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.”
Simpson’s campaign manager, Brody Aston, had this response: “We are confident that the voters of Idaho will reject the outside influence of Washington, D.C., special interest groups like this one. Idahoans know that Congressman Simpson has a proven conservative record of delivering results for the people of Idaho. Mike’s fight for Idaho values is resonating with the voters in the 2nd district and Washington, D.C., special interest groups won’t change that.”
The D.C.-based 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, five are based in Washington, D.C., and 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.
The full news release from Freedom Works follows:
Washington, DC- FreedomWorks PAC announced today its official endorsement of Bryan Smith for Congress in Idaho’s 2nd Congressional District. After a thorough review of the candidates in the race, FreedomWorks PAC believes Bryan Smith is the clear choice for limited-government voters looking to preserve economic freedom and rein in Washington’s out-of-control spending.
FreedomWorks PAC President Matt Kibbe commented, “For the past 14 years, Congressman Mike Simpson has had a chance to stand up for common sense fiscal policies and constitutionally limited government. 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.”
Kibbe continued, “Bryan Smith is strong fiscal conservative with close ties to the grassroots all across his district. He is not a career politician. He is local leader in his community who understands the problems we are facing and wants to help find real solutions. Bryan’s mission in Congress is to stop the out of control spending that Congressman Simpson has been propping up for years. Smith will be a road block for either party that tries to continue to spend us into a more debt. Idahoans need a strong voice in Congress, and Bryan Smith is their man.”
FreedomWorks PAC is a grassroots service center to millions of activists nationwide who are dedicated to fighting for lower taxes, less government, and more freedom in every Congressional district in America. For more information about the PAC, please visit www.FreedomWorksPAC.org. For more information about the endorsement process, please contact Dean Clancy at DClancy@FreedomWorks.org