ELIZABETHTOWN — American Crossroads, the political action committee co-founded by Karl Rove, a senior official in the George W. Bush Administration, has dipped a toe into the race for New York’s 21st District.
In doing so, the organization has made history.
It marks the first time the powerful group (it spent $300 million during the 2012 election cycle) has entered the fray in a Republican primary, indicating, at the very least, judging by the content of their television ad that began airing on Tuesday in the Albany, Watertown and Plattsburgh media markets, that they are not supporters of GOP hopeful Matt Doheny.
American Crossroads, which is called a “super PAC” because of its ability to raise an unlimited amount of money from individuals from anywhere in the country, sunk $242,000 into a half-minute spot that features ominous, horror movie-type music as it attacks Doheny on several issues, including his past races for the seat, lawsuits and allegations that the candidate, an investment banker from Watertown, violated labor laws.
“It would be a big mistake to send him to Congress,” it concludes before identifying American Crossroads as the organization responsible for the advertisement.
Aside from Doheny, no other candidates or their campaigns were mentioned.
The Doheny campaign was outraged:
“I’m deeply troubled by the mean, personal and, in part, untruthful attacks launched on me by Elise Stefanik’s out of town supporters,” said Doheny in a written statement on Tuesday. “Partisan politics is tough enough, but even more troubling to me is the precedent set today that wealthy Republican donors and a reported ‘fundraising terrorist’ from outside our district have decided that they will choose who the next representative will be from the North Country.”
Doheny is referring to Paul Singer, a billionaire hedge fund manager whose committee, Winning Women, kicked in 41 percent of the campaign contributions reported by Elise Stefanik, Doheny’s opponent in the Republican primary, in the first quarter of 2014.