Business Stakeholders Invest in Murkowski

Posted August 26, 2010 at 11:22am

Joe Miller may be up by more than 1,600 votes in his battle to become the Republican Senate nominee in Alaska, but he can’t count on K Street’s support for his bid.

Several K Street insiders with Alaska ties said they had never met Miller and instead prefer his opponent, Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

“He’s a total unknown,” said one Republican lobbyist who follows Alaska politics. “I have not met anybody who even remotely knows him.”

Miller’s lack of lobbyist outreach shows in his campaign coffers.

As of Aug. 4, Miller had received just $5,000 from one political action committee, and it’s from SarahPAC, which is affiliated with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R), who endorsed Miller. The figure was compiled by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. The rest of Miller’s campaign contributions, which totaled nearly $284,000, came from individual contributions.

Murkowski, on the other hand, has a long list of campaign contributions from K Street and industry players.

Constellation Energy, Edison Chouest Offshore, law firm Van Ness Feldman, Exxon Mobil Corp. and Blue Cross and Blue Shield are the top five contributors to Murkowski’s campaign, giving the Alaskan Senator nearly $135,000 of the more than $3.5 million she had raised as of Aug. 4, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

In addition to industry players with home-state ties, Murkowski’s campaign coffers also were buoyed by her position as ranking member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Electric utilities and oil and gas companies were the top industries that contributed to Murkowski, the CRP found.

Miller and Murkowski faced off in an Aug. 24 primary, but the results of the too-close-to-call race might not be known for weeks until as many as 16,000 absentee ballots are counted.