Karl Rove’s crusade against Lois Capps

July 18, 2011

Karl Rove

A conservative group linked with Republican strategist Karl Rove has launched an ad campaign targeting 10 vulnerable House Democrats, including Congresswoman Lois Capps, who are up for reelection in 2012. [WallStreetJournal]

Crossroads GPS plans to run ads for the next two weeks targeting Reps. Mike Ross of Arkansas, Jim Matheson of Utah, Kurt Schrader of Oregon, Heath Shuler of North Carolina, Bill Owens and Tim Bishop of New York, Ben Chandler of Kentucky, Leonard Boswell of Iowa, Jerry Costello of Illinois and Capps.

The ads target lawmakers on tax and spending issues and for their support of President Barack Obama’s policies, including the stimulus package passed in 2009. Crossroads is spending $1.4 million on the campaign, or a little more than $100,000 per district — a significant ad buy in a House race for a third-party group this early in the election cycle, the Wall Street Journal said.

Anti-Capps ads are running on television stations in both San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties.

With the exception of Capps, who won her district with 57 percent of the vote in 2010, each of the Democrats being targeted is considered a top target by national Republicans, according to the Wall Street Journal.

In 2010, Crossroads and an affiliated organization, American Crossroads, spent $38.6 million running ads against Democrats running for the House and Senate in tight races across the country.

The group announced plans to spend $20 million this summer on an advocacy campaign targeting “runaway government spending.”

“President Obama and his congressional allies have already wasted hundreds of billions of our tax dollars, and we need to send them the message that they don’t deserve another penny in taxes,” Steve Law, president of Crossroads GPS said.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Funny thing happened a couple of years ago, perhaps some of you recall when Tom Bordonaro invited Karl Rove for a book signing meet and greet, with optional $1,000 a plate fundraiser at the Madonna Inn (early 2009?).

I was angry about the disinformation surrounding WMD’s and the collusion behind selling the war effort to the American people, which is something that Rove was knee deep in. I was protesting with Code Pink and carrying a sign that identified Karl Rove as a “traitor” who should be in prison rather than visiting the good people of SLO.

I was polite at all times, smiling and waving to the car’s as they entered the Madonna Inn. What was shocking is that local citizens who appeared to be the upper crust of SLO society, while driving Mercedes, Lexus, BMW’s etc and dressed in their Sunday best, complete with Rolex watches and all their blink, were giving me the FINGER! In fact what really through me for a loop is that the majority of people flipping me off were the woman, only one man joined the ladies choir that day! I kept asking myself how is that they didn’t know about Karl Rove? Maybe they were just pissed off about the Obama Care controversy and figured that I was a Democrat who deserved the one finger solute? Too funny, too amazing to see the hostility from such gentile and proper looking citizens! Shame on them.

By the way, if any one here flipped me off, no I wasn’t a Democrat.

PBS/Frontline has published a couple of very good documentaries about Rove. I think the best of the two is Bush’s Brain, based on a book by the same name: http://www.bushsbrain.com/

Here’s a quote from the website’s intro about Bush’s Brain:

“George W. Bush couldn’t have become President without the genius of Karl Rove, the Wizard of Oz behind the curtain and the man who has become known as ‘Bush’s Brain.’

There would be no War with Iraq without Karl Rove — because he sold us images of ‘mushroom clouds over America’, ‘weapons of mass destruction’ and the critical importance of a ‘War President.’

There would be no Patriot Act without Karl Rove because he convinced America that dissent was the same as disloyalty. He persuaded America that to speak out and question your country meant that you weren’t a patriot, that you didn’t love your country.

Karl Rove was the dark daVinci of American politics. He was a master at creating the wedge issue: whether it be gay marriage or national security or patriotism. If he could convince you that the other side was “un-American, he could always come out on top. Karl Rove was a virtuoso when it came to dividing America to elect his candidate.

