Monthly Archives: March 2014

Loose Lips: McGuire and Mayor Dan trade places, CREW goes after Gattis, Alaska chooses respect

15770860_m–On Monday, Alaska state Sen. Lesil McGuire, who is running for lite gov, took a break from the session to attend an Anchorage Chamber luncheon thanking the city’s first responders. McGuire was invited to sit at the head table and say a few words about how important firefighters, police, etc. are to the city. Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan, who is also running for lite gov, wasn’t at the event. Nor was he at the 2014 Anchorage Police Department graduation ceremony that same day. McGuire was there, however, and took the mayor’s empty seat. Sullivan chose to spend the day in Juneau, where he attended a Capital City Republicans’ event.

–Speaking of fundraisers, DNR Dan Sullivan’s Senate campaign is having a fundraiser Tuesday evening hosted at the home of John and Candace Hendrix which is better known as the “Atwood Mansion.” It begs the question: what’s the bigger draw – – the candidate or the house?

–Women for Sen. Mark Begich will be holding house parties on Wednesday in seven communities across the state to write postcards to friends and neighbors about why they’re supporting Begich. Mark’s wife, Deborah Bonito, will appear via teleconference. Anchorage is not one of the communities hosting an event. Here’s the page for the Anchorage event.

–Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell would win in a head-to-head against Begich according to Rasmussen Reports. The question remains if he has enough money or staff left to support continuing the race. Last week, he let go communications adviser Rick Gorka, and campaign manager Adam Jones, who has already hooked up with another race in Oregon.

–Gov. Sean Parnell methodically and successfully continues to raise funds for his campaign. Since Friday a week ago, he has held at least five fundraisers and is rumored to have raised in excess of six figures at them.

–Wasilla teacher and lite gov candidate Bob Williams has been traveling around the Bethel region this week attending, among other things, the Cama-I dance festival. From his Facebook page:  “I have never been so excited to be running for Lt Governor as I am right now. The warmth and friendship of everyone I’ve met in Bethel is encouraging, motivating and inspiring. Thank you Bethel!” Williams is, to put it mildly, exited and excitable.

–About that American Crossroads pro-Dan Sullivan ad: According to Politico, “This is the first time Rice has weighed in on a Senate campaign this cycle, and is the first time Crossroads has played in a primary campaign.”

American Crossroads has ties to Sullivan booster and adman Art Hackney, who is running a homegrown, pro-Sullivan PAC.

–The supposedly non-partisan, D.C.-based Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Government in Washington (CREW) sure has a heyday with Alaska Republican politicians. The group hounded Rep. Don Young tirelessly, and had a thing or two to say about Ted Stevens. Now, its target is Alaska state Rep. Lynn Gattis, and a complicated deal before she was a state rep that Gattis had with the Mat-Su Borough and the state. In a nutshell, the borough wanted to use a piece of land that Gattis owns, and paid $65,000 for it. It then decided that it didn’t need the land. Should Gattis have paid it back? Gattis said a deal was a deal. Besides, she and her husband put time and energy into the deal. The voters, apparently, agreed when they voted her into office. Too, other entities who got money from the borough for their land didn’t pay the money back. However, CREW thinks there should be an investigation against Gattis and doesn’t shy from telling the world as much.

But speaking from experience, trying to get the group to comment on a story involving Democratic Sen. Mark Begich trading in Citibank stock while he was a senator, smack dab in the middle of the financial meltdown, is a lesson in frustration. They were very excited before I told them who the senator was. After? No comment.

–A series of Choose Respect rallies will kick off Thursday. All told, there will be 171 of them across the state, up from about 12 when the rallies first started. Check out the map of rallies here. It’s really amazing. Kudos to Parnell on this.

Need a Brad Keithley fix? If nothing else because saying his name aggravates certain members of the state’s Republican Party? Or because he’s smart? Whatever your reason, you have your chance this Saturday, at Willie Hensley’s  “Alaska Policy Frontiers” class at UAA. He’ll be debating SB 21 with one of my favorite professors, Steve Haycox.

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New Alaska Senate race poll has Treadwell ahead, Sullivan tied with Begich.

A new poll conducted by Rasmussen Reports, a national firm that’s associated with Republicans, has Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell beating Sen. Mark Begich in the general election. And it has Senate candidate Dan Sullivan tied with Begich. The poll, conducted March 19-20, robo-called 750 likely voters. It has a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.

