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Posts tagged: Club for Growth

Moderate GOP group pledges to match Club for Growth spending ‘dollar for dollar’ to defend Simpson

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.

Smith says he’s ‘honored’ to have Club for Growth backing

Bryan Smith, the Idaho Falls attorney running against 2nd District Congressman Mike Simpson, today welcomed the Club for Growth’s announcement that it’s endorsing him – an announcement that came along with the news that the Washington, D.C. group had actually specifically recruited him to run against 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.”

“I am honored to have the endorsement and support of the Club for Growth,” Smith said in a news release. “It is a group that shares the same conservative principles and values as I do and values I wish to bring to Washington.” Smith’s release also quoted extensively from today’s Club for Growth news release, repeating quotes from Club for Growth president Chris Chocola decrying Simpson. Click below for Smith’s full release.

Club for Growth says it recruited Smith to run against Simpson

The Club for Growth, the national group that funneled money to bankroll one-term 1st District Idaho Rep. Bill Sali’s run for Congress in 2006, announced today that it not only is endorsing 2nd District Rep. Mike Simpson’s GOP primary challenger, Bryan Smith of Idaho Falls – it actually recruited him and got him to run for the seat.

The Washington, D.C.-based group sent out a timeline “showing 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,” saying it launched a website, www.PrimaryMyCongressman, in late February; tallied up submissions over the next month and a half and noticed “dozens of recommendations” for Smith as a challenger for Simpson; contacted Smith on April 12 at his law office to ask if he was interested in running; interviewed him May 6 at the Club for Growth offices in Washington, D.C.; and Smith announced his candidacy June 27.

“We’re confident that he’ll be a strong conservative alternative to RINO incumbent Mike Simpson,” said Club for Growth President Chris Chocola. “The Club for Growth PAC is proud to endorse his candidacy.” Smith, an attorney and first-time candidate, says he’s already raised $147,000 for his run, but his campaign finance report hasn’t yet been filed, showing the numbers or sources of the funds.The “primary my congressman” website lists 10 incumbents for whom the group was seeking challengers; only Simpson is shown as having drawn one as a result.

In 2006, with Club for Growth’s generous support, Sali won a six-way GOP primary for an open seat with just 25.8 percent of the vote, then went on to defeat Democrat Larry Grant in the general election, 49.94 percent to 44.8 percent. Two years later, Sali lost to Democrat Walt Minnick, who beat him with 50.6 percent of the vote to Sali’s 49.4 percent. Minnick served one term; that seat is now held by second-term GOP Rep. Raul Labrador.

Simpson, the former speaker of the Idaho House, is a dentist from Blackfoot who served 14 years in the state Legislature before being elected to Congress in 1998, where he’s served since; he now chairs a key appropriations subcommittee. Since he beat Democrat Richard Stallings in 1998 with 52.5 percent of the vote to win the seat, Simpson’s never fallen below 62 percent in the general election; in three elections, in 2000, 2004 and 2008, he got more than 70 percent of the vote.

Click below to read the Club for Growth’s full announcement.

Group lauds rep who beat its favored congressman

Here’s a link to an interesting piece in CQ that leads with this slightly odd news: Club for Growth, the anti-tax group that was the major funder of former GOP Rep. Bill Sali’s initial campaign for Congress in 2006, has given a perfect score to Sali’s replacement, Democratic Rep. Walt Minnick, on its latest rating, the “RePork Card” rating House members’ efforts to rein in public spending. While most Democrats fared poorly in the group’s eyes, Minnick joined 21 Republicans in earning a perfect, 100 percent score for voting for all 68 amendments the group tallied that were aimed at stripping out earmarks from spending bills. The reason Minnick’s in Congress now and not Sali: Minnick defeated Sali in the last election, denying him a second term.

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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