Tag Archives: joe miller

Tensions mount between Miller and Treadwell at GOP candidates forum

Except for a few heated exchanges between Joe Miller and Mead Treadwell, which spilled over onto twitter (see below), the GOP Senate candidates pretty much stuck to their already-public statements on women’s rights and gay marriage at the “social issues” forum on Monday afternoon. The forum was sponsored by the Alaska Family Action, the political arm of the Alaska Family Council.

In advance of the event, the candidates filled out a survey that outlined their position on social issues. All of them are against gay marriage and all of them are pro-life and want to see abortion outlawed in most cases. Continue reading


Will NRSC endorse in Alaska GOP primary? Murkowski to stay neutral.

According to the D.C.-based publication The Hill, the National Republican Senatorial Committee is leaving open the option to endorse in Alaska’s GOP Senate primary, which, if it happens, would be a move that would break with protocol. So far, the NRSC has remained neutral, but according to Executive Director Rob Collins “we reserve the right to endorse.”

Here’s Collins:

I’ve also said early on in my tenure at NRSC that if the Democrats attempt to choose our nominees we will plot a course that Republicans are responding. This isn’t particularly directed at Alaska but just generally we have not sat idly as we’ve watched Harry Reid’s efforts to choose whom the Republicans nominate.

The pro-Begich super-PAC, Put Alaska First, has spent more than $3.7 million attacking GOP candidate Dan Sullivan. So far, the PAC has left the other candidates, Mead Treadwell and Joe Miller, out of the race.

In a phone interview on Thursday, Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski shared Collins’ frustration Continue reading


Three GOP Senate hopefuls take to the stage for first debate

On Thursday night, the three Republican Senate candidates—Joe Miller, Mead Treadwell, and Dan Sullivan—took to the stage for the first primary debate that featured all three. The lead-up to the debate was not without drama, which culminated with the former chair of the Republican Party, Randy Ruedrich, filing a complaint with APOC against the Anchorage Women’s Republican Club, which organized it.

But all that drama, as these things do, fell away as the candidates stepped on stage, where for two hours–without a break–they answered questions from the organizers, Continue reading


The pack’s take on Brat

Here’s some excerpts from pieces on the historic beating of Virginia House Majority Leader Eric Cantor by Dave Brat, a relatively unknown economics professor from Randolph-Macon College. A few things to keep in mind: Cantor spent about $4.9 million on operating expenditures this election cycle. He still had more than $3.7 million on hand late last month. Brat spent just under $123,000 on operating expenditures. Cantor spent $168,000 alone at a D.C. steakhouse. No doubt many who regularly dine at that D.C. steak house are rattled, and at least two Alaskans are gleeful. Read on.

From a Joe Miller press release:

‘The Party elite always play the same game: use unreliable polling and the media to try to convince voters there is no way to defeat their hand-picked candidates. The people are not buying it,’ said Miller spokesman Randy DeSoto. ‘They know Washington is the problem and sending more there who want to play the Establishment game will not restore freedom or revive our economy. Based on what we’ve be seeing here in Alaska, the grassroots have another surprise in store for the Establishment in August.’

Brat does sound an awful lot like a gentler Joe Miller:

From a Washington Post blog post:

(W)ith Eric Cantor’s shocking defeat Tuesday night, things for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable just got a whole lot worse. For one, they lost a major defender of their favored policies–from the beneficial tax treatment of private equity income to immigration reforms favored by the country’s biggest tech companies. But even worse for their prospects, Cantor lost to a challenger who specifically attacked him for his close ties to big business — going so far as to single out the BRT and the Chamber. “The central theme of Brat’s campaign is that Cantor is beholden to business — specifically the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable,” wrote Politico in April.

The big lesson: don’t trust the polling. From a June 6 Washington Post story:

A poll conducted late last month for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) shows him with a wide lead over challenger David Brat heading toward next Tuesday’s Republican primary election. The poll, shared with Post Politics, shows Cantor with a 62 percent to 28 percent lead over Brat, an economics professor running to Cantor’s right. Eleven percent say they are undecided. The internal survey of 400 likely Republican primary voters was conducted May 27 and 28 by John McLaughlin of McLaughlin & Associates. It carries a margin of error of +/-4.9 percentage points.