According to the poll, if the vote was held the day of the call, Treadwell would be leading Begich 47 percent to 43 percent. If the matchup were between Sullivan and Begich, 44 percent would vote for Begich and 44 percent for Sullivan.

In addition, 37 percent approved of the healthcare law, while 60 percent disapproved. And 41 percent approve of President Obama’s job performance while 56 disapprove.

On the face of it, it’s a good-news poll for both Treadwell and Sullivan, who, along with former Senate candidate Joe Miller, are running in the GOP primary.

However, the poll comes with a huge caveat: It’s likely that a segment of the public is confusing two Dan Sullivans in the race. Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan, who is running for lieutenant governor, is much more well-known than former Department of Natural Resource Commission and now Senate candidate Dan Sullivan.

Local pollster and political consultant Marc Hellenthal agreed that the public would likely be confused. He said that Senate candidate Sullivan hasn’t done the massive media buy yet necessary to distinguish himself from the mayor of Anchorage.

Too, although it does better in Alaska than some robo-polling firms, Rasmussen has been highly criticized for its biased polls. Nate Silver, the uber polling cruncher, said the following about the firm in 2010:

Rasmussen, for instance, generally conducts all of its interviews during a single, 4-hour window; speaks with the first person it reaches on the phone rather than using a random selection process; does not call cellphones; does not call back respondents whom it misses initially; and uses a computer script rather than live interviewers to conduct its surveys. These are cost-saving measures which contribute to very low response rates and may lead to biased samples. Rasmussen also weights their surveys based on preordained assumptions about the party identification of voters in each state, a relatively unusual practice that many polling firms consider dubious since party identification (unlike characteristics like age and gender) is often quite fluid.

Read more here. 

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Silver says GOP now favored to take over Senate. Begich’s odds decreasing.

In his new ESPN blog, poll cruncher Nate Silver says that because of President Obama’s low poll numbers and the GOP’s recruitment successes, Republicans now have a slight chance to take over the Senate.

In his last thorough analysis of the race in the summer, Silver had classified the Senate as a toss-up. He gave U.S. Sen. Mark Begich a 60 percent probability of winning the state. Silver still continues to favor Begich, but that probability has shrunk some. Now, he gives Begich a 55 percent probability of winning the race.

Caution: Silver, who doesn’t poll himself but crunches the polls of others, has been wrong about Alaska before.

Here’s what he says about the current race:

Alaska might be the hardest race to forecast. The polling there is often erratic. The state has voted Republican for president every year since 1968, but its independent streak sometimes translates differently in other races. The Democratic incumbent, Mark Begich, might face an establishment candidate in Daniel S. Sullivan, the former attorney general, or Mead Treadwell, the lieutenant governor — or he could face Joe Miller, the former judge and tea party activist who is unpopular beyond the Republican base.

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The week in politics: Tempers flare in Juneau, Crawford announces, and love in the air

Juneau was abuzz this past week over a heated incident involving Senate President Charlie Huggins and Rep. Johnathan Kreiss-Tomkins, AKA “the kid.” It happened in the legislative break room and involved one of them getting backed up against the soda machine. Huggins, 67, is former Army special ops. When 25-year-old Kreiss-Tomkins was knocking on doors campaigning, he was often pegged for a high school student selling raffle tickets. Guess which one got backed up?

Tempers are flaring, and just in time: It’s the weekend of the annual legislative shoot. As in with real guns, and bows and arrows, not, in like “Shoot, what’s up with the all the bullies around here?” I’ve been told that historically, nobody’s face has appeared on a target. Not yet.

Perhaps Huggins will show wearing his camo kuspuk and pink tie.

Huggins was his normal perfect-gentleman-self when presiding over the passage on Tuesday of the “historic” gas line legislation that will allow the state to continue to negotiate to give a huge share of the pipeline away to TransCanada.

Do any of the same seven senators who called it “historic” this time remember how “historic” and “momentous” the last gas line bill was that they voted for? The one that gave TransCanada and ExxonMobil $300 million in state dollars, so far? For what, aside from locking us into doing business with TransCanada, nobody really knows.

The bill is now with the House, in this case is the more deliberative body. Rep. Mike Hawker has taken a beating over the Legislative Office deal he put together in Anchorage, but so far, he’s keeping a hawkish eye on the pipeline bill, as are Reps. Eric Fiege, Peggy Wilson, Craig Johnson and Geran Tarr.