Whether it was John McCain being ‘rumored’ to have fathered a daughter with an African American prostitute or accusing Georgia Senator Max Cleland, a Vietnam and veteran and amputee, of being soft on terrorism, Karl Rove was a master at ‘smash-mouth’ junkyard dog politics.

BUSH’S BRAIN is a Karl Rove primer….”


The second PBS Frontline documentary on Karl Rove is The Architect:


This documentary can be watched online.

There is a lot of related information about Rove on this site; for instance, a couple of speeches Rove gave.


Finally, don’t miss “MC Rove” rappin’ at a GOP function: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYZre8kEsuw&feature=related

Touché Mary,

Bush’s Brain and The Architect are two flicks that are a must see for all voting American’s. After watching Bush’s Brain several years ago, I purchased the book and didn’t put it down until I finished it. I was both fascinated at such evil treachery and equally incensed at that sycophants (Rove’s)“doublethink” rhetoric. I have since concluded that Karl Rove should be tried for sedition against the people of the US of A, and then some.

Haven’t seen McRove.

no comment-http://boingboing.net/2007/08/18/essay-im-the-proud-o.html

Let me start with this first. I think Rove is a looney tune.

Now my rant about Capps. I sent a letter concerning the budget and pension mess in Washington and California. I give a very sound solution to the problem caused with long term defined benefit pensions ( a dinosaur from years gone past) and I get back a very lovely letter describing everything she has done for us and NOT ONE WORD ABOUT PENSIONS. NOT A CHARACTER REFERENCING MY ORIGINAL LETTER to her.

She deserves any campaign against her. Worthless, blowhard.

Oh my, I think Lois can defend herself well enough …

Karl is shrewd, but the biggest challenge for her is whether her district remains the bastion of left coasters…. or if it gets incorporated into communities where people who have to actually work for a living reside.

The real question for Lois’s survival is to whether or not she can abandon her environmental-surf-group-hug-a-bear-abort-a-baby wing nuts and hit a middle of the road position. If she can, she has a chance… but if she stays where she is… she’s a goner. Sorry, kids, that’s just the way it is.

You’ve heard this before… but outside of those living off the rest of us… most people are more concerned with the future of this country, the price of food and gas, the future careers of our children… than whether or not there is oil drilling off the coast. It’s the economy stupid.

A dream for ourselves and our children should depend more that a hope that they can master the elegant phrase,” Would you like that super-sized?”

Eloquent and succinct.

Agreed, He was the brain they planted in President George’s empty head. Rove’s job was to make trillions for 2% of the pop.

Spot on.

The youtube ditty is a piece of crap, anyone smarter than a worm could see that. “Capps voted for billions of tax increases”-oh really? Where are those tax increases? There aren’t any. In fact the fascists on the right will not even allow the taxes to go back where they were so we can pay for their wars and other crimes (such as wrecking the economy).

Don’t buy this, do you tea baggies? Look at the special deals the repos cut for wall street, the banks, big pharma, big insurance etc. These are all the creepos who made trillions while we lost our shirt. It is always the repos defending the big shots, yet you little shots are always whining about the dems. You are nuts, your only hope is the dems, the party (historically and imperfectly) of and for the people.

Rove is out to get the few outspoken Dems who will defend your health, your rights. Supporting Rove (who is a known creep and evil manipulator of public opinion) is cutting your own throat.

^^^ Hear me roar!

What a lemming!

the lib’s will run right off of the edge if you show them the way and it’s left of center

Everything hotdog said is true, the problem is that the Dem’s are all about entitlements including putting their grubby hands in everyone else’s wallets and dictating how we should all live and think. They aren’t any better for the middle class than the Republican’s. The middle class, that’s us, the people who work and pay our taxes. To hell with both parties.

IMO, there is little difference between the politics of the elected Republicans and Democrats. In fact, I think we are actually living under an oligarchy.

We can argue whether it is a fascist oligarchy or not, but I definitely believe it is an oligarchy.

