The anti-incumbent super-PAC Campaign for Primary Accountability is coming back for 2014 after shutting down last election cycle — and it’s already making a wish list of targets, including Reps. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) and Lamar Smith (R-Texas).
The organization, which targets long-serving House incumbents in safe districts, spent $3 million to defeat a number of lawmakers in 2012 before running out of money last July.
A group spokesman tells The Hill the organization’s efforts will be “much more robust” this time around and says plans for new House targets are in the works.
The group has its eye on five incumbents: Rangel, Smith and Reps. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), Jo Bonner (R-Ala.) and Adam Schiff (D-Calif.).
Rangel, Bachus and Bonner were targets in the last election cycle and faced tough races; Schiff and Smith are new.
[Spokesman Curtis] Ellis said his organization’s research shows Smith’s constituents in Texas are less than thrilled with him, partly because of his failed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).
Smith could face a tough challenge from a libertarian-leaning Republican named Matt McCaul.
“There’s a sense Smith is not universally loved, respected or regarded. He was the author of SOPA, and that worked out really well, didn’t it?” Ellis said. “He was one of the authors, leadership got behind it, the establishment told everyone ‘there’s nothing to see here, just vote for it’ and that blew up in everyone’s face.”
Ellis added: “We’ve heard through our channels that McCaul is viable and serious, he has the potential to run a real race.”
I’m pretty sure they mean Matt McCall, who does appear to be interested in running. Burka speculated briefly about Joe Straus challenging Smith, but quickly shot it down for the obvious reason that Straus would have no good reason to give up what he has now for a Congressional campaign that would be at best a coin toss.
Lamar Smith is awful for a lot of reasons – he’s a longstanding xenophobe and anti-immigration activist; if comprehensive immigration reform dies in the House, you can be sure Lamar Smith’s fingerprints will be on the corpse – but as I said when the CPA targeted Joe Barton and Ralph Hall last year, I have little reason to believe Matt McCall would be any better. By all means, primary him good and hard – it’ll be entertaining to watch him squirm – but win or lose I hardly see it as an improvement on the status quo in CD21.