Hawker staffer Rena Delbridge and Tarr staffer Jeff Stepp, smarties both, will help.

More legislative news: Carol Austerman, daughter of House Finance Co-chair Alan Austerman, made it official: She’s running for the seat her father will be vacating. Why not? Alaska is no stranger to a father passing his seat on to his daughter.

Republicans are excited about a new candidate, Dave Talerico, who is running for an open state House seat. He’s the former mayor of the Denali Borough and ran against Rep. David Guttenberg for that seat prior to redistricting.

Former state Sen. Ralph Seekins is rumored to be considering another run for Sen. Click Bishop’s seat, which means the website “Not Ralph Again” can get repackaged. Just Click on Ralph?

For their part, Dems are jazzed about former Rep. Harry Crawford’s Senate candidacy, turning out for him on Thursday night at Café Del Mundo, where he made his announcement. About 50 showed, including Vic Fischer, Jane Angvik, Eric Croft, Pat Abney, and former Daily News columnist Mike Doogan. Former Sen. Bettye Davis, whom Crawford had challenged in 2012, introduced him. There was said to be a festering resentment there, but as one attendee put it, “It looks like they buried the hatchet!”

So many hatchets to bury among the group, so many of whom have spent so many of their evenings over the decades at one another’s fundraisers. If Sen. Hollis French were there, he’d have experienced deja vu.

Crawford will be running against Anchorage Sen. Cathy Giessel, a nurse who conducts her legislative business with great purpose and efficiency. She doesn’t waste words and she doesn’t expect you to, either, particularly when you’re testifying on a bill that might poison your rivers, and change your way of life. Two minutes, exactly the time it takes to boil a perfect egg, is what you get before the bell goes off. No more. No less.

And you might barely get that if you’re one of her constituents who buys a $400 plane ticket to go see her and other legislators to talk about education funding. Just ask Alison Arians, who lives in Giessel’s district, owns a bakery, has a 9-year-old daughter, and prior to this session had never been involved in politics. Others, even Sen. Mike Dunleavy, took the time. Giessel shoved some charts her way, and stood for a quick photo op before Arians was quickly sent on her way.

In turn, Crawford got a $500 check and a dedicated volunteer.

Speaking of fundraisers and deja vu: Former Gov. Bill Sheffield had one on Tuesday night for mayoral candidate Dan Coffey, who’s always more charming in person than his reputation would suggest.

On to the Assembly, where the hot race is between incumbent Adam Trombley and former Rep. Pete Petersen. Trombley’s got the full force of the unions against him, former ally Mayor Dan Sullivan vetoed Trombley’s park plan. Retribution for pulling support for Sullivan’s tennis court?

The tennis mess made its way into a radio ad, which is rumored to have upset Rep. Lindsey Holmes who was also involved in the tennis court affair. The problem? The ad is Ivan Moore’s baby, and Moore runs Holmes’ campaign.

Anyway, if Trombley can eke out a win here, he’ll be sufficiently seasoned for induction into the deja vu club, spending many evenings with Alaska’s political class, going to fundraisers for the same people, running over and over again.

Finally, it’s Spring Break! If you’re tired of deja-vuing and find yourself in Seattle, visit Sara Adrienne Designs, the new interior design business of Sara Knowles, the youngest daughter of former Gov. Tony and Susan Knowles. And what’s spring without love? No word on if House minority leader Chris Tuck, the most eligible bachelor in Alaska, has found it. But former Valley Sen. Linda Menard has. She’s newly engaged to Michael Cody Post. They’ll be making it official this year.

And a happy birthday to GOP Senate candidate Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell, who turned 58 on Friday.

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This piece was originally published in the Anchorage Daily News. .


Condoleezza Rice defends Senate candidate Sullivan in new American Crossroads ad

On Saturday, American Crossroads, the super-PAC founded by Karl Rove, released an ad defending Republican Senate candidate Dan Sullivan against questions about his Alaska residency. The commercial is narrated by his former boss, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, saying that Sullivan’s time away from the state, for which he is being questioned, was spent in the service of his country.

“Dan Sullivan is tireless in the defense of his country,” Rice says. “He showed that in his service in the military and his service in the White House and the State Department.”

