Tea Party challenger hits Simpson on earmarks in first ad

Tea Party candidate Bryan Smith (R) has released his first ad, slamming Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) for his support of earmarks.

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The advertisement opens with a recent clip of Simpson saying he's "always been a supporter of earmarks."

"Yeah Mike — we know. You have supported billions in wasteful spending like the 'Bridge of Nowhere.' Fortunately, Republicans have a choice this year, conservative Bryan Smith," the narrator says. "Bryan Smith is a husband, father and small business owner. He knows Republicans need to fight Obama's liberal policies."

Simpson is a top target of the right; Smith has the backing of the Club for Growth and other conservative groups.

But despite that support, he hasn't had stellar fundraising numbers. The amount his campaign is spending to air the ad reflects that: $25,000 for broadcast and cable, a smaller buy than some of the others for the race in Idaho's inexpensive media markets.

This post was updated at 4:40 p.m.

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