A national moderate Republican group is pledging to match the Club for Growth’s anti-Mike Simpson spending “dollar for dollar” in the upcoming GOP primary race, Idaho Statesman columnist Dan Popkey reports, promising to make the 2nd District Idaho GOP congressional contest in 2014 a target of big national money on both sides. Simpson’s GOP challenger, Idaho Falls attorney Bryan Smith, already has been endorsed by the Club for Growth, which funneled $1.1 million into one-term Idaho GOP Rep. Bill Sali’s victory in a six-way GOP primary in 2006, and has promised to immediately begin “bundling” contributions to Smith from its members across the country. The group also said it recruited Smith to take on Simpson, a move the group said showed “how the Club for Growth PAC, for the first time in history, used the internet to solicit a viable primary challenger to an incumbent member of Congress.”
Now, Popkey reports, the group Main Street Advocacy, headed by former GOP Rep. Steve LaTourette, is working to raise $8 million to counter the Club for Growth’s efforts in GOP primary races, and has made Simpson its first pick for support. “The days of the Club for Growth using their special interest money to bigfoot Republican primaries and bully members of Congress is over,” LaTourette in a news release. “We at Main Street Advocacy will fight them dollar for dollar in districts across this country.” You can read Popkey’s full post here.