On Saturday, American Crossroads filed a $191,757 expenditure on the Alaska race with the FEC. It’s unclear how much of that money is going to this ad.

A pro-Mark Begich super-PAC has aired two ads questioning Sullivan’s residency. The last one called his claims “fishy.” Sullivan, a Marine, moved to Alaska in 1997 before moving to D.C. in 2002 to work in the White House and the State Department under Rice. While in D.C., he bought a house in Maryland and said that it was his primary residence. He was called to active duty from 2004 to 2006. He came back to the state full time in 2009 to become Alaska’s Attorney General and then the state’s Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources.

That same year he claimed he was a non-resident when he applied for a fishing license because he had not lived in the state for the previous 12 consecutive months. Hence the title of the attack ad.

A group of veterans gathered in Anchorage last week in defense of Sullivan. Many of them said that they too had to travel while serving and they feel that an attack on Sullivan is an attack on them.

Sullivan himself has not yet himself released an ad responding.

The fact that American Crossroads has entered the race is significant because Sullivan is in a three-way contested primary and is not yet the party nominee. Two other candidates, Joe Miller and Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell, are still running for that spot.

Meantime, the National Republican Senatorial Committee has released a rather dramatic ad, tying recent comments by Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor about his opponent to the pro-Begich super-PAC ads. “From Arkansas to Alaska Democrats are attacking a noble act: military service,” the ad says.

To be clear, nobody has outright attacked Sullivan for being in the military.

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Sullivan calls on Begich to reject ObamaCare on eve of fourth anniversary of passage

Republican Senate candidate Dan Sullivan put out a release today bashing U.S. Sen. Mark Begich over his support for Obamacare. Saturday will mark the four-year anniversary of the act’s passage. In anticipation of the anniversary, Sullivan called on Begich to reject the act. “Simply put, ObamaCare is bad for Alaska,” Sullivan’s campaign spokesperson, Mike Anderson said.

So far, more than five million people have signed up for health care under the Affordable Care Act, including more than 6,600 Alaskans, including this one, who would not have been able to afford it otherwise. Those are just the people who signed up online, not including those who have gotten it directly from insurance companies.

Sullivan supports full repeal of the law, but has yet to detail what would replace it, joining Republicans across the country who are likewise stymied. But “repeal” makes a good campaign slogan in a conservative state like Alaska. And it appears to be particularly easy to use for those who have been insured with the government’s help and who haven’t been subject to the whims of the private insurance market.

Sullivan’s campaign has not yet answered questions about his own policy.

People who have signed up for insurance under ObamaCare, and who might be kicked off their plans if Republicans had their way, are beginning to fight back. The nonprofit spinoff of President Obama’s campaign committee, Organizing for America, has taken a page from the tea party playbook and has been passing out “Don’t Tread on My ObamaCare” bumper stickers, complete with the Gadsden flag.

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Kelly says that birth control is for people who don’t necessarily want to act responsibly

A few weeks ago, it was Sen. Fred Dyson, who said, among other things, that birth control was a “recreational drug.” Recently, Sen. Pete Kelly discussed the issue during an interview with Kyle Hopkins of the Anchorage Daily News about Kelly’s plan to provide state-funded pregnancy tests in bars as one way to try to combat Alaska’s sky-high rate of fetal alcohol syndrome. When Hopkins asked if the state should likewise provide birth control, Kelly said the following:

No, because the thinking is a little opposite. This assumes that if you know, you’ll act responsibly. Birth control is for people who don’t necessarily want to act responsibly. That’s—I’m not going to tell them what to do, or help them do it, that’s their business. But if we have a pregnancy test, because someone just doesn’t know. That’s probably a way we can help them.

When pushed, Kelly said that birth control is “social engineering that we don’t want to get into. All we want to do is make sure that people are informed and they’ll make the right decision.”

Earlier this month, the House Finance Committee passed a bill that limits state funded abortions for poor women. It also stripped money for family planning, including birth control, for poor women, 90 percent of which would have been paid for by the federal government. Sen. John Coghill, a conservative from Fairbanks who has long been fighting to end abortion, said that he didn’t support the family planning money because that money would make its way to Planned Parenthood, which supports “population control” rather than family planning.

Perhaps the bigger lesson here is that elections have consequences. Fairbanks decided to elect Pete Kelly over incumbent Democrat Sen. Joe Paskvan, who declined to run on Kelly’s social conservatism.

