The National Republican Senatorial Committee lawyer is back in D.C., yesterday the Anchorage Daily News reported on NRSC spokesperson Brian Walsh’s statement regarding mysterious calls being made to Alaskan Republicans who voted absentee:
"Bottom line, we’re not making phone calls to anyone, and we have told both campaigns that whomever is chosen by the voters of Alaska to be their nominee, that candidate will have our full support," said NRSC Communications Director Brian Walsh.
Walsh said he wasn’t aware of anyone else making such calls. He said the single NRSC lawyer sent to Alaska to assist Murkowski with the ballot count, Sean Cairncross, returned to Washington, D.C., on Saturday after 72 hours in the state. "This has been much ado about nothing," he said.
But apparently now that Cairncross is back in D.C., they are sending another.
Miller campaign spokesman DeSoto said NRSC is apparently now sending Mike Roman, who worked on the 2008 ballot recount for then-Sen. Coleman, to Alaska to work for Murkowski. Murkowski campaign manager Bitney said Roman is a private elections consultant who doesn’t work for the NRSC, and he is coming to Alaska at Bitney’s request. Roman is founder of Election Journal, which describes itself as an "online community dedicated to raising public awareness of vote fraud and election irregularities." The Election Journal site calls Roman a veteran political consultant and private investigator.
Why again is the NRSC getting involved? ADN says that “the NRSC, while it helps Republican challengers in some races, is set up to protect the seats of Republican incumbents.” Allahpundit says, not so fast…
DrewM argues that it’s no big deal for the NRSC to intervene on Murkowski’s behalf because, after all, she’s an incumbent and that’s what the NRSC is for. Is it, though? Here’s their mission statement:
The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) is the only political committee solely dedicated to electing Republicans to the U.S. Senate.
What We Do:
The NRSC provides invaluable support and assistance to current and prospective Republican U.S. Senate candidates in the areas of budget planning, election law compliance, fundraising, communications tools and messaging, research and strategy.
Nothing in there about incumbents. If, as seems clear, the goal of the Committee is to defeat Democrats, why they should have any preference in a primary — especially one where two Republicans are separated by one percent — is beyond me. Drew counters that, as a sitting senator, Murkowski’s partly responsible for raising money for the NRSC and therefore should be able to call on its resources, but again, that’s not what the Committee is supposed to be for. If incumbents want to start a National Incumbent Committee and raise money for themselves that way, fine; as it is, fundraising on the NRSC’s behalf is ostensibly done for all Republican candidates in the name of the betterment of the party.
In addition to the NRSC meddling, Dan Riehl reported that a Murkowski observer has been accused of possible vote tampering. The reporter misidentified himself and was allowed unfettered access to a computer he should not have accessed. This presented an opportunity for vote tampering. Thomas Van Flein, who is representing the Miller Campaign (and is also Governor Sarah Palin’s personal attorney) wrote a letter of complaint to Alaska Lt. Governor Craig Campbell and Gail Fenumiai, Director of the Alaska Division of Elections.
Then to top it all off, it appears that the Alaskan Libertarian Party is actually seriously considering having Murkowski run with them if, for nothing else, the publicity it would bring.