GOP Soft-Money Groups Are Coordinating More

Much has been said this year about the influx of money into 527 and 501(c) organizations helping out Republican candidates, but some of the most prominent soft-money groups are borrowing an organizational model from their liberal opponents by upping their level of coordination in 2010.

In other words, more money isn't the only new development. Outside Republican groups are changing the way they do things.

Reporting on the influx of money on the right, the Center for Public Integrity's Peter H. Stone reports on some of this new coordination:

The money and the energy on the GOP side have been spurred by a new spirit of cooperation and coordination among allied groups. There are more cooperative fundraising initiatives, shared offices, regular meetings of key leaders like the April 21 session at Rove's [house], and a division of labor in terms of which states and races different groups are spearheading. Coordination among independent groups is legal under campaign finance laws, but the organizations are strictly barred from conducting any joint activities with party committees or the candidates themselves.

GOP politicos say that their new approach has been inspired by what Democratic groups have accomplished in recent campaigns. "The left has been very successful," at this kind of cooperation, ex-Sen Coleman, the CEO of the American Action Network told the Center

One example of the new cooperation: the shared office suites on the 12th floor of an office building on New York Avenue in Washington, which are home to both American Crossroads and the American Action Network. And Coleman's office is just down the hall from Law's.

The two organizations have also "done a few joint fundraising events," Coleman says, "We're all going after folks who care about government-run health care, higher taxes and more government stifling economic growth." Coleman's network boasts two separate arms one of which is a 501(c)(4) that conducts a mix of political and legislative advocacy.

The prime extra-party spenders on the left are still labor unions, which coordinate their activities with each other. In that sense, the GOP soft-money groups appear to be catching up to the left.