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GOP Senate candidate Treadwell shakes up campaign

Lt. Gov. and Senate candidate Mead Treadwell is making some changes to his campaign. Treadwell announced today that he’s letting go of communications adviser Rick Gorka and campaign manager Adam Jones, both of whom were brought in from the Lower 48.

“I have had to make one of the toughest decisions to this point in our campaign,” Treadwell said in a release announcing the decision.

Peter Christensen, Treadwell’s personal friend and national finance chair, will be the campaign manager for now. “By restructuring our campaign, I know our campaign will be in a stronger position to make Mark Begich a one-term Senator,” Treadwell said.

Spokesman Fred Brown, who is staying on in the campaign, cautioned against reading too much into the decision. “This frees up resources for a few more things and for Mead to get his message out across Alaska,” he said.

Brown said that despite what appears to be a national drumbeat among party leaders and Republican groups to get him to drop out of the race, Treadwell is in it until the end. “Outside people can say whatever they want. They can’t vote. They clearly don’t know Alaska,” Brown said.

Although Treadwell announced early and was, for a while, the heir apparent to take on Begich in the general, he has had a hard time raising money, particularly since former Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan entered the race in the Fall.

During his first quarter in the race, Sullivan raised $1.25 million. Last week, he was endorsed by the Club for Growth, which paves the way for a bigger haul.

Treadwell raised only $228,000 in that same fundraising period and $196,000 during the previous three-month period. His last filings show that his campaign debts were greater than his cash on hand.

Treadwell’s campaign has in the past pointed to Sullivan’s national contacts in explaining his fundraising success, and has emphasized that 80 percent of Treadwell’s donations have come from Alaskans.

“We have a committed organization and have committed Alaska supporters across the state,” Brown said.

Sources say that Treadwell has talked about self-financing if it comes to that. Treadwell has reported assets worth from $3.4 million to $7.7 million. His debt ranges from $580,000 to $1.2 million.

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Begich’s new ad: ‘Alaska’s Son’

Someone working for Sen. Mark Begich’s campaign might have been studying Aristotle. Begich’s latest ad, “Alaska’s Son,” which will run statewide on cable and broadcast, has ethos, pathos and logos, and is beautiful to boot. And it shows that Begich will use everything he has to win.The narrator is Begich’s wife Deborah Bonito and it features their 11-year-old son Jacob. It also features Begich’s father, former U.S. Rep. Nick Begich, who disappeared in 1972 while traveling in a small aircraft from Anchorage to Southeast Alaska. The plane was never found.


Legal services says contribution ban likely unconstitutional

A legal opinion from a legislative lawyer says that the current law banning non-incumbent candidates for governor and lieutenant governor from soliciting funds from Juneau residents while the Legislature is in session is likely an “abridgment of the First Amendment freedoms of those persons who desire to contribute.”

Therefore, a court would likely find the ban unconstitutional, Alpheus Bullard, a lawyer with the state Legislative Affairs Agency’s legal services wrote.

“The U.S. Supreme Court has held that the only rationale for restricting the time or place in which campaign contributions may be made is the threat of corruption or the appearance of corruption,” Bullard wrote.

Bullard wrote that the threat appears not to present the same concern with non-incumbents as it might with sitting legislators or with a sitting governor.

The court already found that a non-incumbent who was running for office could solicit funds during session from Juneau residents, but a candidate for the governor’s office appears not to have been addressed.

The opinion is in conflict with a March 14 opinion issued by the Alaska Public Offices Commission, which said that the law is not unconstitutional and that the court would likely uphold the ban.

The question to the Legislature’s lawyer was posed by Sen. Berta Gardner, who did not immediately respond to questions about why she had requested the decision and what she plans to do with it. Former Attorney General Bruce Botelho, who is campaigning for Mallott, said that he had not discussed the issue with Gardner.

The law, passed in 1998 along with a slate of other campaign finance reforms, is a particularly relevant one for Democrat Byron Mallott. Campaign restrictions already make it daunting for non-incumbents to build the kind of war chest they need to compete, and this law makes it all the more challenging. Mallott is from Juneau, and his campaign is headquartered there.

APOC said that Mallott could physically be in Juneau and still solicit funds, however, he couldn’t solicit them from Juneau residents.

