— -- Pro-Republican outside groups looking to influence elections across the country are on track to spend a record-breaking $1 billion this year, Politico reports.
Those behind most of the spending include the super PAC American Crossroads, a group linked to George W. Bush's former Chief of Staff Karl Rove, Charles and David Koch and the Chamber of Commerce.
That total includes previously undisclosed plans for newly aggressive spending by the Koch brothers, who are steering funding to build sophisticated, county-by-county operations in key states. POLITICO has learned that Koch-related organizations plan to spend about $400 million ahead of the 2012 elections - twice what they had been expected to commit.
Just the spending linked to the Koch network is more than the $370 million that John McCain raised for his entire presidential campaign four years ago. And the $1 billion total surpasses the $750 million that Barack Obama, one of the most prolific fundraisers ever, collected for his 2008 campaign.
The $1 billion figure cited by Politico is on top of the anticipated $800 million in spending from Mitt Romney's presidential campaign and the Republican National Committee.