G.O.P. Allies Form House Super PAC

John Boehner

In a sign of the intensifying fight for control of the House, allies of Congressional Republicans are forming a new Super PAC to raise and spend unlimited amounts of money to defend the G.O.P. majority next year.

The new group, the Congressional Leadership Fund, will be loosely affiliated with the American Action Network, a nonprofit advocacy organization that spent about $26 million in 2010 to help Republicans win control of the House. The network’s founder, the businessman Fred V. Malek, will sit on the board of the new fund, and Brian Walsh, the network’s president and a former political director of the National Republican Congressional Committee, will run it.

The arrangement mirrors that of the leading Republican-oriented independent group, American Crossroads, a group founded by Karl Rove that is paired with a nonprofit group, Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies. The combination allows for more flexibility in raising and spending money: The Super PACs must disclose their donors but can advocate explicitly for or against a candidate, while the nonprofits may keep donors secret but are technically restricted to issue advocacy.

“To compete against those on the liberal left who are organizing to undermine the historic gains Republicans made in 2010, the Congressional Leadership Fund is the tip of the spear to re-elect Republican incumbents and build on the Republican majority won in 2010,” Mr. Walsh said in a statement.

Underscoring the increasingly apparent limits of the laws and rules that in theory restrict coordination between independent groups and the politicians they support, the Congressional Leadership Fund is openly aligning itself with the House Republican leadership, members of which will appear at a kickoff fund-raiser on Nov. 2. The event will feature Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio, Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, the House majority leader, and Pete Sessions, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Federal Election Commission rules permit elected officials to speak at such events as long as they do not directly solicit contributions in excess of federal limits. A Super PAC founded to help defend Senate Democrats, Majority PAC, has held similar fund-raising events, and Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, has written fund-raising letters on the group’s behalf.

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