Corporate Front Group “Alaskans Standing Together” Trying To Buy US Senate Seat

Member companies get billions in federal contracts, use funds to support write-in candidate Murkowski, Senator opposes changes to the ‘disadvantaged’ program
Anchorage, Alaska. October 14, 2010 — Media reports yesterday revealed that several Alaska Native Corporations have already spent approximately $600,000 in support of Lisa Murkowski’s write-in campaign for U.S. Senate in apparent contradiction to the Senator’s own protests about the influence of ‘outside groups’ in this election.

The Alaskan Native Corporations who make up the “Super PAC” are classified under an “economically disadvantaged” status and are thus eligible for millions of federal taxpayer dollars in the form of no bid contracts. The no bid contracts to the Alaska Native Corporations have been under investigation by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The Government Accountability Office found that “there is clearly the potential for unintended consequences or abuse.”

Joe Miller, the Republican Nominee for the U.S. Senate, released the following statement today in response to recent news stories about Alaskans Standing Together using unlimited funds to make sure Murkowski is re-elected:

Only in Washington DC could companies considered ‘disadvantaged’ and receive billions in no-bid contracts and turn around and commit to spending millions of dollars trying to buy an election. This is business as usual for the corporations and for Senator Murkowski. She has opposed changes to the disadvantaged business program and she is getting ‘rewarded’ for that opposition.

In a recent article by the Associated Press, U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill (Democrat – Missouri) was quoted as saying “We’ve seen that a very small portion of these companies’ profits are reaching native Alaskans, so it’s time to acknowledge the fact that this program is not effective for either native Alaskans or taxpayers.”

The same article has Senator Murkowski coming out against changes to the program despite the fact that a “Senate subcommittee hearing and investigation found that almost 95 percent of corporation employees are not shareholders” and “shareholders have averaged about $615 in benefits out of the more than $23 billion in federal contracts to ANCs over the past nine years.”