Friday, October 22, 2010

Joe Miller Tries To Block PAC Funds Promoting Write-In Opponent Lisa Murkowski

Erika Bolstad wrote an article for McClatchy Nwespapers that I thought was great because it shows the lengths Miller will take to try to win Alaska's senate seat - Miller has filed an FEC complaint against a PAC that supports Sen. Lisa Murkowski.
Calling Sen. Lisa Murkowski "bought and paid for" by a political committee made up of Alaska Native corporations, Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller on Wednesday filed a complaint with the Federal Election Committee.

Miller on Wednesday accused nine of the Native regional corporations that make up Alaskans Standing Together and two of its officers of violating federal laws that bar federal contractors from contributing to any political party, committee or candidate for federal office.

The committee, which is independent from Murkowski but supports her write-in bid, has pumped $1 million so far into Murkowski's race. It's proving to be one of the first tests of new campaign finance rules in the wake of the Citizens United U.S. Supreme Court decision, which allows unlimited donations from corporations and unions to certain types of political committees.

Alaskans Standing Together said Wednesday that it was "more confident than ever" it had followed the law, and called the complaint "a desperate move" on Miller's part "to salvage an imploding campaign."

"Joe Miller likes to wrap himself in the U.S. Constitution while trampling on it at the same time," said Will Anderson, the committee's chairman. "First his bodyguards handcuff a reporter for asking questions at a public event. Now he is trying to handcuff the Alaska Native community from having a voice in this campaign while he brings in hundreds of thousands of dollars from groups outside Alaska."

Anderson pointed to a 1998 FEC advisory opinion that found it was acceptable for a parent corporation with subsidiaries that are federal contractors to make donations to a political action committee if it has other sources of revenue than the subsidiaries. That and the findings of the Citizens United case give his group a solid legal foundation, Anderson said.

Campaign finance experts are divided on whether the donations are allowable.

It's "uncharted water," said Ken Gross, former associate general counsel of the FEC. That's in part because the Citizens United case didn't address the question of federal contractors.

But because the corporations contributing to Alaskans Standing Together are not government contractors themselves, the federal prohibition on government contractor contributions might not apply, said Tara Malloy of the Campaign Legal Center.
Looks like Miller wants to keep outside money all to himself...

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