Senate candidate Sullivan leads in fourth-quarter fundraising. Where will tea party money go?

The fourth-quarter Senate race numbers are in. U.S. Sen. Mark Begich pulled in about $850,000, leaving him with about $2.8 million cash on hand. His super-PAC raised $287,500, most of which came from the Senate Majority PAC.

Among Begich’s potential Republican challengers:

  • Dan Sullivan said that he raised about $1.25 million.  A super PAC formed to support him has raised $70,100.
  • Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell raised $229,000, leaving him with only $95,000 on hand. Unless Treadwell is willing to self-fund, that doesn’t leave him much to run a credible campaign against Begich.
  • No word yet from Joe Miller, who has been more focused on getting grassroots support than in raising money.

Begich is also benefiting from the plethora if business interests, like the American Chemistry Council, the National Association of Realtors, and Bristol Bay Native Corp., all of which are running ads thanking him for supporting particular issues. As long as those organizations aren’t explicitly endorsing him for Senate, they don’t have to disclose their donors.

There’s a lot more money floating out there in the world of conservative super-PACs that hasn’t yet made its way to Alaska. The New York Times is reporting that the more conservative, tea party groups — FreedomWorks, the Club for Growth Action Fund, the Senate Conservatives Fund and the Tea Party Patriots—have raised $20 million in 2013.

That’s much more than the $7.7 million the more “establishment” Republican PACs with close ties to Congress have raised, according to the New York Times. Politico is reporting that the three groups headed by Karl Rove raised a combined $6.1 million in 2013. That money would also likely go to support more establishment Republicans.

It’s unclear who the tea party groups would support among the Republican candidates in Alaska. Dan Sullivan’s challengers have been painting him as the “establishment” Republican, a charge that’s fueled by Sullivan himself, who doesn’t shy away from the fact that he worked for Condoleezza Rice in the State Department.

But the tea party faction is leery of Mead Treadwell because of his support for international treaties, particularly the Law of the Sea, and for his on-again-off-again support of Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who is considered a moderate.

That leaves Joe Miller, who lost in the last race against Murkowski, who was a write-in candidate. Miller can, in a word, be unpredictable.

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13 thoughts on “Senate candidate Sullivan leads in fourth-quarter fundraising. Where will tea party money go?

  1. DC

    The republican party is a mess. The right wing ideologues have captured the soul of their party. National leaders like Ted Cruz tilt the party into the world of extremism. The democratic party is equally slanted to the left lead by President Obama and the likes of Nancy Pelosi. I’m an independent who longs for candidates like Ted Stevens who was first a statesman and then a republican. Instead, today we have Joe Miller a right winged tea party guy who may be able to capture a republican party nomination but will fall flat in November. Then, there is Treadwell who seems to be trying harder and harder to be pretend to be an arch-conservative which is ridiculous given his record over the years. In fact, he may have been an okay choice if he wouldn’t have lost his identity and been so haphazarrdly tryinh to find and develop a new conservative persona. Fact is, he doesn’t know who or what he is and the public is responmding appropriately with little or no interest. Then, there is Dan Sullivan who seems like the only viable alternative to Begich. Yet, I have little knowledge where he stands on key issues. Begich, I don’t care for either. I don’t think I’m picky; rather, just missing a quality candidate, a statesman like Ted Stevens. Let’s hope that we get better quality candidates in the future.

  2. Lynn Willis

    I was a Republican when people like Jay Hammond and Wally Hickel represented the party. Perhaps the only Republicans remaining from that group is Lisa Murkowski and even Don Young. Now the party is dominated by ideologues who would actually harm this state and its’ citizens in their zeal to further a national agenda, (like that of ALEC) and/or in the face of serious revenue shortfalls would shovel the people’s money to themselves and to those who fund their political careers as in the case of the LIO. While I would prefer to not spend 30 million dollars on anything we cannot afford, let these “new” Republicans explain why 30 million dollars for the LIO upgrade was better spent on that boondoggle than if that same 30 million dollars had been spent for the medicade expansion. Which purchase benefits Alaskan’s more?

    Running through these folks political philosophy, like a thin titanium wire, is a condescending resentful attitude that they can hardly contain as was demonstrated by the State House majority leader this week when he, with “Cadillac” health insurance paid for by the government, felt empowered to describe government health insurance assistance to others as a “toy” that we shouldn’t offer to a child and then take it away later.

    If we want the Republican party back I would suggest that voters who are registered as undeclared or non-partisan not select the Republican ballot this August and refuse to temper these party extremists who might just then learn a lesson in November.

  3. The Beacon of Truth

    The real issue is cash on hand. Begich has more than twice Sullivan and a multiple of 20 something times more than Tredwell. Lookin good for the Ds.

  4. F. Johnson

    On one hand, the media writes about the demise of the Tea Party. Then, I read that they are raising more money now than ever before. I think they’re continuing to show strong support.


    I’m imoressed with the amount of money raised by Sullivan. Been supporting Joe Miller and like what he stands for and says. He truly has the courage of his convictions. Right now, my favorites are these two. I probably would jump to Sullivan’s candidacy except I keep hearing things related to. His campaign’s inability to effectively get things done. Unless he gets it together is short order, I’ll stick with Joe. He’s got guts enough to fight the liberals in DC. I admit Begich is going to be a tough road to haul.

  6. HarryTruman Democrat

    Alaskans need to get use to saying “Senator Begich” for six more years. Miller is popularr with the right wing of the party and probably would be Begich’s favorite opponent. Treadwell is drawing about as much public support as a loiberal at a tea party convention (maybe because he is a liberal trying to pretend to be a conservative). Sullivan is a newbie without the experience to pull off a statewide victory. So, Hellooooooooo Senator Begich.

  7. jaybird

    Money, like it or not, is the mother’s milk of politics. Looks like we’re headed to a head-to-hhead race between Begich and Sullivan. Even with the underlying demographics that make Alaska a red state, I would bet on Begich at this point because of the seeming dysfunction of Sullivan’s campaign. His campaign staff have proven to be very inexperienced and unable to accomplish much. Between the 4 leading senatorial candidates, Sullivan’s organization is the least impressive.

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