Super PAC Campaign for Primary Accountability, a bipartisan political organization that claims to have its barrels loaded for both parties, just fired its opening fusillade. It aims to oust two long-serving congressmen in what would otherwise be shoe-in primaries. The targets: One El Paso Democrat and U.S. Representative Ralph Hall of Rockwall.
In terms of ammo, it's small-caliber stuff -- a measly 10 grand on the above Internet video. The source, however, isn't your standard partisan Super PAC. It was founded by Houston construction giant Leo Linbeck III, who has contributed some $1.5 million of his own money not to individual federal candidates, but mostly for primary oppo ads against them. It's a throw-the-bums-out, anti-incumbent esprit de corps that unites these donors, including Midland oilman Tim Dunn and the guy who founded TD Ameritrade.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
So far, CFPA has spent 47 percent more opposing incumbent Republicans than Democrats, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. It dropped more than $100,000 supporting Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich, but some $200,000 opposing Alabama Republican Spencer Bachus.
Judging by where he spends the money, Linbeck is more of a Tea Party brand fiscal hawk than a card-carrying Republican. On top of Hall's triple-decade stay in Congress and his 2004 party switch, Linbeck's ad paints him as ideologically impure. He supported $120 million in earmarks over the last several years, the ad complains. He voted for Cash for Clunkers and the Bridge to Nowhere. And although raising the debt ceiling has been a largely symbolic bit of bipartisan housekeeping for more than a century, he chides Hall for his hypocrisy in voting to raise it repeatedly during the Walker Bush years, but going all debt-conscious the moment a Democrat steps into the White House.
A guy named Michael Smith, who's been making the rounds in the conservative blogosphere in the name of the Super PAC, writes, "It should be obvious that congressmen who play this game aren't serious about fiscal conservatism."
Funny he should mention this game, because it looks like House Speaker John Boehner just pulled the board out for another round of debt-ceiling brinksmanship. Guess who always loses at this game.