From Sarah Palin’s Facebook page.

Tonight’s victory showed the power of the local grassroots – the ones with boots on the ground who put up the campaign signs and go door to door to provide needed support for great candidates…Grassroots commonsense conservatives can use this momentum to push good candidates like Chris McDaniel, T.W. Shannon, and Rob Maness to victory for America. These candidates are also being massively outspent by establishment candidates and they need our help and energy.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com


New poll shows GOP Senate candidates Treadwell and Sullivan neck and neck

Anchorage-based Dittman Research released a poll today that shows that GOP Senate candidates Dan Sullivan and Lieutenant Gov. Mead Treadwell running neck and neck. The poll, paid for by Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan, surveyed 500 likely GOP primary voters May 27 – 29. It showed Mead Treadwell with 35 percent of the vote, Dan Sullivan with 37 percent, and Joe Miller with 12 percent. The margin of error is 4.4 percent.

The poll also showed Treadwell with a 74 percent favorable approval rating, Sullivan with a 62 percent, and Miller with a 35 percent favorable rating. Because Independents and nonpartisans are allowed to vote in the Republican primary, Dittman’s sample included 60 percent registered Republicans, Matt Larkin, who owns Dittman, said.

Larkin said that he wasn’t authorized to release the full poll, which also surveyed the lieutenant governor’s race.

Treadwell, naturally, appears happy with the numbers. “Washington, DC power brokers may have made a decision on who the GOP candidate should be, but Alaskans didn’t get the memo,” Treadwell said in a statement. He was referring to Sullivan, who has by far raised the most money in the race and has been considered the frontrunner.

Sullivan’s spokesperson said that it was hard to respond without seeing the full poll. However, he said “one thing is clear, Dan Sullivan is the only candidate that Mark Begich is afraid to take on in the fall.” He said that’s why Begich and those who support him are attacking Sullivan

A poll conducted by Portland-based Moore Research showed that at the end of April, Sullivan had a 16 percent lead over Mead Treadwell and a 26 percentage point lead over Joe Miller with 38 percent of primary voters still undecided.

Moore, like Dittman, is long-associated with Republicans and has a long history for polling for Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Rep. Don Young. Both firms also polled for the late Sen. Ted Stevens.

Only one thing is for sure: There will be lots of conflicting poll numbers in the coming months.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com


Treadwell surprises crowd, Miller wins crowd at conservative Senate debate

Not surprisingly, GOP Senate candidate Joe Miller won a very unscientific exit poll conducted after Wednesday night’s U.S Senate debate sponsored by the Conservative Patriots Group and United for Liberty, two groups associated with the tea party and the libertarians, respectively. What is surprising is that Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell, who is also running in the Republican primary, came in second, in front of Libertarian candidate Mark Fish, who, if nothing else, proved that not all Libertarians are fringe thinkers.

Though Treadwell appeared to have the most volunteers there, the crowd that packed the Wilda Marston Theater in Anchorage was not Treadwell’s crowd. But he seemed to be getting points for showing up and answering the questions as best as he could. From the audience’s reaction, he also probably got points for hammering away on the fact that the supposed front-runner in the race, Dan Sullivan, wasn’t there.

Sullivan had a long-standing commitment in Fairbanks with a group of veterans. Democratic Sen .Mark Begich also wasn’t there. But he was only invited a week before, and his campaign immediately locked down began working on locking down a date for a debate with the two groups in August.

The results were tallied by Mike Chambers, co-founder of United for Liberty. Chambers is also the chair of the Libertarian Party, which under his leadership appears to be experiencing a renaissance. Dave Cuddy moderated the debate. Cuddy is from the First National Bank of Alaska family. Along with Chambers, he co-founded United for Liberty, and he ran against Ted Stevens for Senate in 2008.

The questions came mostly from the audience, and ranged from support for 1) Law of the Sea Treaty, to 2) support for voter ID, to 3) amnesty for illegal aliens.

Treadwell’s answers: 1) Yes with modifications. 2) No. 3) Yes, under some circumstances.

Miller and Fish’s answers: 1) No. 2) Yes. 3) No.

