In North Carolina, an incumbent faces Sarah Palin's man from K Street

The simplest explanation for Griffin’s huge K Street haul is his pedigree in the Bush White House and Treasury Department. These offices naturally fed into K Street. The lobbyists and consultants on Griffin’s donor lists are his former colleagues and buddies.

K Street and the GOP establishment often array themselves against candidates who are too libertarian for their liking. Rep. Justin Amash, for instance, has attracted a K Street challenger. In recent open seat races, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul encountered opposition backed by hundreds of thousands of dollars from Big Business.

But the Griffin-Jones race is different. Jones has incurred the ire of the business lobby not by being too free market, but by being too liberal. Jones voted for the Dodd-Frank financial regulation bill and opposed Paul Ryan’s budgets. Jones gets a C+ from the National Taxpayers Union, and his lifetime Club for Growth score of 56 percent puts him lower than 202 of his House Republican colleagues. His score is closer to Alan Grayson than to Justin Amash.

Jones is no anti-cronyism crusader: He supports indefensible sugar subsidies while pocketing big checks from the sugar industry.

A telling comparison: The Club for Growth and the Koch Industries PAC are backing Amash, while the Club is staying out of the Jones race, and the Koch PAC gave $5,000 to Griffin on April 21.