Anchorage, Alaska. October 24, 2016 — An FEC Report filed by the Alaska Republican Party for financial activity in September has disclosed a series of highly unusual financial transactions involving both the Lisa Murkowski for U.S. Senate Campaign and the Alaska Republican Party.
Starting on September 20, the Murkowski campaign began making large transfers of campaign funds from her campaign account to the Alaska Republican Party which were described on an FEC report as “Contribution of Surplus Campaign Funds.”
The Murkowski campaign made the following payments, totaling $150,300, to the Alaska Republican Party: September 20 – $50,000; September 23 – $67,800; September 30 – $25,500. And, an FEC Report filed by the Murkowski campaign also showed a fourth transfer to the Alaska Republican Party on September 30 in the amount of $7,000.
It should be noted all these payments were made after Joe Miller entered the U.S. Senate race on Sept. 6.
“The whole purpose of campaign finance law is so the voters can know the true source of the message and who is funding it,” said campaign spokesman Randy DeSoto. “There appears to be strong evidence in these instances the Murkowski campaign and the Alaska Republican Party are trying to circumvent the law.”
In a phone call today, FEC compliance staff described such pre-election transfers of “Surplus Campaign Funds” by federal candidates to a party committee as “highly unusual” and the sort of matter that, at the very least, “may require an Advisory Opinion” from the Commission.
The Murkowski Campaign ambiguously categorized each of these four large transfers simply as “other.” If the funds were transferred for some legitimate purpose, this is where the purpose should have been disclosed.
Moreover, under federal law, the amount of money that the Alaska Republican party committee may expend on Coordinated Party Activities with this year’s Senate campaign is strictly limited to $96,100. This means that if all these transferred funds are used to pay for coordinated media or mailings boosting Murkowski’s campaign or opposing Miller’s, there would not just be one violation of federal election law, but two.
The Alaska Republican Party would be violating federal election law for making an illegal, excessive Coordinated Party Expenditure of more than $50,000. And Murkowski would be violating federal election law for receiving an illegal, excessive in-kind contribution in the same amount. Such illegal excessive contributions would no doubt result in hefty five-digit fines being imposed not just on the Murkowski campaign, but on the Alaska Republican Party as well. If all of the Murkowski funds are spent on helping Murkowski, this fine would need to be paid from the scarce resources of the Alaska Republican Party.
On the other hand, if the funds transferred to the Alaska Republican Party were not being used for the benefit of the Murkowski campaign, these enormous transfers of cash would constitute a betrayal of those who donated to the Murkowski campaign in order to help elect her to office — not for some other purpose.
Moreover, for Murkowski, as a candidate in a close race, to make such massive transfers of money that would not benefit her campaign, would be the height of arrogance — demonstrating that she believed that she had already won the election, just as the first votes are being cast throughout the State today.
“Sadly, the political establishment of Alaska has for too long taken for granted the people of Alaska. It is time to end the tenure of this arrogant, high-flying, loose-dealing professional politician and return the U.S. Senate seat to the people of Alaska,” said DeSoto.
Joe Miller is a limited government Constitutionalist who believes government exists to protect our liberties, not to take them away. He supports free people, free markets, federalism, the Constitutional right to life, the 2nd Amendment, religious liberty, American sovereignty, and a strong national defense.