Politicial Bribes

Murkowski and Palin top most recent fundraising reports

This story has been updated with additional details

Incumbent Lisa Murkowski has a dominant fundraising advantage over challenger Kelly Tshibaka in the U.S. Senate race, and Nick Begich III enjoys a big cash advantage despite lifting at least the top three contenders in the race. in the U.S. House, according to the most recent Federal Election Commission. reports.

A total of approximately $4 million was raised on Murkowski’s behalf by his campaign ($1.6 million) and the political action committee Alaskans for LISA ($2.4 million) during the quarter. three months ending June 30, and she now has $6.1 million in her campaign account. . Tshibaka’s campaign reported raising $587,000 and she has $1.1 million in her account, with a supporting PAC (Alaska First) reporting $300 raised in the quarter.

The totals are consistent with reports showing the five National Congress incumbents are raising challenges backed by former President Donald Trump. Totals for the quarter ending June 30, with a July 15 filing deadline, do not include any activity after Trump’s rally in Anchorage on July 9 when he appeared with Tshibaka and former Governor Sarah Palin to offer support.

Democratic Senate candidate Pat Chesbro, who entered the race in May, said she raised just under $38,000, including $7,400 from herself, spent $21,000 and had around $16,000. dollars in cash.

Palin led the House candidates with $203,000 raised in the period between May 23 and June 30 – the shorter period representing the time span between the last reporting period before the special primary election . Democratic candidate Mary Peltola raised $161,000 and Republican candidate Begich $82,000.

But the three candidates’ cash numbers are a mirror image, with Begich bringing in $708,000 in the bank mostly because of his campaign’s $650,000 loan earlier in the race, Peltola $115,000 (and $10,000 in debt ), and Palin about $95,000 (and $40,000 in debt).

The cash on hand is available ahead of the Aug. 16 vote, when a ranked special election will determine which of the three House candidates will fill out the remainder of the late Don Young’s term and the primary for the regular House and presidential races. Senate. where the state’s new voting system will put together the top four candidates for the November general election.

The deadline for in-state reporting to the Alaska Public Offices Commission for the period February 2 through July 15 is Monday (July 18).

Some highlights from the two congressional races:

— $1.5 million of the $2.4 million raised by Alaskans for LISA came from Kenneth Griffin, a hedge fund manager who has contributed millions to support Republican candidates and PACs nationwide. Murkowski’s biggest campaign donors were PACs supporting GOP candidates nationwide, including the Cornyn Victory Committee with more than $66,000 and the National Republican Senatorial Committee with $46,500.

– Tshibaka reports that all but $1,000 of his Q2 fundraising came from individual donors.

— Of the $203,000 raised by Palin, about $95,000 went to fees charged by four fundraising entities.

–A fourth major contender in the House term race, Republican Tara Sweeney, raised about $46,000 in the last filing period and has $48,500 in cash. But the PAC Alaskans for TARA raised $230,000, mostly from Alaska Native societies and associated contributors.

—Al Gross, an independent House candidate who unexpectedly dropped out after the special primary, raised $160,000, of which $3,700 was refunded, including $67,000 currently in his campaign account.

Numerous other candidates are running in the House and Senate races, but none have brought in significant numbers.

Begich, in an interview on Monday, offered a more qualitative version of his second-quarter fundraising numbers.

‘I’ve raised more money from Alaskans by far than Sarah Palin did,’ he said, adding that his campaign doesn’t use ‘fundraising mills’ such as those that charge fees. by her (although he has an employee hired to send out fundraising emails).

Peltola’s deputy campaign manager Hector Jimenez said she was “running against two millionaires” and the most recent reporting period shows her raising funds at a “respectable rate”. He said he had no details on how Peltola’s fundraising rate increased once she became the only Democratic candidate in the special election – and de facto candidate for the party in the regular election – but “we definitely saw an increase after the (special) primary.”

The political diversity of Murkowski’s individual donors was highlighted by Shea Siegert, director of communications and campaign spokesperson.

“It was the strongest quarter of the campaign, with support across Alaska,” he said.

As for major donors to national organizations, he said that reflected some of Murkowski’s support across a broader political spectrum, and also said the campaign is a legally separate entity from Alaskans for LISA PAC and the donations that she receives.

Tshibaka had made this broader spectrum of support and its implications on ranked-choice voting a centerpiece of her campaign, noting that polls show she is clearly favored by Republican voters in the state and that Murkowski does not wins only in the final round of the ranked choice when the Democratic nominee’s votes are added to his tally.

The Tshibaka and Palin campaigns did not respond to inquiries on Monday. There have also been no press releases of the campaigns’ reports on their websites or on social media networks linked to them.

The campaign report deadline came a week after an investigation showed Begich was winning a dominant special and general election, and Murkowski was taking advantage of ranked-choice voting to narrowly defeat Tshibaka. But the poll also shows Palin and Begich in a close race among Republican voters, with Peltola possibly winning over Palin if the two women are bottom two in that race.

Begich, while declining to comment on a specific campaign spending strategy ahead of the special election, said, “I’m sure we’ll be very competitive” against other candidates. He said being the short-term incumbent ahead of the general election should be an asset to whoever wins, “but what advantage that turns out to be” is an unknown – and can be affected by whatever business the House finds time for during the height of election season.

While Palin and Tshibaka were national reporters a week ago due to Trump’s rally — with unknown impacts on their finances and polls — earlier this week it was Murkowski and Palin who grabbed the headlines. Murkowski is featured in Politico for garnering the support of many Democratic independents and Democrats in Congress, while Palin is singled out by The Daily Beast which reports that one of her biggest business associates is an accused Arizona developer. by a House committee of bribing Trump for a Grand Canyon project in 2019.

Contact journalist Mark Sabbatini at [email protected]