GOP challenger Bryan Smith gets support of tea party PAC

September 24, 2013 

Freedom Works Political Action Committee, which has supported tea party Republican Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah, on Tuesday endorsed 2nd District GOP challenger Bryan Smith in his race against eight-term Republican Congressman Mike Simpson.

The PAC becomes the sixth major group already engaged in a race that will be decided in May 2014.

FreedomWorks PAC President Matt Kibbe called Simpson an "insider" who supports House Speaker John Boehner and "the Washington establishment class."

“For the past 14 years, Congressman Mike Simpson has had a chance to stand up for common sense fiscal policies and constitutionally limited government," Kibbe said in a news release. "But instead of fighting for these things he has led the charge for the insider priorities of Speaker John Boehner and the Washington establishment class. Whether it’s supporting the Wall Street bailouts, extending the nation’s debt, or creating large entitlement programs like Medicare Part D, Congressman Simpson has been on the wrong side of all the major fiscal issues."

FreedomWorks PAC contributed about $560,000 to federal candidates in 2012.

An affiliated super PAC, Freedomworks for America spent $19.6 million on independent expenditures in 2012. The super PAC's Republican winners included GOP Sens. Jeff Flake of Arizona (over $1 million) and Ted Cruz of Texas (almost $500,000), according to the  Center for Responsive Politics.

The super PAC spent $335,000 to help defeat Indiana Republican Sen. Richard Lugar and $1.6 million to help the GOP winner Richard Mourdock. Mourdock lost to Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly. Another loss came in Utah, where the super PAC spent $945,000 attempting to oust Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch.

Of the five other groups already engaged in the Smith-Simpson race, just one is from Idaho, the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry.

Backing Smith's challenge are FreedomWorks; the anti-tax Club for Growth, which raised $1.1 million on behalf of Idaho's one-term GOP Rep. Bill Sali in 2006.; and the Madison Project, a socially and economically conservative group.

Simpson PAC supporters are IACI; Main Street Partnership, a centrist Republican super PAC; and the American Chemistry Council.

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