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Club for Growth Targets Bennett in Utah

Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah) is taking fire from the Club for Growth in a new television ad and letter-writing campaign for his efforts to push the Healthy Americans Act, a piece of legislation he created with Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden (Ore.).

The ad, which is launching Tuesday in Utah, is part of the club’s $1.2 million campaign to “highlight the dangers of government-run health care,— according to a release from the anti-tax group.

“Senator Bennett’s bill is a health care nightmare,— said Club for Growth President Chris Chocola. “Rather than lowering the cost of care by increasing competition, it turns control of our health insurance system over to the government.—

Also as part of their campaign to target Bennett, the club is writing letters to the 3,200 likely delegates to the state Republican convention. Those delegates will likely be a determining factor in deciding the party’s nominee next year, when Bennett is facing a serious primary challenge.

State Attorney General Mark Shurtleff (R) and several other Republicans have already entered the race against the two-term Senator. Shurtleff — who won a third term as attorney general last year — has been highly vocal about criticizing Bennett for being a key Republican voice during passage of the $700 billion Wall Street bailout bill in October.

Bennett has been working to shore up his right flank in recent months and in May launched a television ad that included a testimonial from former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R).

The club’s new TV ad criticizes the bill for its “job-killing tax increases on employers— and asks voters to call Bennett to “tell him to drop his plan for massive government-controlled health care.—

Under the Bennett-Wyden plan, employees would no longer get health insurance through their employers but would instead select a plan offered through a health insurance exchange.

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