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September 1, 2015

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Nevada Wonk

Karl Rove group to run radio ads defending Rep. Joe Heck

Three days after the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee launched a media blitz against Republican Rep. Joe Heck, Crossroads GPS is hitting back with an ad of its own.

Crossroads GPS is a political nonprofit group founded by GOP operatives Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie. Rove is widely credited as the architect of George W. Bush’s successful presidential bids, and Gillespie is a former Republican National Committee chairman.

The radio ad, which airs today through Tuesday, accuses Democrats of "nearly bankrupting America," cutting Medicare and raising taxes. It defends Heck and blasts "Pelosi's gang" for attacking him in their ad campaign.

"America spoke," a voice in the Crossroads ad says. "We rose up and took our country back. We sent Joe Heck to do the job Washington politicians wouldn't, to stop the bailouts and government spending so small businesses could start hiring again....We stand with Joe Heck, not Nancy Pelosi's politics of spend and smear."

Monday, Democrats began airing radio commercials trying to convince voters that Republican efforts to cut spending will kill jobs. They ran the ads in 19 key districts, including Heck's.

"While Rep. Joe Heck is being held accountable to stop the partisan plan to cut 40 percent in education funds and cost us American jobs, big money special interests are lining up to protect their investment,” Jesse Ferguson, of the DCCC, said in response to the Republican ad. “The question is what does American Crossroads expect for their protection of Rep. Joe Heck?”

American Crossroads is a Rove-Gillespie Super PAC and has accepted contributions as high as $1 million from Fortune 500 companies, oil executives and other interests. The organization has chosen to disclose its contributors monthly.

Crossroads GPS, its sister group, does not have to disclose its donors as long as less than half of its activity is politically related.

Both groups spent heavily in Nevada last fall during the race between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican challenger Sharron Angle. Candidates and elected officials do not coordinate with the groups; both act independently from campaigns and office holders.

This time around, Crossroads GPS is spending $90,000 on its 19-district campaign - nine times more, according to Crossroads officials, than Democrats spent on their ad buy.

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