Do the Crossroads groups and other elements of the GOP establishment have it in for Rep. Steve King, a potential candidate for the open Harkin seat in Iowa? Open Secrets reports:
HATERS?: This week we've devoted a couple of items in Capital Eye Opener to talk among GOP outside money groups about getting involved in Republican primaries. The Conservative Victory Project, for instance -- a spinoff of Karl Rove's American Crossroadssuper PAC -- will try to intervene in primary races and knock out Republican candidates who are deemed too radically right. At the top of the target list, apparently, is Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), who has said he will run for the seat being opened by the retirement of Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa). King fought back in a fundraising email this week, trying to use the Rove project to incite new funders.The hit on Christie Vilsack, King's opponent, was a variation of an ad that ran in other districts:
"They said I couldn't win in 2012 -- the entire political machine was against me," King wrote to supporters, according to Politico. "So let me be clear. Nobody can bully me out of running for the U.S. Senate, not even Karl Rove and his hefty war chest."
But, according to OpenSecrets.org data, King wasn't totally alone in his 2012 fight. His biggest source of cash in 2012 was Club for Growth, the tea party-oriented anti-establishment conservative group. According to CRP's data, the group channeled hundreds of smaller donations to King, totaling at least $255,000. He also picked up significant funds from the Susan B. Anthony List, the National Rifle Association and plenty of big corporate donors and trade associations such as the American Bankers Association, AT&T, and ExxonMobil. He even attracted support from Citizens United, the super PAC that spawned the now famous Supreme Court case.
King, in fact, had a strong enough campaign to fend off major attacks from House Majority PAC -- the super PAC backing Democratic congressional candidates -- and the Humane Society, which spent in excess of $750,000 on attack ads against King for his opposition to animal welfare laws that would affect the agriculture industry.
And, although the new American Crossroads affiliate might have King in their crosshairs in 2014, in 2012 the group's 501(c)(4) partner, Crossroads GPS, stuck up for him, dropping $360,000 on ads against his Democratic opponent.