Campaign contributions from Juneau residents given to a campaign during the session have to be mailed, unopened, to Anchorage.

Bethelo said that Mallott’s campaign wouldn’t likely challenge APOC’s decision and will continue to comply with the agency’s guidance.

The law also makes it tough for incumbents. In an electronic age with the regular use of Facebook, email solicitations and online contributions, how do you keep track of who is contributing from Juneau?

In order to try and comply with the law, Jerry Gallagher, who is Gov. Sean Parnell’s campaign manager, posed this and other questions to APOC in January. The agency said that campaigns must put a disclosure on websites and in solicitation emails. It also said that contributions have to be returned if the campaign is aware of any Juneau resident who contributed during session as a result of any solicitation.

Gallagher said the campaign is complying with the rules.

Read the legal services opinion here. Read APOC’s staff decision to Parnell’s campaign here. The Commission upheld the decision.

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Cook Political Report moves Alaska Senate from ‘Lean Democrat’ to ‘Toss Up’

The Cook Political Report, which tracks races across the country, has moved the Alaska Senate race from “Leans Democratic” to “Toss Up.”  Here’s the reasoning:

There are a couple of races that have been sitting in the Lean Democratic column because of Republican primaries that threaten to produce an unelectable candidate. While primaries remain a challenge for Republicans, the path to the GOP nomination for a number of the strongest Republican contenders is getting clearer, while the threat of another Richard Mourdock or Todd Akin has waned in a number of states As such, Sens. Mark Begich in Alaska, Mary Landrieu in Louisiana, and Kay Hagan in North Carolina are moving to the Toss Up column. In each of these races, polls show the races generally within the margin of error tied…. At this point it has become something of a D.C. parlor game to guess which of the four – Begich, Landrieu, Hagan or Pryor – is in the most trouble. At this point, it is pretty much splitting hairs. All four are locked into very close races, but none is dead.


Another nail in the school-choice coffin

From an editorial in the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman, not known as a hotbed of progressivism:

When rigid ideology and party allegiance drive our legislative process, honest debate and the public interest are too often the casualties. Such could have been the case with a misguided proposal being pushed in Juneau this legislative session that could have opened the door to public education funds being channeled to private schools. Hatched by Outside ideologues who have no concern for what’s best for Alaska, the idea was being pushed here under the feel-good misnomer school choice.

As the paper notes, the bill is in Senate Rules, where it will likely stay for the session. The paper is “thrilled.” I’m not so sure. Legislators, many of whom tout support for school choice to their constituents, should be on record, say nothing of the public.

Continue reading for its take-down of Valley President Charlie Huggins and Sen. Mike Dunleavy, both of whom support choice. Neither of whom, last I checked, were “Outside ideologues.”
Continue reading


GOP Senate candidate Joe Miller’s campaign appears to be gearing up

In the U.S. Senate race so far, GOP Senate candidate Joe Miller has been relatively quiet and has not appeared to be actively fundraising. That looks like it’s changing. A fundraising email that he sent out today indicates that his campaign is gearing up.

“I can also assure you my opponents will never stand up and be counted in these tough battles. Commissioner Dan Sullivan is Karl Rove’s man in the race, a dubious distinction Sullivan publicly embraced over the weekend,” he wrote.

It’s unclear what Sullivan did over the weekend that would indicate that he embraced Karl Rove, who has not endorsed yet in the race. It is clear, however, that Sullivan is the target of Miller, the other GOP candidate Mead Treadwell, and Sen. Mark Begich.

Miller goes on to list Sullivan’s donors, including former head of the World Bank, the former chairman of the Board of the New York Federal Reserve, and the former chief of staff to President George W. Bush, among other lobbyists and financial executives.

In more Miller news: He was endorsed by the National Association for Gun Rights PAC on Tuesday. The NAGR is a gun rights group like the NRA, but much more rigid, more political, and less compromising than that NRA. The PAC is also a relatively small one compared to the NRA, which hasn’t yet endorsed in the race.

As of Dec. 31, the NAGR PAC had $172,161 on hand and had contributed $37,000 so far in 2014. In comparison, the NRA’s PAC had more than $12 million cash on hand at the end of January, and has contributed $246,750 to candidates so far this year.

NAGR is, however, powerful and is credited for helping to pass gun laws in state Legislatures across the country.

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