"Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)
Elliott and the friends with whom he recorded in middle school in Texas (photo courtesy of Dan Pickering)
New FEC filings show that American Crossroads, the Karl Rove-backed group that is pouring money into attack ads targeting Democrats around the country, continues to be funded virtually entirely by billionaires.
In August, American Crossroads raised $2,639,052. Fully $2.4 million of that — or 91 percent – came in the form of gifts from just three billionaires.
We’ve previously reported that the group is getting a staggering amount of support from billionaires, several of whom made their fortune in the energy industry and live in Texas. Last month Trevor Rees-Jones, president of Dallas-based Chief Oil and Gas, contributed another $1 million to American Crossroads, on top of the $1 million he gave earlier this year. Fellow billionaire Robert Rowling, CEO of the company TRT Holdings, also gave Crossroads his second $1 million donation in August.
The only new name on the list is American Financial Group, a Cincinnati-based firm owned by nonagenerian Carl Linder. Forbes put Linder’s net worth at $1.7 billion this year, a fortune built up through the growth of United Dairy Farmers. He previously owned Chiquita and currently owns a stake in the Cincinnati Reds. American Financial Group gave American Crossroads $400,000 last month.
Another new billionaire to add to the list of Crossroads backers is Jerry Perenchio of Bel Air. He is worth $2.1 billion, the bulk of which was made off the sale of Spanish language TV station Univision, according to Forbes. He is a major Republican donor who was co-chair of John McCain’s national finance committee. Perenchio gave American Crossroads $1 million in July.
One key thing to note here is that American Crossroads has a partner group, American Crossroads GPS, that is organized under a section of the tax code that does not require disclosure of donors (though it also imposes some spending restrictions). American Crossroads GPS is raising millions of dollars, the group told Politico, but we’ll probably never know from whom.
Justin Elliott is a reporter for ProPublica. You can follow him on Twitter @ElliottJustinMore Justin Elliott.
Heatmiser publicity shot (L-R: Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson, Neil Gust, Elliott Smith) (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott and JJ Gonson (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
"Stray" 7-inch, Cavity Search Records (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott's Hampshire College ID photo, 1987
Elliott with "Le Domino," the guitar he used on "Roman Candle" (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Full "Roman Candle" record cover (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott goofing off in Portland (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Heatmiser (L-R: Elliott Smith, Neil Gust, Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson)(courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
The Greenhouse Sleeve -- Cassette sleeve from Murder of Crows release, 1988, with first appearance of Condor Avenue (photo courtesy of Glynnis Fawkes)