Americans for Job Security has launched an ad attacking GOP gubernatorial candidate Gresham Barrett for his support of the bank bailout in 2008 and various earmark requests.

The AJS presents itself as a “non-partisan issue advocacy organization,” but the issues it targets would seem to put it on the conservative right and it tends to target Democrats and support Republicans (including a recent ad supporting Scott Brown in Mass.).

Barrett’s campaign will happily tell you their candidate is not a liberal — he’s really not even a moderate Republican.

“The truth is Gresham Barrett is the most conservative Congressman from South Carolina according to the American Conservative Union and he has opposed President Obama more than any other Congressman in the country but one,” says campaign spokesman B.J. Boling.

A recent Winthrop University poll found that Barrett is largely unknown in most of the state. But, unlike Nikki Haley, who is similarly challenged with obscurity, Barrett has amassed a large campaign war chest he can use to introduce himself to voters.

This ad by the AJS, said to be running across the state, appears to be an attempt to define Barrett to primary voters before he gets a chance to do it himself.

“This is an outsider special interest group with unknown funding sources and unknown motives,” says Boling. “South Carolinians are tired of these kind of shadowy attacks.”

As for the earmarks, a Washington Post story from over the weekend about the GOP primary race for Texas gov. is worth noting:

At a time of rising anger toward Washington, Perry has hung Hutchison’s service in the nation’s capital around her neck. His campaign calls her “Kay Bailout” for her support of the financial industry rescue. He has attacked her for the earmark projects she has secured for Texas, which he describes as symptomatic of out-of-control spending in Washington.

“He definitely has made it more difficult for me,” she said aboard her campaign bus. “I’ve protected Texas. I’ve brought Texas taxpayer dollars back to Texas very successfully, and I’ve voted for Texas values. I didn’t think that anyone could turn my success in producing results for Texas into a negative.”

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