Tags: Bryan Smith

Representative Simpson: ‘I Think You Can Get Back to Doing Limited Earmarks.’


Six-term representative Mike Simpson (R., Idaho) is hardly a squish, with a lifetime ACU rating of 81.96.

But his primary challenger, Bryan Smith, argues that he’s not fighting the good fight on some key issues. Smith says that if he were in Congress, he “would not have voted to raise the debt ceiling unless there were major spending cuts. In the case of the recent budget appropriations, he would have only supported it if it reversed the President’s decision to exempt 17,000 people from Obamacare.”

The Club for Growth’s PAC wants to see Simpson replaced; Citizens Against Government Waste rated him a mere 42 percent back in 2011.

Smith’s campaign contends this video from the Idaho Statesman, of Simpson discussing earmarks, reflects him declaring his “love” for earmarks. In the remarks, Simpson begins, “I’ve always been a supporter of earmarks” and attempts to make the case that earmarks represent the way a Republican can influence spending during a Democratic administration. He argues that ending earmarks has effectively turned congressional authority over control of spending over to the executive branch. “I think you can get back to doing limited earmarks, for transportation projects, for water projects, those sorts of things.”

Which option do Republican primary voters dislike more, earmarks or the Obama administration directing spending?

Idaho’s second congressional district is rated as an R+17 district in the Cook Partisan Voting Index.

Tags: Earmarks , Mike Simpson , Bryan Smith

A GOP Primary Fight to Watch: Smith vs. Simpson in Idaho


Bryan Smith, a Republican primary challenger to Representative Mike Simpson of Idaho, must be feeling cheery about a splashy debut. Smith raised $147,000 in the second fundraising quarter of 2013, with 96 percent coming from Idaho donors.

In one month, Smith raised more than Simpson’s previous challenger Chick Heileson raised in both his entire 2010 and 2012 races combined. Smith’s campaign website only went up June 26. Smith is the owner of several small businesses in Idaho. Simpson won the 2010 GOP primary with 58 percent of the vote, and the 2012 primary with 69 percent of the vote.

Idaho’s second congressional district scores an R+17 in the Cook Partisan Voting Index, and while Simpson is conservative by national standards, he has irked some conservatives with his votes for TARP, federal projects that some label earmarks, and raising the debt limit. Simpson’s lifetime American Conservative Union rating is 84.5 (out of a possible 100) but his lifetime rating with the Club for Growth is 58 (out of 100). He was one of three House Republicans who voted against an amendment to bar ACORN from receiving federal funds.

According to Open Secrets, Simpson raised a mere $85,850 for this cycle as of March 31, and has $71,827.

Of course, money goes a little further out in Idaho.

Tags: Bryan Smith , Mike Simpson

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