Those were only some of the tricky questions for Treadwell, and have been since elected in 2010 for lieutenant governor. He claims to have been an active conservative in Alaska for 40 years. Most Alaskans know him, however, as a moderate Republican, and many have been surprised that he’s framed himself a tea party conservative.

Treadwell handled the questions well, though, and spoke with conviction. Conservative firebrand Eddie Burke, who ran against Treadwell in 2010, and who now works for the Veterans Administration, and who ironically enough now belongs to a union, said that Treadwell was “excellent.”

“By doing excellent it means that he did good,” Burke said. “When I walked in I thought Mead would have a tough night. But I was impressed by Mead’s ability to relate to the crowd.”

Cean Stevens, who’s running for state House in East Anchorage as a Libertarian also had good things to say about Treadwell. “I had never heard him speak before and I was very impressed,” she said.

Miller did win most of the applause lines of the night though. One of the most well received lines was when he differentiated himself from Treadwell.

“I genuinely like Mead Treadwell,” he said. “He’s a nice guy. He’s a nicer guy than I am. But I’m not going to vote for Mead because we don’t need nice guys in Washington D.C…Ted Cruz is not a go-along-get-along nice guy.”

But probably the real winner of the night was the two groups that put the event on. It was well attended, lively and well organized, all of which flies in the face of pre-conceived notions about third party groups and the tea party.

Below is what Chambers sent out on Thursday morning:

It was a weighted poll. Each card had the three candidates name and instructions to prioritize choices.  1st place was awarded 3 points. 2nd place was awarded 2 points and third place was awarded 1 point. Additionally, there were ballots that were marked with just one selection (nonconformists ) Each candidate checked received 3 points. The results were:

Joe Miller….221

Mead Treadwell….207

Mark Fish……115

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com


Joe Miller’s praise of libertarians has politicos speculating

U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller sent out a press release on Thursday, applauding the libertarians for “schooling Begich on liberty.” Miller was referring to Alaska Libertarian Party Chair Mike Chambers scolding Begich for telling CBS News that Alaskans are “very libertarian.” Chambers lays out what most libertarians believe, and according to Chambers, it’s not what Begich believes. Read the release in full below.

Miller has continually said that he’s running as a Republican and plans to stay a Republican. However, the release and his embrace of the Libertarian Party has caused further speculation that he’s setting the stage to join that party’s ticket, perhaps after the primary, were he to fail to get his party’s nomination.

In an interview, Chambers denied that he’s involved in some sort of scheme to get Miller on the ticket. In fact, he said that someone from the party is planning to file to run for the seat. He declined to say who, however. But he also said that if Miller loses the primary, the Republican Party will get what it deserves “for not taking responsibility” for whom it elects, he said.

Libertarian Mark Fish, who worked on Miller’s campaign in 2010, and is still close to it, said that he wouldn’t discourage a switch. “If Joe wants to come over to the Libertarian Party, I welcome him,” he said.

What’s clear is that if Miller joins another ticket after the primary, it will make it all that much harder for Republicans to beat Begich in the Fall.

Here’s Miller’s release in full:

Republican US Senate Candidate Joe Miller today responded to a recent statement from Alaska Libertarian Party Chair Michael Chambers regarding Senator Mark Begich’s recent mischaracterization of the libertarian movement in an interview with CBS News.

“I appreciate the fact that the Alaska Libertarian Party is speaking out on the important issues facing our state and nation,” Miller said. “What we don’t need more of is Mark Begich’s progressive ideology masquerading under the banner of liberty. True libertarianism is grounded in Constitutional liberty, and I am proud to share those values with the Alaska Libertarian Party.”

Begich attempted to align himself with libertarianism by suggesting that as Alaskans “we’re very libertarian . . . and we don’t think that government should be interfering in our personal and private lives.”

