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Club for Growth launches Wisconsin ad campaign attacking both Thompson and Hovde

"When Tommy Thompson was governor he proposed raising the gas tax. He called for higher taxes on nursing home beds. In all, Thompson pushed for nine different tax hikes," the ad's narrator says. "And Eric Hovde? In a national TV interview Hovde said he had no problem with raising taxes. And Hovde supported tax-raising [former Democratic] Gov. Jim Doyle. On taxes, Hovde's like Thompson — only worse."

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Club spokesman Barney Keller told The Hill that the group planned to keep up the attacks on both Thompson and Hovde — and was fully committed to helping Neumann despite his recent slip to third place in the polls.

"Club members believe in supporting principled, limited-government candidates. We don't have any problem with backing underdogs," he said, mentioning the group's help for onetime underdogs including now-Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Indiana state Treasurer Richard Mourdock (R), who beat Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) in a primary last spring.

Keller did not disclose the size of the ad buy but called it a "massive" statewide purchase.

The group has in the past spent millions of dollars to help its candidates, and looks ready to make sure Neumann stays competitive on the airwaves between now and the state's Aug. 14 primary. If he ends up winning, he'll owe a lot of credit to the Club.