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American Crossroads makes $7 million ad buy

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American Crossroads, the super PAC linked to Republican operative Karl Rove, bought $7.3 million in air time and Internet ads opposing President Obama on Tuesday on top of more than $10 million last week, passing the original pro-Romney super PAC, Restore Our Future, to become the highest-spending outside group in the general election.

Since May, American Crossroads has spent $50 million, compared with $45 million by Restore Our Future and $35 million by Priorities USA, a pro-Obama super PAC.

But the American Crossroads super PAC also is backed up by an affiliate formed under Section 501(c) of the tax code, a strategy used to avoid disclosing donors. That group, Crossroads GPS, has spent an additional $30 million.

American Crossroads has received $7 million from Texas homebuilder Bob Perry and $6 million from Harold Simmons, owner of Contran Corp., which itself gave $2 million. Robert Rowling and TRT Holdings, his company that owns Gold’s Gym and Omni Hotels & Resorts, gave $5 million. B. Wayne Hughes, chairman of Public Storage Inc., gave $3 million.

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