Alaska Libertarian Party Chair Michael Chambers responded with the following:

“Senator Begich, allow me to define the vast majority of libertarians for your educational benefit, as you seem to be confused:

1. I know of no Alaskan libertarian who would remotely support the government takeover of our healthcare industry.

2. I know of no Alaskan libertarian who would vote to confirm:
•    Eric Holder – anti-gun
•    Elena Kagan – anti-gun
•    Sonia Sotomayor – anti-gun

3. I know of no Alaskan libertarian who supports:
•    Common Core
•    Federal Department of Education
•    suppression of parental rights in education

4. I know of no Alaskan libertarian who would vote to support and advocate:
•    The IRS in any malignant manifestation
•    NDAA and the suspension of habeas corpus
•    NSA invasion of our personal effects
•    The Patriot Act

5. No Alaskan libertarian I know would advocate globalist policies like:
•    The United Nations Law of the Sea Treaty
•    TPP – Trans Pacific Partnerships
•    UN Treaties having any jurisdiction or precedence over the US Constitution.

Certainly, there are a few libertarians who may support the socialist policies you advocate, but to infer that you are ‘libertarian’ in any of your political representations is to vacate any measure of truth.”

Miller concluded, “These are momentous times, and it is imperative that we transcend partisan frames of reference. The only way we can push back federal tyranny is for all Alaskans of good will to unite under the banner of Constitutional Liberty.”

Joe Miller is a husband, father, combat veteran, and advocate of Constitutional liberty who believes in individual rights, private property, free markets and the sanctity of human life.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com 


Senate poll: GOP candidate Sullivan ahead of primary pack, even with Begich

A new poll, first released at the Alaska Republican Party annual convention in Juneau, shows that GOP Senate candidate Dan Sullivan has a double-digit lead against the two other GOP contenders in the race, Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell and Joe Miller, with a large percent still undecided. It also finds that Alaska’s view of Sen. Mark Begich’s positive image has “tumbled” over the past months. As of the end of April when the poll was conducted, Begich was only two percentage points ahead of Sullivan in a general election.

The poll was conducted by Portland-based Moore Information, and was paid for by Sullivan.  It was conducted April 27-28, in 500 live interviews on both landline and cell phone. The margin of error is plus or minus 4 percent. Moore is associated with Republicans and has a long history for polling for Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Rep. Don Young. The firm also polled for the late Sen. Ted Stevens.

The last time the firm polled early this year, Sullivan polled two percentage points behind Treadwell and ten points ahead of Joe Miller. By the end of April, however, 38 percent of primary voters were going to vote for Sullivan, while Treadwell would get 22 percent and Miller 12 percent. However, 29 percent of primary voters are still undecided, leaving lots of room for Treadwell and Miller to pick up support.

According to the poll, Begich’s positive image went from a net +17 positive to a net +5 today. “The more voters learn about Mark Begich and his ties to the Obama agenda, the less likely they are to hold a favorable impression of him and, conversely, the more likely to hold a negative opinion of him,” Moore’s Senior Vice President Hans Kaiser wrote in a narrative accompanying the poll.

Kaiser wrote that Begich’s vote on ObamaCare appears to be his most serious liability. Among undecided voters, 56 percent are less likely to vote for a candidate who supported Obamacare. More bad news for Begich: only 24 percent had a positive view of Obama while 63 percent had a negative view.

However, it’s impossible to say what those numbers really mean as the chart accompanying the poll didn’t show the total percentage points of undecided voters in the general election.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com


State-wide candidates try to connect with kids and seniors at forum

AARP Alaska, along with Anchorage middle schools, hosted both a gubernatorial and senatorial forum on Wednesday. About 100 people showed, most of whom were middle school students and the questions were written by them.  First up: The three candidates for governor—Democrat Byron Mallott, independent Bill Walker, and incumbent Republican Gov. Sean Parnell, who answered about 45 minutes worth of questions ranging from education, resource development, social security and healthcare. Many of the students were engaged, at least initially and were trying to understand. Others weren’t and couldn’t,

This was the second gubernatorial forum of the week. On Monday, the event was hosted by the Anchorage Chamber, and allowed for more back and forth, along with slight tension between Walker and Parnell, mostly over the natural gas pipeline. Walker doesn’t believe that the current plan in the works will get a gasline built. At the forum on Wednesday, Walker again lamented all the wasted years and hundreds of millions of dollars studying the gasline, and Parnell again said that the state is closer than ever.

But there was no heat in the exchanges. The candidates were limited to 60 second answers. Of all the candidates, the format suited Mallott the best, who has so far focused on generalities and platitudes and has shied far from specifics. About as specific as he got was when he said that his first act as governor would be to accept federal money to expand Medicaid, something that Parnell rejected. Walker said he would also expand the program, as long as he was assured that the feds would pick up 100 percent of the tab.

