Campaign Legal Center: The Embattled Joe Miller

Written by admin on December 8th, 2010

The Campaign Legal Center weighs in on the campaign spending in Alaska’s high profile senatorial race between Lisa Murkowski and Joe Miller.

Open Secrets

In a scathing Washington Times editorial, Joe Miller, winner of the Republican U.S Senate primary in Alaska, bemoans how Sen. Lisa Murkowski (I-Alaska) used a super PAC called Alaskans Standing Together to help untimately propel her to an unlikely victory as a write-in candidate.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Alaskans Standing Together raised just shy of $1 million, and its traditional political action committee spent nearly $600,000. But the super PAC sponsored by the same organization spent $1.26 million in independent expenditures on advertisements for Murkowski. Much of that $1.26 million came directly from corporations — donations that would have been illegal prior to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling early this year.

Miller, whose platform included decreasing federal spending and banning earmarks, claims the big corporations are the ones that thrive on the pet project money and worked to spend more than a million dollars to aid in his defeat. Miller said the group ran erroneous ads, transported people to the polls in busses emblazoned with their logo and taught native Alaskans how to write in Murkowski on a general election ballot.

Murkowski’s campaign committee raised more than $4 million in the 2010 election cycle, although her own political action committee hardly reached the $250,000 mark. Miller, who had the support of Tea Party groups and ex-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, raised nearly $2 million, and attracted $1.6 million of his own in outside spending support, federal records show.

Murkowski may have had flooded the airwaves with advertisements, but the Tea Party Express created a counterattack in support of Miller. His campaign even aired a hilarious campaign-inspired parody of the extremely popular Old Spice commercials.


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