Pressured by conservatives, NRSC raising money for Alaska ballot battle

Under pressure from conservative activists, the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) is raising money for Joe Miller’s legal battle against Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiPotential Dem defectors face pressure on impeachment The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - A crucial week on impeachment Senate braces for brawl on Trump impeachment rules MORE in Alaska’s Senate race.
 
NRSC Chairman John CornynJohn CornynLive coverage: DOJ inspector general testifies on Capitol Hill Hillicon Valley: Apple, Facebook defend encryption during Senate grilling | Tech legal shield makes it into trade deal | Impeachment controversy over phone records heats up | TikTok chief cancels Capitol Hill meetings Apple, Facebook defend encryption during Senate grilling MORE (R-Texas) sent out a fundraising appeal Friday afternoon asking supporters to contribute to Miller’s campaign.
 

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“Joe Miller in Alaska is dedicated to the conservative principles we need in Washington, DC,” Cornyn wrote. “But he faces the potential of a lengthy recount.
 
“We need to get Joe the resources he needs to win the vote count,” Cornyn added.
 
Cornyn issued his fundraising letter as conservative activists have been flooding his offices with phone calls demanding the NRSC do more to help Miller, who bested Murkowski in the GOP primary to become the party’s nominee. Murkowski then mounted a challenge to him as a write-in candidate in the general election.
 
Conservative talk-show radio host Mark Levin has asked his listeners to call Cornyn’s Senate office and “ask him why he is not sending money and lawyers to Alaska to help Joe Miller in the counting of write-in votes,” according to his website.
 
“The test for the NRSC is what it does for Joe Miller in Alaska — this is the key fight,” Levin said on his program Thursday. “There will now be a major battle over the validity and intent of every one of Alaska’s ballots.”
 
Levin said that Tea Party activists would watch the NRSC’s actions in Alaska closely. 

NRSC spokesman Brian Walsh said the committee has long planned to help Miller in any potential legal fight with Murkowski.
 
“With due respect to Mark Levin, his radio solicitations had nothing to do with this,” said Walsh. “The NRSC has worked with and supported Joe Miller from Day One of the general-election campaign and that support continues.
 
Walsh noted the NRSC spent over $1 million on Miller’s behalf in the general election on statewide TV ads, funds to the Republican Party of Alaska for get-out-the-vote operations and paid for staff “on the ground.”
 
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), chairman of the Senate Conservatives Fund, pledged to help Miller earlier in the week.
 
The Senate Conservatives Fund has invested more than $600,000 in Alaska to help Miller.
 


As of Wednesday, write-in votes had 41 percent of the vote, Miller had won 34 percent and Democratic nominee Scott McAdams garnered 24 percent.
 
The vast majority of the write-in votes are expected to be for Murkowski.
 
Political strategists predict a costly legal battle as Miller plans to challenge the validity of write-in ballots that have grossly incorrect spellings or abbreviations of Murkowski’s name.
 
Murkowski has created a legal defense fund to pay for her legal battle against Miller’s camp.
 
She plans to host a fundraising luncheon for The Alaska Voter Defense Fund on Monday, according to a save-the-date e-mail circulated on K Street.
 
Conservative and Tea Party activists have complained that the NRSC did not do enough to help Miller in Alaska.
 
They are pointing to a television ad the committee launched in Alaska that attacked McAdams, the Democrat, but made no mention of Miller’s campaign.
 
Some conservatives complain the ad could have helped Murkowski by pushing the votes of conservative Democrats and independents away from McAdams and to Murkowski. 

This post was updated at 3:41 p.m.