October 4th, 2010
10:21 PM ET
4 years ago

New skirmish in Murkowski-Tea Party Express feud

(CNN) - Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska says a new commercial by the Tea Party Express that targets her as a sore loser whose sole goal is to keep her Senate seat is full of "lies," and she's urging television stations in her state not to run the ad.

Tea Party Express announced Monday that they are in the process of buying ad time in Alaska and hope to start running the 60 second commercial as early as next week.


Murkowski, who is part of a political dynasty in Alaska, conceded defeat in her bid for her party's nomination one week after she was upset in the August 24th Republican Senate primary by attorney Joe Miller. Miller is a previous longshot who enjoyed strong support from Tea Party activists and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

But last month Murkowski announced she would run in the general election as a write-in candidate.

The Tea Party Express, a national Tea Party organization based in Sacramento, California, endorsed Miller earlier this summer and spent nearly $600,000 during the primary campaign to help him defeat Murkowski.

The group now says they plan to spend in the six figures to run the 60 second ad, as well as a 30 second commercial that highlights Miller's biography, including years at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and the awarding of a Bronze star for his service in the Persian Gulf War.

But it's the commercial targeting Murkowski that's under attack.

"Lisa Murkowski first got her U.S. Senate seat when her father, Frank Murkowksi, appointed her. She didn't earn it. Lisa promised she would respect the will of the electorate in this year election and support the winner of the Republican primary. But Lisa wasn't really willing to give up the gift her daddy gave her. She tried to influence the absentee vote count. When that didn't work, she said she'd concede. Then she tried to manipulate the LIbertarian party into giving her their slot on the ballot. That didn't work either," says the narrator in the ad.

The commercial ends with the narrator saying "You lost Lisa, and it's time you respect that this Senate seat doesn't belong to you."

Late Monday, Murkowski fired back.

"Alaskans deserve a better political discourse than this," says Murkowski in an email release. "This ad is vile. Accusing me of influencing the absentee voter count is dirty politics at it worst."

Murkowski's campaign says the senator's legal counsel has sent a letter to all Alaska broadcasters "reminding them that they will be held liable for knowingly running false advertising or for knowingly broadcasting false information. The television stations have been urged by the Murkowski campaign to pull the ads until they can be verified through legitimate sources."

Murkowski is taking issue with two lines in the ad that accuse her of trying to "influence the vote count" and that "she tried to manipulate the Libertarian party into giving her their slot on the ballot." Murkowski's campaign says neither accusation is true.

Last week Murkowski's campaign went up with a new commercial on Alaska television which takes aim at the Tea Party Express.

"So they're going to come up here and drop another dirty money bomb on Alaska and try to take our seat," says one women in the ad.

"You know, they fooled a lot of people before the primary but we're on to them now," adds a man in the commercial.

A recent CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation poll indicated that 38 percent of likely voters in the state support Miller, while 36 percent back Murkowski. Twenty-two percent back Sitka Mayor Scott McAdams, the Democratic nominee, with four percent either undecided or not supporting any of the three candidates listed in the survey.

Miller's two-point advantage over Murkowski is within the survey's sampling error.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @PsteinhauserCNN


Filed under: 2010 • Alaska • Joe Miller • Lisa Murkowski
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Debbie from Arizona

    Political ads full of lies? Say it ain't so.

    October 4, 2010 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  2. Rob in MO

    Murkowski and the Tea Party idiots deserve each other. If Alaskans had any sense they would vote for the sane candidate – McAdams.

    October 4, 2010 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  3. ame

    Go away lisa.

    October 4, 2010 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  4. monzell Lewis

    You lost why dont you stay on sidline instead of messing this elation up. you lose fair not enough vote so now its over get a life you dont run this anymore. by by baby by bye

    October 4, 2010 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  5. HermanC

    Her face says everything about the New American Royalty, when they get 'downsized' they're panicked, just like the Serfs. Life must be pretty good as a Senator on the lobbyist gravey train for her to have a mental breakdown over getting booted.
    A child of the silver spoon bites the dust.

