Ed Gillespie, Co-Founder of Crossroads, Gets His Own Super PAC

The creation of a pro-Gillespie super PAC is intriguing, considering his crucial role in the creation of American Crossroads, one of the biggest players in the 2012 elections.

US President George W. Bush introduces Ed Gillespie, former chairman of the Republican National Committee, as new White House counselor, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, 13 June 2007. Gillespie will replace Dan Bartlett, who currently holds the position and announced his resignation 01 June
National Journal
Shane Goldmacher
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Shane Goldmacher
Feb. 12, 2014, 11:29 a.m.

Re­pub­lic­an Sen­ate can­did­ate Ed Gillespie, who helped co-found the Amer­ic­an Cross­roads su­per PAC with GOP strategist Karl Rove, won’t be re­ly­ing on Rove’s group as his chief out­side boost­er in his Vir­gin­ia cam­paign.

He’s get­ting a su­per PAC of his own.

Al­lies of Gillespie, the former Re­pub­lic­an Na­tion­al Com­mit­tee chair­man, have cre­ated the We Can Do Bet­ter PAC, Na­tion­al Journ­al has learned. A fact sheet dis­trib­uted to donors lists vet­er­an Re­pub­lic­an strategist Paul Ben­necke, a former polit­ic­al dir­ect­or of the Re­pub­lic­an Gov­ernors As­so­ci­ation, as the seni­or ad­viser to the su­per PAC.

Ben­necke is fa­mil­i­ar with Vir­gin­ia’s polit­ic­al land­scape. He ran a su­per PAC that spent about $5 mil­lion in a failed bid to re­turn Re­pub­lic­an George Al­len to the Sen­ate in 2012. Reached by phone, Ben­necke de­clined to com­ment.

Sen­ate can­did­ates in 2014 across the na­tion are get­ting per­son­al­ized su­per PACs — which can col­lect money in un­lim­ited chunks. But the cre­ation of a pro-Gillespie su­per PAC is par­tic­u­larly in­triguing, con­sid­er­ing his cru­cial role in the cre­ation of Amer­ic­an Cross­roads, one of the biggest play­ers in the 2012 elec­tions.

Re­pub­lic­an donors com­plained about Amer­ic­an Cross­roads and its non­profit arm, Cross­roads GPS, for spend­ing hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars in 2012, only to lose most of the races in which they cam­paigned. In 2014, the Re­pub­lic­an su­per PAC world has in­creas­ingly splintered, as state-spe­cif­ic en­tit­ies have sprung up prom­ising donors more tar­geted spend­ing.

Gillespie is chal­len­ging in­cum­bent Demo­crat­ic Sen. Mark Warner this year. Fil­ings show the We Can Do Bet­ter PAC was re­gistered with the Fed­er­al Elec­tions Com­mis­sion by at­tor­ney Mi­chael Adams one week after Gillespie entered the race in Janu­ary.

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