The Club For Growth, as you may already know, is an ultra-conservative group that raises money for Republican candidates- often so they can compete against other Republican candidates. The Club for Growth started the whole “RINO Watch” thing.

Also noteworthy is the fact that they ended up paying $350,000 in civil penalties “for failing to register as a political action committee in the 2000, 2002, and 2004 congressional elections”

Anyway, according to The Hill, The Club for Growth has plans to throw a lot of money into upcoming congressional races in Ohio. Which looks like it might actually help out the Dems by making the Republican primaries even tougher.

GOP incumbents on the Club?s radar include Gilchrest and fellow anti-Iraq war Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.), as well as Reps. Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio) and John Doolittle (R-Calif.), who both appear headed for arduous primaries.

The Club also is looking to get involved in the increasing number of open seats formerly held by the GOP. It effectively could replace a number of centrists by getting its candidates in districts of retirees like Reps. Jim Ramstad (R-Minn.), Deborah Pryce (R-Ohio) and Ray LaHood (R-Ill.).

One open seat on which it?s focused for the immediate future is that of former Rep. Paul Gillmor (R-Ohio), who died early this month, clearing the way for a special election.

In the Gillmor race, the Club was looking closely at state Rep. Lynn Wachtmann (R), who decided against a run, but could get involved with one of two GOP state legislators: Bob Latta or Steve Buehrer.

Against Schmidt, the Club likes former Hamilton County Commissioner Phil Heimlich (R) but could support state Rep. Tom Brinkman (R) if he gets in the race.