527 group helps GOP catch up in money race

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American Crossroads, however, seems to have no qualms about backing tea party favorites. Among its first actions was spending $360,000 on TV ads in Nevada criticizing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who faces tea party-backed Republican state lawmaker Sharron Angle this fall.

Mr. Law said his group also will try to oust Democratic senators in Arkansas, Colorado and Washington state, and to help Republicans win open Senate seats in Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, New Hampshire, Ohio and Pennsylvania. He said American Crossroads will get involved in about a dozen House races.

Buying TV attack ads is the splashiest way for a 527 group to draw attention. But many GOP operatives hope American Crossroads will spend heavily on voter-turnout efforts, an area where they feel Democrats and their labor union allies have excelled.

Mr. Law said his group will engage in “the full range of political activity,” including advertising, mail, phone banks and get-out-the-vote efforts.

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