In Alaska primary, Tea Party eyes GOP lawyers warily

With the camps of two Republican primary candidates in Alaska scrambling to fly in operatives and consultants in the aftermath of a still contested vote held on Tuesday night, Tea Party leaders who backed lawyer Joe Miller are warily eying the GOP establishment legal and political teams who just arrived at Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s request.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), which sent the GOP operatives to Alaska in the aftermath of the vote, is taking pains to show it is impartial to the two candidates. But several GOP sources told The Daily Caller they presumed the NRSC agents would be working to help Murkowski.

“If the NRSC were to have an ulterior motive in these efforts I think that would be a mistake, as Republican leaders in Washington have to know by now that they need to earn the confidence and trust of tea party supporters,” said a top official of the Tea Party Express, Joe Wierzbicki.

Any election nail-biter is tense, with each campaign competing fiercely over every vote. In his case, Wierzbicki made a veiled threat that NRSC assistance to the Murkowski campaign could imperil Tea Party support for GOP candidates in the November midterm elections.

“The NRSC needs the votes of tea party activists to win these Senate races across the country in November, so we’d encourage them to remember that when taking any actions involving the vote-counting process in Alaska,” Wierzbicki said.

Miller is currently leading Murkowski by over 1,600 votes. But there are still roughly 10,000 absentee ballots to be counted. Some Murkowski allies are hopeful the absentee ballots could break for her because the Murkowski campaign courted early voters, while the Miller campaign did not.

But once all the votes are tallied, the prospect of a recount looms. In Alaska, voters decide via paper ballots, which are scanned for the results. Paper ballots typically leave much more room for interpreting voter intent compared to electronic voting machines, campaign experts say.

Neither the NRSC, the Miller campaign, nor the Murkowski campaign returned a phone call for comment

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  • JoeJ

    This is standard procedure for the Republican Party — they want no rebels – big government big business types need only apply!

    Any hint of populism and they will work against you – Period!

    They would rather lose to a Democrat then have someone who truly supports the middle class, messing up there little power structure and the BS that goes with it.

  • flips

    Hey Tea Party. Welcome to the club.

    Whenever us Democrats win a race against a Party Machine Republican who believes they have a life-long entitlement to the seat, they call out the lawyers on us too.

    Republicans are thugs.

    Sorry you are finding out the hard way.

    • theprofessor

      “Whenever us Democrats win a race against a Party Machine Republican who believes they have a life-long entitlement to the seat, they call out the lawyers on us too.”


  • jlagrayfox

    Simple, folks!!! Senator John Cornyn better intercede like right now and pull the legal dogs away from loser Lisa Murkowski!!! And…he ought to button hole this spoiled, elitist brat Ms. Murkowski and read her the real street skinny. It goes like this “Look, you have lost this race, fair and square. I and we, the NRSC expect you concede with dignity and fully support our candidate chosen by the voters in Alaska!!!” End of story!!!

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  • rainmaker1145

    I hope there’s a fight. It is time we realized the Republican Party is our enemy every bit as much as the Democratic Party is our enemy. Supporting the Republican Party is no different than supporting the Democratic Party and the Tea Parties have to go their own way. Period the end.

    You heard it here first.

    • theprofessor

      “Tea Parties have to go their own way”

      Fine. Don’t come lookin’ to us for support then, because you just lost mine. You want democrats elected and Obama in for four more years, come out and say it instead of dancing around it like you do. Let’s see how your rallies turn out with no republican support or money. Good luck with that.