Murkowski Questions NRSC Support for Miller Recount Lawyers

Posted November 5, 2010 at 3:54pm

Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s campaign is pushing back against efforts by national Republicans to help fund her rival Joe Miller’s post-election legal bills, questioning why they would get involved in the recount since the seat is sure to remain in GOP hands.

The Alaska Senator on Friday was ramping up her own efforts to pay for legal bills related to the ballot counting and any recounts related to her write-in campaign against Miller, who defeated her in a GOP primary this summer. Scott McAdams (D) came in third place Tuesday and conceded.

National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (Texas) also decided to get involved in the fray Friday, sending out an e-mail to supporters urging them to donate to Miller’s campaign to cover his bills.

Murkowski campaign spokesman Kevin Sweeney questioned Cornyn’s decision, noting that as it became clear Murkowski was in the lead in the waning weeks of the general election, the NRSC chose to run ads only attacking McAdams. 

“We have put together our own independent legal team to monitor the counting process, and we will make certain that every Alaskan vote is counted. In the final days of the campaign as we were surging, NRSC ran ads that were primarily anti-McAdams in order to help ensure that the seat would remain Republican. Now that it is clear that this will be a Republican seat, we question why they would choose sides,” Sweeney said.

NRSC spokesman Brian Walsh defended the organization’s decision, saying in a statement, “Joe Miller is the Republican nominee and as a party committee, the NRSC supports those nominated by the Republican voters in each state.”

The state is scheduled to begin reviewing the thousands of write-in ballots cast in Tuesday’s election on Wednesday. Murkowski appeared to be leading Miller and McAdams comfortably following the initial tallying of votes, and Miller has threatened to conduct an exhaustive legal challenge that could mean weeks before a final victor is announced.