Parnell told the crowd, that those who would qualify for Medicaid already get access to primary care and emergency rooms “free of charge.”

If they hadn’t before, this is probably where they lost the children.

The group of 10 or so that I talked to after said that they didn’t understand a lot. One of them said they liked that Mallott talked more than the others about education. A few of them said that Walker seemed confident. Most of them said that they liked Parnell and felt more comfortable with him than with the others.

Up next was the GOP Senate forum, featuring Joe Miller, Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell, and Dan Sullivan. This, too, was this group’s second time meeting. The last, moderated by KTUU Channel 2’s Steve MacDonald, wasn’t live, and lacked energy, at least the kind of energy that Sullivan appears to feed on. This one also contained few fireworks. The candidates spoke about federal government overreach, about honoring our vets, and about social security.

Miller said that he would work to privatize the program for those under 50 years old, which likely didn’t go well with the seniors in the group. The two others talked around the issue, but didn’t, like Miller, address it head on. Treadwell said that we’ve got to be “flexible,” when thinking about how to save social security. Sullivan said that when the country elects “serious leaders” there’s an “opportunity for serious reform.” He didn’t elaborate.

All three candidates oppose federal government overreach. All said they would focus on the youth. And all agreed that the minimum wage hike that’s being debated in Congress should be left up to individual states.

After it was over, the kids didn’t remember much of what they said, and were mostly stymied when I asked which one they thought did the best job. One said that they thought Treadwell’s experience was important. A few of the more outspoken ones said that Sullivan connected most with the audience. All of them remembered when Sullivan asked for a show of hands of all those who had done their homework the night before.

After about half the room raised them, he said that the passing of ObamaCare was a great example of legislators not doing their homework. “It was legislative malpractice,” he said. “Not healthcare form.”

One of the students after said she was surprised how few of her peers didn’t do their homework. She also said that she had wished social issues, like gay marriage, had been discussed.

Another said that he had heard a lot about ObamaCare. Then again, he was U.S. Rep. Don Young’s grandchild. His grandfather comes over for dinner a lot, he said, and talks a lot.

“About politics?” I asked.

Yes, the boy said. A lot about ObamaCare.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com


U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller draws large crowd for campaign kickoff

Redemption makes for a powerful story. So does being an underdog who claims to speak truth to power. Of the three candidates running to be the Republican nominee in the U.S. Senate race–Joe Miller, Mead Treadwell and Dan Sullivan–only Miller can claim both. Both Treadwell and Sullivan have much going for them, but they don’t have the power of those two stories.

This wasn’t lost on the fired up crowd of as many as 200 on Monday night at the Wasilla Lake Resort where they gathered for Miller’s official campaign kickoff. As most know, Miller ran in 2010, won the primary, and then suffered a devastating loss to Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s write-in bid. It was a brutal campaign, and Miller’s reputation took a beating.

But some things are different this time. Miller’s official campaign kickoff in 2010 was in the town square in Anchorage. About 12 people showed, said Mark Fish, who has been one of Miller’s main volunteers from the beginning. “I think I begged six of my libertarian friends to come,” Fish said.

And Miller appears to be softer and more relaxed this time around. On the stage on Monday, he was even able to poke fun of the fact that in 2010, a member of his “security” detail handcuffed Alaska Dispatch editor Tony Hopfinger at a campaign event. Referring to his young children who were sitting next to him who are taking martial arts, Miller said that this time “we decided to have in-house security.”

It was probably the loudest laugh line of the night from a crowd that wasn’t shy about laughing, as well as yelling out an occasional “Amen,” or “Say it like it is Joe.”

The event lasted more than 2 hours, and featured national radio talk show host Lars Larson. Tim Macy, vice chairman of the Gun Owners of America, flew up that morning from California for the event. Adele Morgan and Paul Wainamo sang songs about God and country. Speeches about liberty, guns and God were made. It was a classic Wasilla tea party, with some beer on tap.

