Wednesday, October 20, 2010

McMcAdams Needs to Prepare to Win a Nasty Count and Recount

Democratic Party nominee Scott McAdams announced today that his campaign has raised over a million dollars so far, in his quest to pull off a surprising victory against two opposing candidates who are entering stages of terminal infighting.

Joe Miller, who has had a succession of "worst week yet" weeks, is in the middle of the worst one yet. Not only did his Sunday evening arrest on of an award-winning news editor at a public event by unlicensed goons working for a company that itself is unlicensed go viral nationally, it has since gotten worse.

Yesterday, the blog Palingates detailed the extensive links between the illegal company's owner and a sordid array of militia characters only two steps removed from Timothy McVeigh. Multiple contacts between the company's owner and Miller himself are now starting to trickle out. As Palingates put it in their post on Monday:

Joe Miller chose a security firm for his campaign event which is not only unlicensed, but also right at the heart of an extreme militia group, with the owner of the security firm being a local commander of the militia and also the main supplier. This Alaskan militia is headed by the notorious Norm Olson, who played a major role in the radical militia movement in the 1990's in Michigan, a movement which is at least partly to blame for the Oklahoma bombing.

It isn't going to get better for Miller. The usually supine Alaska media is genuinely riled at Miller's increasingly obvious odious nature, dishonesty and manipulative financial past - and present.

Today Miller asked for a Federal Election Commission probe into the ties between the Lisa Murkowski campaign and some Alaska Native organizations and political action groups:

Alaska Senate candidate Joe Miller’s campaign said it is filing a complaint with the Federal Election Commission alleging that an independent expenditure committee violated federal law by “trying to influence the election” on behalf of Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

The Federal Election Commission hasn’t yet received the complaint, a spokeswoman said. Mr. Miller’s camp mailed the complaint this morning, according to a person familiar with the matter. Mr. Miller defeated Ms. Murkowski in the Republican primary, and she quickly launched a write-in bid to try to keep her Senate seat.

Mr. Miller is targeting Alaskans Standing Together, a group that has spent nearly $600,000 in support of Ms. Murkowski, according to campaign-finance filings.

The group’s site says it was created by Alaska’s “Native regional corporations.” Filings show that nine of the corporations—Arctic Slope Regional Corp., Ahtna Inc., Bering Straits Native Corp., Calista Corp., Chugach Alaska Corp., Sealaska Corp., NANA Regional Corp., Koniag Inc. and Doyon Ltd.—have contributed to it.

Mr. Miller’s camp says those companies are “major suppliers of goods and services to the federal government.” Federal government contractors may not make contributions to influence federal elections, according to the FEC.

This morning Jim DeMint and the Republican National Senatorial Committee announced they're throwing money at Miller. A lot, by Alaska standards:

South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint is debuting an Alaska ad aiding the embattled Senate nominee he has endorsed, Joe Miller, by highlighting his anti-abortion rights position.

DeMint’s Senate Conservatives Fund is funding an advertisement that begins airing this week that hits both of Miller’s opponents for supporting abortion rights, in an effort to set the GOP nominee apart from Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Democrat Scott McAdams in what has become a competitive three-way race.

DeMint's group has purchased $100,000 in airtime for the advertisement, which will air on both TV and radio. It's the first time the conservative senator's group has run television ads in the state.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee is also parachuting in to Alaska to help Miller – the group announced Tuesday evening it was buying $162,000 worth of television ad time to promote Miller via an independent expenditure.

Murkowski's media efforts have largely been attacks on Miller. The McAdams campaign has only been brought up in the Miller-Murkowski mix in ways that have failed to take anything substantive from McAdams' positives. Nor have either of these two ethically challenged GOP creations been able to bring up McAdams' effectiveness, or the ethics of his political career, without having to give voters inevitably bad comparisons with their own pasts.

Scott McAdams told me the day after the August primary that he knew he could raise a million dollars for the campaign. I thought he was a little unrealistic, but offered to help. Then I had to cease any contacts with anyone in the McAdams campaign, after I thought I'd be involved in 527 fundraising in the senate race.

Scott has done well in raising small out-of-Alaska contributions. But the level of his in-state small contributions is quite impressive:

Total amount raised August 5, 2010 – October 20, 2010: $1,010,000

Total number of donations: Over 12,000

Total number of people who donated $200 or less: 88%

Total number of Alaskans who donated: Over 3,900

Total amount donated by Alaskans: $538,000 (54%)

At this point, I'm predicting Murkowski will beat Adams by about 3,500 votes or less. With what I can see coming down the pike on Miller over the next 10 days, he's going to end up in 3rd place.

Both the Miller campaign and the Murkowski campaign are seriously mobilizing poll watchers for early voting places, election day precincts, and for the inevitable recount process. The Alaska Democrats, the national party, and the Miller campaign are beginning to realize they may need to get into gear too.

Both Miller's and McAdams' names are on the ballots, so most of their votes will show up on tabulators soon after the polls close. The 3rd place guy will leave the house, unless those two are within 2% of each other.

If Murkowski does beat a 2nd place McAdams by 3,500 votes, we won't know it until December or January. But if she wins by that much or less, she loses.

Murkowski herself has admitted that one out of eight of her votes might be rejected. Her campaign is already ramping up to keep every one of those 3,500 potentially lost votes.

Are our Alaska Democrats ramping up to get them going Scott's way?

Scott's campaign web page.

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