GOP Dark Money Guru Faces Embarrassing Loss As His Own Super PAC Raises Zero Dollars

Image: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

SuperPAC down! Republican candidate Ed Gillespie’s SuperPAC “We Can Do Better” raised zero dollars in the third quarter. This is rather embarrassing for the “dark money guru” of the Republican Party.

Gillespie, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, is running for the Senate in Virginia against Democratic Senator Mark Warner. CBS News reported that he invested no new money in TV ads with the last ad airing Monday, but the Gillespie campaign claims they will make a new buy on Saturday.

The SuperPAC to elect Ed Gillespie, co-founder with Karl Rove of the big dark money PAC American Crossroads, raised zero dollars in the third quarter, according to Politico. His campaign raised $1.8 million leaving him with $2 million in cash, but the Republican fundraising heavy weight failed to draw in more dark money for his race.

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Back when Romney hired Gillespie, he was hailed as a “dark-money guru”:

… Mitt Romney’s campaign hailed a major roster addition of its own: GOP operative and dark-money guru Ed Gillespie.

Gillespie is a pillar of Republican politics. He chaired the Republican National Committee from 2003-05, served as a top aide to former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, and helped write the GOP’s “Contract with America” in 1994. He also worked on George W. Bush’s 2000 campaign and later served as a counselor to Bush in the White House.

Gillespie’s We Can Do Better SuperPAC got off to a good start, with two former Bush bundlers donating heavily in April:

Two former campaign bundlers for President George W. Bush — Howard Leach and Nicholas Taubman — each contributed $25,000 in April to the super PAC, known as the We Can Do Better PAC, according to documents filed today with the Federal Election Commission.

The man who helped found American Crossroads, one of the biggest players in 2012 (thanks, Karl?), had pundits intrigued even as they contemplated American Crossroads’ failure to deliver:

Republican donors complained about American Crossroads and its nonprofit arm, Crossroads GPS, for spending hundreds of millions of dollars in 2012, only to lose most of the races in which they campaigned. In 2014, the Republican super PAC world has increasingly splintered, as state-specific entities have sprung up promising donors more targeted spending.

So, the splintering off into more locally specific PACs was supposed to be the solution to the 2012 fail. Not so much, at least for the GOP’s dark money guru.

As we all remember from 2012, Karl Rove’s SuperPAC was pretty much a big fail. Now one of Crossroads own founders is failing to raise money for his SuperPAC, which leads me to ask once again, how much money is the Republican Party bilking out of its rich donors and desperate corporate hacks, who keep throwing money at what has been a losing proposition ever since it was outed after the 2010 debacle.

These people are supposed to be good at business? LOL. Gambling is more like it. Toss the dice on another crazy Tea Party candidate, GOP dark money. Close your eyes and hope. That’s how all good business decisions are made.

As for Virginia, they don’t seem to enamored of lobbyist Ed Gillespie, with the Democrat Mark Warner leading by an average +11 in the polls. Money can’t buy you love or votes. Go figure.

Image: Ed Gillespie with former President George W Bush, SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

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