Before Miller spoke, they showed the above three minute video about Miller and his life. It’s easy to forget that Miller actually has an impressive resume. He went to West Point and has a law degree from Yale. He was awarded the Bronze Star in Desert Storm. He has a masters in economics from UAF. And he was raised by poor parents in Kansas. He has eight kids, and is now a grandfather. And he now will have run twice for U.S. Senate and has developed a large following.

Another thing that’s changed since 2010: Miller has developed a stump speech that is actually digestible. He still talks with passion about repealing ObamaCare, abolishing the IRS, and federal overreach. But he doesn’t go on and on. And on Monday, he peppered his speech with the personal. He told a story about being a little boy with a disfigured lip from a fall. He alluded to being bullied because of it. He talked about working for his father’s bookstore and mowing lawns to get enough money to pay for an operation to fix it. He raised the money, took the bus to Wichita, and got his lip fixed.

He was only in 7th grade.

The money is going to be tight for Miller. Although all told he has about $300,000 cash on hand, he only raised $101,000 last quarter. Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell has less cash on hand, but he has name recognition and long history in the state. The big money is on former DNR Commissioner Dan Sullivan, who raised $1.4 million last quarter alone and has about $2 million on hand.

But then again, Miller won the last primary with only $300,000 against Murkowski’s huge war chest.

Miller didn’t mention Sullivan in his speech, but it’s clear that he’s going to attack him as the establishment candidate who is supported by those partaking in “generational theft,” and by the “same forces” that fought him so hard in the last election.

I asked him what’s different since the last election and why he thinks he can win now when he didn’t then.

He pointed to the crowd. “Look at this,” he said. “This is different.”

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com


Treadwell announces another poor fundraising quarter

On Friday, GOP Senate candidate Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell announced that he raised $124,000 during the first quarter of the year, which runs from January through March. He also put in $175,000 of his own money because, “Alaskans deserve a Senator who has worked in and served our state for four decades, and one who understands the unique challenges we face,” he said in a release.

The Alaska Dispatch reported that Treadwell had $140,000 cash on hand. Joe Miller, another GOP candidate, announced that he raised $101,000 during the same quarter and has $300,000 cash on hand, much of which is money rolled over from his 2010 run. Miller is running a much different, much more grassroots campaign than is Treadwell, and has the tea party faithful faithfully behind him. Miller officially announces his candidacy on Monday.

The other Republican candidate, former DNR Commissioner Dan Sullivan, clearly the establishment’s choice, raised a whopping $1.4 million and has just under $2 million cash on hand, even though he’s been in the race for far less time than has Treadwell. Treadwell set up an exploratory committee in December 2012, and officially announced last June. Sullivan skipped the exploratory phase and officially announced in October.

Fundraising has not been Treadwell’s strong suit. And it’s not for lack of trying. He crisscrossed the country in 2013 trying to raise money. According to documents given to me, he had at least 15 fundraisers in the Lower 48, not including the numerous events he’s had in Alaska. In September, he hired high-powered, D.C.-based Lisa Spies to help him raise funds. She is now said to have left the campaign, as has most of Treadwell’s paid staff, including a campaign manager and two spokespeople. Most recently, Fred Brown left the campaign to work for the RNC in Arkansas.

Word is that Treadwell is getting pressure from some national Republicans to drop out of the race, and to support Sullivan. However, he has said that he has no plans to do so, and that he’s convinced that if he can get through the primary, he can leverage his 40 years of experience in Alaska and win the race.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com


Joe Miller’s fundraising is looking up–reports $101,000 in 1st quarter

GOP Senate candidate Joe Miller reported raising $101,000 in the first quarter of the year, which ran from January to March. It’s a significant increase from the $30,490 he raised in the last fundraising quarter. No loans have been made to the campaign, he says, and he has $300,000 cash on hand, much of which was rolled over from his 2010 run.

Miller will make an official campaign announcement on April 21.

Dan Sullivan, his primary challenger, reported raising $1.4 million in the quarter. Mead Treadwell has yet to release his numbers. Sen. Mark Begich raised a little more than a $1 million.

Unlike Sullivan, Miller is running a grassroots campaign. He’s meeting with small groups, mostly in Fairbanks, were he lives, and in the Valley, where his support is strong.

