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Miller Allies Solicit Funds for Legal Battle

Miller Allies Solicit Funds for Legal Battle

By Scott Conroy - November 5, 2010


A defiant Joe Miller is gearing up for what he hopes will be a drawn out legal battle to deny incumbent Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski a victory in her write-in bid for re-election.

Miller trails by over 13,000 votes the total number of ballots cast for "write-in candidate," but the Republican Senate nominee who defeated Murkowski in the GOP primary is showing no sign of giving up the fight.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), which backed Miller in the general election after supporting Murkowski in the primary, is soliciting donations for Miller, in advance of the absentee ballot count, which starts in Juneau on Tuesday, and the write-in count by hand, which is set to begin the day after that.

NRSC Chairman John Cornyn (R-Texas) sent out a fundraising appeal Friday afternoon asking supporters to contribute to Miller's campaign.

"Joe Miller in Alaska is dedicated to the conservative principles we need in Washington, DC," NRSC Chairman John Cornyn wrote in an email appeal. "We need to get Joe the resources he needs to win the vote count."

Also calling for financial support for Miller was former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who endorsed the longshot Fairbanks attorney in his primary bid.

"First of all, despite recent media reports, the ballots in this race are still coming in and being counted," Huckabee wrote in an email to supporters of his political action committee HuckPAC, noting that he had spoken to Miller on the phone and that the Alaska Republican was asking for donations. "Secondly, Joe expects that his campaign will be in legal battles over this irregular voting process for the foreseeable future."

Notably silent on calls for donations to Miller's post-election campaign has been former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, whose early endorsement proved critical to Miller's primary victory.

On Thursday, Palin twice took to her Twitter account to make calls for financial help for one of her "mama grizzlies," Renee Ellmers, who is facing her own recount against incumbent Democratic Rep. Bob Etheridge in North Carolina's 2nd Congressional District, after leading the unofficial count by 1,646 votes.

"SarahPAC help is on the way for @Renee4Congress recount fund," Palin tweeted. "Will other PACs join us? How about Beltway GOP?"

But Palin has not put out a similar call to help Miller's uphill climb, appearing to acknowledge the long odds he faces in overcoming Murkowski's vote total.

Murkowski is also asking for donations to her own legal defense efforts, but the senator's campaign is clearly buoyed by the 41 percent to 34 percent lead that write-in ballots currently have over Miller.

"We are poised to win and very confident," Murkowski told supporters.

Scott Conroy is a national political reporter for RealClearPolitics. He can be reached at sconroy@realclearpolitics.com. Follow him on Twitter @RealClearScott.

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