The Club for Growth is up on the air in Ohio this week making the case that state Sen. Steve Buehrer is more conservative than his Republican opponent, state Rep. Bob Latta.
The two have squared off to replace deceased former Rep. Paul Gillmor (R-Ohio), who died last month after an apparent fall down the stairs at his northern Virginia townhouse. The primary is Nov. 6.
The conservative Club has showered donor money and advertising on the candidates its members deem the most devoted to the group's anti-tax, small government principles. That largesse has made the group a prominent player in the GOP's nominating process, much to the chagrin of some Republican leaders in Washington who would rather the Club spend money attacking Democrats than GOP candidates (including some incumbents).
In the group's most recent installment, the Club goes after "tax-and-spend Bob Latta" for voting to approve a budget advanced by Bob Taft, the highly unpopular former Republican governor whose woeful perfomance ratings plagued the GOP in that critical swing state last year and could cloud the party's prospects next fall.
The group has reportedly spent $75,000 in cable and local network television time to run the ad, which marks the group's first TV buy in a primary fight this election cycle.