Betrayal: AK GOP HQ Phone Banked For Murkowski On Election Day
The first of two exclusive reports this morning concerning Alaska's unresolved Senate race.
A reliable source unaligned with either GOP senatorial campaign in Alaska, and positioned to know, confirmed for me last night that the Alaskan Republican Party (ARP) stepped up their efforts on behalf of Sen. Lisa Murkowski in the closing days of the election, going so far as to phone bank for her from the Alaska GOP's headquarters on election day.
While technically not a violation of any rules, the rules are conveniently rather slim. Grassroots Republicans I spoke to in Alaska view it as a betrayal of an open and fair primary in which the GOP establishment should not be taking sides. It also raises significant additional concerns.
Given that the ARP is so obviously not neutral and in a position to potentially influence the outcome, it may explain why candidate Joe Miller believed it necessary to fire a shot across the bow of those who might look to steal the election. A pdf of Miller's formal protest at previous link. A Murkowski observer stands accused of using confidential information to resurrect a previously disqualified ballot. It might not be long before we get into Al Franken territory with Murkowski at this rate.
Sources in Alaska claim her father, Frank, who appointed her, is livid that his daughter may have squandered away what some believe the Murkowski family sees more as a family heirloom, than a repository of the public trust.
Furthermore, with rumors swirling about how honest a broker the NRSC really is in dispatching forces to Alaska, the state GOP could be positioned to provide cover for an NRSC determined to meddle in the race.
It isn't as if Cornyn's NRSC wants another independent-minded conservative like Jim DeMint to join the club on the Hill. And when one thinks of how influential any one senator can actually be, especially within party ranks, there is far more at stake here than what some pundits seem to believe.
There are additional reasons why we may soon see what amounts to a civil war within the GOP in Alaska, one that could easily spill over nationally, infuriating the Republican base if the establishment attempts to steal this election for Murkowski. And Murkowski will do the GOP brand no good among the grassroots if she pulls a Sorry Charlie Crist and opts for another route.
In that regard, another motivation for Alaska's Libertarian Party to embrace Murkowski, besides the money Erick mentions, is the opportunity to secure a spot on the ballot in future elections and broaden their overall influence. The Libertarian candidate must secure 5% of the vote to pre-qualify for ballot placement in future elections. That would likely be an easy goal with Murkowski running under their name.
John Cornyn, Chairman of the NRSC, has been upfront that the NRSC will help incumbent Republicans being challenged. But there is a problem with Murkowski. I have confirmed through multiple sources that Lisa Murkowski has already approached the Alaska Libertarian Party. In exchange for putting her on the Libertarian ticket in November, Murkowski will hand the Libertarians a sizable chunk of her +$1 million war chest.