efforts on "public education," 30 percent on "activity to influence legislation and policymaking" and 20 percent on "research," including sponsoring "in-depth policy research on significant issues."
This seems at odds with much of what the group has done since filing the application, experts said. Within two months of filing its application, Crossroads spent about $15.5 million on ads telling people to vote against Democrats or for Republicans in the 2010 midterm elections.
Crossroads GPS, which spent nearly $70.7 million on independent expenditures in the 2012 cycle, is affiliated with super PAC American Crossroads, which spent nearly $104.8 million, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics.
ProPublica writes that it received the application from the IRS, sent in response to a request for public records. But, "it didn't include an official IRS recognition letter, which is typically attached to applications of nonprofits that have been recognized," ProPublica writes. "The IRS is only required to give out applications of groups recognized as tax-exempt."
In an email to the Alley about the story, Crossroads GPS spokesman Jonathan Collegio said, “The real question is how ProPublica illegally obtained a working and non-final tax document from the Internal Revenue Service, while the distribution of such a document is clearly illegal."