In a press release, Miller’s campaign reminds people that money doesn’t buy elections. “In the 2010 primary election, Miller won the Republican Party nomination against the incumbent senator with approximately $300,000,” the release says. “In mid-July of 2010, about a month from Election Day, the senator reported over $2 million on-hand to Miller’s $125,000.”

That incumbent senator is Lisa Murkowski, who lost to Miller in the primary, but won in the general in a write-in campaign.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com 


GOP Senate candidate Dan Sullivan raised $1.3 million in first quarter

GOP Senate candidate Dan Sullivan says that he raised $1.3 million in the first quarter of 2014, leaving him with just under $2 million cash on hand. Sen. Mark Begich says that he raised $1.05 million during the same period, and has $2.8 million cash on hand.

The official reports are due to the FEC on April 15.

In the last two quarters, Sullivan has outraised Begich by about $700,000. The campaign said that it has “quadrupled our small donors to over 1,000 this quarter.” The campaign hasn’t said how many of those donors are Alaskans. In the last fundraising report, Sullivan’s campaign didn’t list the names of donors who gave less than $200.

Sullivan has been crisscrossing the state and the country raising money, helped in no small part through his family connections, his D.C. establishment credentials, and the fact that the RNC appears to have anointed him the candidate.

“Our growing momentum highlights the increased frustration with the fact that Mark Begich is a rubberstamp for President Obama’s liberal agenda, supporting his policies 97 percent of the time,” Sullivan said in a statement first given to Politico.

Neither Joe Miller nor Mead Treadwell, the other two Republicans running in the race, have released their numbers. Neither are expected to do nearly as well as Sullivan. In the last quarter, Treadwell only raised about $228,000. He had $95,000 in cash on hand, but he also had debts of $141,000. Miller only raised $30,490 in the last quarter.

Remember, though, Miller hasn’t officially kicked off his campaign, and he will use Sullivan’s money-raising prowess against him, which will likely have some effect among his tea party following. Already, Miller is saying that Sullivan “is just another big government crony capitalist,” and that his campaign is funded by “international finance,” and those who advocate “corporate welfare.”

According to Miller, those donors include former Chairman of the Board of the New York Federal Reserve, the CEO of Rockefeller and Company, the former President of the World Bank, and “numerous Goldman Sachs executives.”

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com 


Single women could decide the makeup of U.S. Senate

A Washington D.C. nonprofit teamed up with pollster Celinda Lake, who is also Sen. Mark Begich’s pollster, to study voter behavior in Alaska. A report released Monday suggests that Alaska’s unmarried women, people of color and voters aged 18-29 could determine who wins the U.S. Senate race in Alaska. However, these voters are less likely than others to vote, and it’s going to take work to get them to the polls in November.

According to the Voter Participation Center, about 23,000 of these voters could stay home this election year, as compared to 2012. The total voting block, combined with other Alaskans who are likely to stay home, could be as many as 25,000 votes in the 2014 election. Given Alaska’s history of close elections, this could easily be the voting block that could decide the race.

According to the Washington Post, the national Democrats are paying particular close attention to unmarried women who are eligible to vote, a pool that’s increased by 19 percent since 2000. By contrast, the pool of married women only grew 7 percent during that time. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is building a national computer model to find and hopefully sway single women.

Neither the Alaska Democratic Party nor the Begich campaign knew about a similar effort by any Democratic group in Alaska. However, Begich has been busy reaching out to both women and minority voters in the state.

“Women for Begich” groups across the state have been meeting. Begich is the only pro-choice candidate running for Senate. The three Republican challengers, Dan Sullivan, Mead Treadwell, and Joe Miller have all claimed the pro-life mantle. And all three of them have said at one time or the other that the abortion issue would factor into a decision to confirm a candidate for the U.S. Supreme Court.

Too, in a radio interview with conservative talk show host Glen Biegel, Sullivan appears to support allowing corporations to decide if they will provide contraceptives as part of their health care policies, characterizing a mandate to do so under the Affordable Care Act as an “attack on religious liberty.” That mandate is currently being challenged in the Supreme Court.

Begich has also been reaching out to minority groups in Alaska. Last weekend alone, he met with groups from the Chinese, Hmong, Hispanic, Filipino, Korean, Polynesian, and Cambodian communities.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com


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.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com