Murkowski’s lawyer demands that Begich stop airing ‘patently false’ ad

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s campaign lawyer sent a letter to U.S. Sen. Mark Begich’s campaign demanding that it cease and desist the broadcast of an ad that’s been playing featuring the two together making a “great team.”

The ad, which has run on television and radio, has an “alarming lack of regard for the truth” and seeks to “mislead and deceive Alaskan voters,” the letter, written by Scott Kendall from Anchorage-based Holmes Weddell and Barcott, said. According to Kendall, the ads also constitute a “misappropriation of official U.S. Senate resources,” by featuring a picture of the two taken in Murkowski’s Senate office.

The use of Senate resources for campaign purposes is prohibited by federal law and Senate ethics rules.

The ad in question features Skip Nelson, who claims to be a lifelong Republican who supports both Begich and Murkowski who vote as much as “80 percent of the time together.” Nelson establishes his Republican bonafides in the ad by saying that he voted for Ted Stevens and Lisa Murkowski. Nat Hertz of the Alaska Dispatch News reported that Nelson is registered as an independent since at least 2000, and did not vote for Murkowski in 2010. Nelson told the paper that he attended several Murkowski fundraisers. The campaign said that there are no records of Nelson donating to the campaign.

The news facts falsehoods uncovered in the ad didn’t deter Begich’s campaign. It stuck by it, the 80 percent claim and “Skip sharing his personal story.”

Murkowski’s lawyer said the Begich has an “obligation to ensure that the story is not a complete fabrication.”

Murkowski has objected to the ad since it first began to air. When asked if he would stop running the ad, Begich told Politico “maybe.” He didn’t. As of Thursday late morning, the ad was still on Begich’s campaign website.

“Please be advised that any future false advertisements naming Senator Murkowski, or any further misuse of her image, will not be tolerated,” Kendall says.

As of 11:30 a.m. Alaska time, Begich’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

Contact Amanda Coyne at

Correction: In the initial story, I wrote that Begich’s campaign was undeterred by “falsehood” in the ad. When I wrote that, I was unaware that Nelson said that although he didn’t vote in 2010, he did vote for Murkowski in 2004. Also, as Begich’s campaign pointed out, you can consider yourself a Republican and not register as a Republican.


7 thoughts on “Murkowski’s lawyer demands that Begich stop airing ‘patently false’ ad

  1. Anonymous

    Does “Queen” Murkowski want Mark “my daddy died in a plane crash there for you own me” to stop running the ad because it stretches the truth or is too close to the truth and may come back to haunt her in the next election.
    National Journal ranked Begich as the 48th most liberal and 52nd most conservative senator in 2013, based on roll call votes from that year. The magazine ranked Murkowski as 56th most liberal and 44th most conservative, showing that they are both moderate voters.

  2. Brad

    Woah, I didn’t even realize that this was about Begich. It’s nearly impossible to distinguish Mark from Treadwell. #BegichPlaybook

  3. John Smith

    He votes with President Obama and Senator Reid more often than with Senator Murkowski, but you won’t see him touting that in an ad.

    BTW, what is the over/under on the amount of time it takes him to take credit, either through a campaign commercial or press release, for the F-35 to Eilsen announcement? I give it thirty minutes for a press release and 3 days for a commercial.

  4. Debra R.

    Did you really expect anything different from Begich. He has always been the master of spin, lies and deception. He’s also Harry Reid’s lap dog.
    Hopefully, Alaskans will retire him in November.

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