With his campaign’s moment of truth — Idaho’s May 20 Republican primary — approaching fast, Idaho 2d congressional district challenger Bryan Smith has released a new ad attacking incumbent Mike Simpson.
The ad follows on themes Smith and his campaign have been hitting hard for the past several months: Simpson’s “liberal” votes on the Wall Street bailout, ACORN and an earmark for Nancy Pelosi’s district. Simpson did vote in favor of the Toxic Asset Relief Program — better known as the bailout — in 2008, but Smith’s claim on the incumbent’s ACORN record is misleading.
Here’s the Smith campaign’s release announcing its new ad:
Idaho Falls, ID – Today Bryan Smith’s campaign released a new television ad “Liberal.” The significant ad buy is running in the Twin Falls and Idaho Falls media markets.
Congressman Simpson has gone unchallenged for far too long the past 16 years for his liberal voting record. The voters of Idaho’s second congressional district deserve to hear about how Congressman Simpson has sold them down the river for almost two decades.
“The Bryan Smith campaign continues to educate the voters of Congressman Simpson’s liberal voting record. He has continually voted for bigger government, more spending and increased taxes. This type of liberal record does not reflect the conservative values of Idaho’s second congressional district,” says Smith campaign manager, Carrie Brown.
Simpson’s campaign says the Nancy Pelosi charge is also misleading. Here’s my summary of that topic, which I included in a story Sunday about earmarks:
The Club for Growth, a group that advocates for limited government and supports Smith’s campaign, slammed Simpson in a recent flier for his vote “to send millions of our tax dollars to build a park in Nancy Pelosi’s district.”
That’s a reference to the Presidio, a historic military base on San Francisco Bay that Congress designated in 1996 for transition to a mixed-use residential and commercial complex. The cost to taxpayers was $348 million, allocated over the course of 15 years.
Simpson wasn’t a part of that 1996 vote because he hadn’t been elected to Congress yet. In 2011, Simpson was one of just nine House Republicans who voted against a successful amendment that denied $15 million of the Presidio money yet to be allocated. Today, a seven-member board – six appointed by the president – manages the Presidio as part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
Simpson explains his vote this way: converting a costly military base into a self-sufficient development fits conservative principles. Besides, he says, almost all of the money for the project had been allocated already, so Congress might as well finish the job.