By Tim Kiska
The Club For Growth, a Washington-based network that pushes an array of conservative economic principles, is running attack ads—with Republican Congressman Fred Upton as the target.
The ads knock Upton’s vote on the Wall Street bailout and tag him as a “liberal congressman.” Just for emphasis, the ad says “Fred Upton has been wasting our tax dollars in Washington for 25 long years. That’s enough.”
This may be one of the few times that anybody would mistake Upton as a liberal.
The Club For Growth’s own system rates Upton at an 85 – the second-highest rating for a member of the Michigan congressional delegation in 2010, the latest available. Only Congresswoman Candice Miller scored higher. And, if you’d like to see what real “liberals” look like, it should be noted that Sander Leven, John Dingell and John Conyers all received 0s.
If the Club For Growth’s own ratings aren’t to be believed, take a look at the American Conservative Union’s scorecard. That’s the group founded by conservative godfather William F. Buckley, Jr.: Upton landed a 92 in 2010, tying him for second place as the state’s most conservative lawmaker.
What could be behind the ads: Jack Hoogendyk, who challenged Upton in the 2010 Republican primary, is gearing up for another run against Upton.
Club For Growth champions a flat tax, the end of estate taxes, among other things. It also has a presence in Wisconsin, which has been a battleground between union and economic conservatives.
But Upton won’t be an easy target: He chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which is one of the most important chairmanships in Washington.
And, oh: He has $1.5 million on hand, according to the Federal Election Commission.