Chamber Stuffs Idaho Airwaves: Attacking Tea Party Trial Lawyer

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is hammering Rep. Mike Simpson’s Tea Party-aligned challenger on the airwaves ahead of the May 20 Republican primary in Idaho’s 2nd Congressional District.

An ad sponsored by the nation’s largest business lobbying group ran 545 times on broadcast TV in the week from March 4 through March 10, according to New York-based Kantar Media’s CMAG.

That ranked second for spots counted as coming from any single political advertiser.

Only the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, running ads ahead of yesterday’s special election in Florida’s 13th District, ran more spots during the week. The party’s candidate, former Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, lost last night. The Republican, David Jolly, won.

The chamber ran the same ad 545 times. It portrays Republican challenger Bryan Smith, a political novice aligned with the limited-government movement, as a “trial lawyer” who “stood in the way when conservatives tried to end junk lawsuits in Idaho.”

The ad goes on to call Simpson a “proven conservative who will take on the trial lawyers.”

The chamber ran the ad in the Boise, Idaho Falls-Pocatello and Twin Falls markets, the data show. The good news for the chamber is that Idaho is a relatively inexpensive place to buy advertising and all those ads only cost an estimated $65,000.

The bad news for Smith is that the chamber has identified defending Simpson, an Appropriations Committee chairman and ally of House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, as a top priority for its election efforts this year. That means the air assault against Smith is likely to only get heavier in April and May.

See the Chamber ad here.

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