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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