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Democratic Independent Political Groups Bring in $10 Million

July 29 (Bloomberg) -- Four Democratic political groups, led by former White House and congressional staffers, have raised more than $10 million to support the re-election of President Barack Obama and win back seats in the House and Senate.

Priorities USA Action, which discloses its donors, and Priorities USA, an affiliated group that keeps its contributors’ names secret, have raised a combined total of more than $5 million since April to help the president win a second term. Both groups were founded by Bill Burton, a former White House spokesman, and Sean Sweeney, a former senior White House adviser.

Majority PAC, a group focused on helping win Senate seats for Democrats, raised $1.25 million while the House Majority PAC took in $985,000. A fourth group, American Bridge 21st Century and its affiliated foundation, raised $3.07 million to conduct opposition research for all three other groups. The four groups issued a joint press release today.

“Progressive donors across the country have invested in our effort because they share our belief that we can’t rebuild America if Karl Rove and the Koch Brothers tear down the middle class,” said Priorities USA Action senior adviser Paul Begala in an e-mailed statement. Begala was referring to billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, owners of Koch Industries Inc., who spent millions in the 2010 midterms to elect Republicans.

Fundraising Goals

The two Priorities USA groups set a combined goal of raising $100 million for the 2012 campaign season.

The organizations, operating independently of individual campaigns and the Democratic National Committee, will copy the tactics used by Republican strategist Rove and his allies last year when the Republican Party won control of the House of Representatives and gained six seats in the Senate. The Democratic groups will meet regularly to share information and resources and to target their political advertising at races where it would have greatest impact.

American Crossroads, the group advised by Rove, said in June that it raised $3.8 million in the first half of the year. That doesn’t include the money raised by its sister non-profit, Crossroads GPS, which is spending $20 million on television ads criticizing Obama’s economic policies and the $14.3 trillion U.S. debt. Rove has set a goal of taking in $120 million for 2012.

“Crossroads currently has about a 2-1 lead over all these groups combined, but we expect the left will eventually outspend us once the cash-rich unions kick into gear,” said Crossroads spokesman Jonathan Collegio.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alison Fitzgerald in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at

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