'Shadow Parties' Share Leaders and Republican Roots

Veterans of the Bush administration and other former Republican elected officials are now leading the tax-exempt organizations that are skirting campaign finance rules

(Bloomberg) — The outside groups spending record amounts to help elect Republicans this year are required to work independently of the campaigns. The ties that bind them to the party ensure that there isn't too much distance. Many of the leaders are veterans of President George W. Bush's administration, former Republican elected officials, past chairmen of the Republican National Committee, or ex-aides to Republican lawmakers, records show. And the groups themselves share a political agenda, including opposition to the health- care overhaul and tax increases.

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