I’m a life-long liberal, and a registered Democrat since I was old enough to vote, but I no longer consider myself a Democrat. IMO, one cannot be a liberal and a Democrat at the same time. You can, however, be a Democrat and a Republican–in today’s world of Democrats doing more to advance the neocon agenda than GWBush did–at the same time.

The biggest threat from Rove is that he is very masterful at targeting groups of voters with propaganda that is both subtle and very effective.

I don’t listen to people like Rove or Fox news commentators. If I must cover the material, I will read transcripts. However, I have too much respect for the powerful impact of subtle propaganda to allow myself to actually listen to it (listening being the more successful programming form of propaganda, compared to just reading text).

Just my opinion…your mileage may vary.

Hotdog YOU are spot on!

Hotdog, ITA with your statement “The youtube ditty is a piece of crap, anyone smarter than a worm could see that.”

However, history has shown us that Rove is a master propagandist. I think he is most effective when he uses a subtle touch because it is then that he can, without them knowing it, change (in small ways that add up to larger resutls) the thinking of normally aware voters. However, he can be effective with his ham-fisted attacks, as well.

Karl Rove and Lee Atwater were contemporaries, with Atwater make his name first, in a more bold way, while Rove slithered through the political theater using the backstage, where the most damage can be done to any production, political or not.

PBS (Frontline) has a great documentary on Atwater, and if you want insight into Rove, his tactics, and what motivates him, starting with Atwater is a good place to start.



I’m not much for Karl Rove, but the I am heartened by this campaign.

In my experience, Capps can continue to wrecking the state as long as she wants to, thanks to her gerrymandered district.

I am glad to see Rove and Co don’t see it that way; that they see hers as a close race.

I saw this ad on tv tonight. How many names are these creeps using to throw money at the Democrat incumbents? Too many.

Rove does not throw money at political races he doesn’t think he/his stooge can win.

Karl Rove, does anybody even pay attention to you any more? I thought you were outted years ago as the most disingenuous, outright lying, dirt bag of a spin doctor all the way to my side of the Atlantic?

Signed by a California Gal

There isn’t a thing you say that I’m interested in reading about.

Right back atcha, does anyone really pay attention to “the friendliest legislator”, lois capps any more?

Signed by a native son fed up of lois capps and her uselessness…

If he was all that, wouldn’t he be on Obama’s payroll, too?

While we were sidetracked pitching a fit about Obama breaking his campaign promises and going neocon-republican on us, Karl Rove and others were restructuring the political landscape.

Starting a few months before the 2008 election occurred, Karl Rove pulled a truly brilliant move. With the help of Michael Steele’s nincompoopery, Karl Rove (and others) split the big-money backers of the GOP’s religious right faction from the Republican National Committee.

The evangelicals have become an important part of the GOP voting base. In aligning itself with the evantelicals, it has cost the GOP some of their credibility, as has the GOP’s coddling of the teabaggers. However, in return, the GOP received a very easily manipulated, if fringey and demanding, group of voters.

Before the split of the big-money/RNC, much of the contributions went to the RNC, which then parceled it out to candidates, RNC efforts, etc. This gave the RNC supreme power over who was elected under the RNC banner and who was not.

However, over the past decade, there has been the rising of evangelical-organizations’ public relations groups, such as the DeMoss Group, 5WRelations, etc. While groups like Focus on the Family still have an in-house PR group, they also, as do many other large evangelical groups, funnel money through a PR group, which has more freedom to funnel it to specific candidates.

So the evangelicals and their handlers are much more independent from the RNC now, and this will change the political landscape in a big way.

Karl Rove, and other rightwing policy movers, are benefitting from this.

Based on what we are seeing so far, the evangelical voters and their handlers are going to be very active in this campaign season.

The rank-and-filer Democratic voters think that because the GOP candidates aren’t bring in as much money from the GOP CANDIDATES that this means there isn’t a lot of money coming in to back the rightwing candidates in 2012.

This is not the truth. The money is being funneled into these large evangelical PR groups, and they will decide who will be the next GOP candidate for POTUS, and perhaps POTUS, as well.