    October 4, 2010 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  6. Mark Rhoads

    I did like Sen. Murkowski at one time a few years ago. But as tough political commercials go in most states this one is relatively tame and there is nothing in it that is not true. I hope if her lawyers try to intimidate TV stations to reject the ad maybe that will boomerang back on her and it should. If a group is in the state or not, a Senator's vote affects all Americans and groups outside the state have the same First Amendment right to communicate with Alaska voters as they do Florida or New York or Illinois voters. Alaskans were so proud in 1959 to become a part of the United States and their Senators are not immune from the opinions of voters in the lower 48 states. We may not vote in Alaska but we can donate money to Joe Miller who is a good solid conservative on his own merits regardless of who his competitors are.

    October 4, 2010 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  7. J.V.Hodgson

    Mr Miller based on the poll is along way from Home and dry and I suspect it will get closer as more time passes and it is clearer what the tea party stands for, I think alot of people will not follow candidates who clearly are funded by them and espouse the policies ala Angle and Rand Paul etc.
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    October 5, 2010 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  8. monasterymonkey

    But she doesn't argue that her father appointed her which is the only reason she became a viable candidate.

    October 5, 2010 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  9. jim

    This proves how the current electorate will give up their power kicking and screaming. They own us. I hope Alaskans kick her buns to the curb.

    October 5, 2010 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  10. thomas

    She looks very angry and Miller looks like an actor living in a house made of plastic logs.

    October 5, 2010 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  11. SoArizona

    And Democrats are continuing The Great Recession with NO MORE JOBS

    October 5, 2010 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  12. rico poor

    None of this serves the best interest of the people of alaska or the US. I'm sure that alaskans will vote for substance and base their preference on known facts .

    October 5, 2010 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  13. Klaxon McFlinderginder

    How many elections will the Tea Party lose for conservatives? Is this the big "Ralph Nader gets Bush elected" moment for the Tea Party, or will they wait until 2012 to do their inevitable implosion.

    The only way the Tea Party will survive is if a left faction splits out of the Democrats as well. Then we will be more like the rest of the developed world, with many parties to choose from. Might be better that way. But of course, in that scenario, a new centerist party would be almost unbeatable. Not going to happen, though.

    October 5, 2010 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  14. Sherri W.W.

    I dont like that Lisa joined in on the Repubs "sitting on their hands and saying NO to EVERTHING"and not caring about middle~class America~and simply because they ALL made a calculated plan to"take back the WH from the black man"~NO OTHER REASON!~HOWEVER~when Thinking for HERSELF~LISA Murkowski HAS gotten things done for Alaska and to replace her with A TEA PARTY EXTREME LIKE MILLER~THAT would NOT BE DOING ANY FAVORS FOR THE GREAT STATE OF ALASKA!~Lisa needs to get re~elected{since the Dem candidate prob will not this time]and she needs to go to work WITH THE DEMS TO HELP THINGS GET BETTER~NOT MAKE THEM WORSE AS MOST REPUBS&TEA P.want to do!GO BACK TO D.C. LISA AND HELP THE PEOPLE OF AMERICA BY HELPING THE DEMS AND PRES.OBAMA THIS TIME

    October 5, 2010 03:32 am at 3:32 am |
  15. Dale

    The ad sounds like a pretty fair characterization of a Senator who doesn't want to give up her seat despite what the voters in her party have said. Maybe she should follow the lead of Arlen Spector and join the Democrat party. They seem to be much more in line with the basic union rules that reward senority and ignore performance.

    October 5, 2010 05:19 am at 5:19 am |
  16. Angus McDugan

    How about this...

    Murkowski to everyone: Ignore everything except what I say and forget that I am a looser in the primaries, took my toys, and went home.

    October 5, 2010 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  17. russinmaine

    This woman is a classic example of the broken system. The people said you're done pack up and go home, but she believes that she works for Mrs. Murkowski not the people. Sad, very sad!

    October 5, 2010 07:05 am at 7:05 am |
  18. The Saint

    What a sore loser!

    October 5, 2010 07:17 am at 7:17 am |
  19. Tomtom

    Looks like Alaskans are allowing people and/or organizations (Tea Party Express) outside of Alaska to influence their politics and their future. Shame on Alaskans!

    October 5, 2010 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  20. bk

    the tea party sound just as bad as the other parties, if not worse. they dont have any visible leaders to hold accountable, only shady, back-room multi millionares trying to influence elections

    October 5, 2010 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  21. Northdakota

    The voters of Alaska have SPOKEN.... get out!

    October 5, 2010 07:56 am at 7:56 am |