New ‘Super PAC’ Comes Out Swinging in Favor of Murkowski
A new committee called Alaskans Standing Together is providing some major help to Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) in her longshot write-in bid for re-election. The group filed last month with the FEC as a ”Super PAC” — the new name for political action committees that have declared their intention to raise and spend unlimited amounts of money, so long as they do so entirely independent of candidates or political parties — and filed reports to the FEC on Monday indicating it has spent nearly $600,000 on ads backing Murkowski and attacking her opponent, Republican Joe Miller.
While Alaskans Standing Together hasn’t reported any donors yet, it will be required to do so by the FEC in the near future. For now, however, The Upshot’s Holly Bailey notes that the group’s website claims it is backed mainly by “Alaska Native regional corporations that deal with energy, telecommunications and land issues. The group also lists the support of several unions in the state, including the Alaska’s National Education Association and unions representing police and firefighters.”
Support from groups dealing in energy and land issues makes sense, as Murkowski serves as ranking member on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee — though there’s no indication that she’ll be allowed to keep her position should she hold onto her Senate seat. Republicans are angry that she’s mounting a write-in bid against Miller, who beat her in the GOP primary, and they nearly stripped her of her ranking position on the committee last month.
Meanwhile, the ad on AST’s website mimics others that have been cut in favor of Murkowski by including specific instructions on how to properly fill out the ballot for a write-in candidate. While polls that mention Murkowski show that she’s still neck-and-neck with Miller in the race, they’ve been criticized for ignoring the fact that she won’t actually be listed on the ballot and therefore not as salient in voters’ minds as the polls suggest.