Happy New Year Tim Murphy -- the conservative Club For Growth is trying to defeat you in this spring's GOP primary.
The anti-tax group (once led by Sen. Pat Toomey) today starting running two 15-second TV ads against the Upper St. Clair incumbent, hitting the so-called "liberal congressman" on favoring a bill on union rights and his record on earmark spending. Says a release from the DC-based group:
In Pennsylvania’s Eighteenth Congressional District, the Club for Growth PAC is launching two different 15 second advertisements aimed at encouraging the constituents of Republican Congressman Tim Murphy to ask themselves the following question: “Why’d he do that?” Tim Murphy’s record certainly might leave some Pennsylvania Republicans asking themselves the same questions. Tim Murphy has supported pro-union “Card Check” legislation and billions in wasteful earmark spending.
. . . “Tim Murphy owes his constituents an explanation,” said Club for Growth President Chris Chocola. “He claims he’s fighting for Pennsylvania, but in Washington, he’s supporting liberal pro-union legislation and wasteful spending. Pennsylvania Republicans should ask themselves the following question: ‘Why’d he do that?’.”
The group says it's not making an endorsement in the primary, but the ad campaign is certainly a boost for former Hill staffer Evan Feinberg, who is courting nationwide conservatives in his run against Murphy and has friends in Tea Party favorites Tom Coburn and Rand Paul. The Club ads follow other third-party ads from a chemical lobby supporting Murphy.
The AP reports it's part of a $500,000 ad buy targeting three GOP moderates (including a US Senate race in Texas and Fred Upton's House seat in Michigan).
UPDATE 12:18 a.m. Chocola, a former Indiana congressman, voted for the earmark bill too.
UPDATE 11:20 a.m.: In a statement, Murphy campaign manager James Genovese says, "It's unfortunate that a group from Washington, DC is misinformed and cherry picking votes to mischaracterize Congressman Murphy's conservative record in Congress."
Full statement after the jump:(Pittsburgh, PA) — In response to recent ads launched by the Club for Growth, Congressman Tim Murphy's campaign released the following statement today:
"It's unfortunate that a group from Washington, DC is misinformed and cherry picking votes to mischaracterize Congressman Murphy's conservative record in Congress," said Genovese.
"Those who know Congressman Murphy's record the best, which are his constituents right here in Pennsylvania's 18th congressional district, continually elect him by wide margins because they want him to keep on fighting the liberal Obama-Pelosi agenda, and keep standing up for conservative Southwestern Pennsylvania values."
Rep. Murphy, who maintains a 100% pro-life and pro-Second Amendment career voting record, has opposed the President's efforts to raise taxes, opposed stimulus spending, and opposed the Cap-and-Trade energy tax. Murphy, who has signed the Republican earmark ban, voted against the Wall Street bailouts and has voted 19 separate times this session of Congress to repeal Obamacare.
Murphy has gained national attention recently for his efforts in the congressional investigation exposing White House multi-million dollar earmarks to politically connected Obama supporters at Solyndra and Fisker Automotive.