The flood of write-in candidates in the Alaska Senate race was pushed by Big Government’s Dan Riehl and the conservative group Conservatives 4 Palin in an attempt to hurt Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s own write-in campaign and give Republican nominee (and tea party favorite) Joe Miller a boost.
Beginning on Riehl’s Big Government blog and dubbed “Operation Alaska Chaos” by C4P, Miller supporters were encouraged to file as write-in candidates so Murkowski’s name would be buried on the official list of candidates. It worked.Things had been going well for Murkowski’s campaign, with the Alaska Supreme Court this week overturning a lower court’s ruling that would have prevented voters from seeing a list of write-in candidates when they go to the polls. Now it seems that might have been a mixed blessing for Murkowski.
The filing deadline for write-in candidates was yesterday, and the full list came out today, with well over 100 names.
And though it’s unclear how many names are related to the conservative effort to bury Murkowski’s name, Riehl wrote an urgent post on Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government yesterday that called for high write-in turnout: “If you’re an Alaska resident and qualified to run for Senate, Big Government wants you to take action today to highlight the chaos brought about by Lisa Murkowski’s seemingly unending quest for power with her write-in campaign. But you must act today.”
“Embrace the cold chaos and enlist in Big Government’s effort,” Riehl wrote. “We want you to run for the Senate from Alaska.”
Conservatives 4 Palin picked up on the effort:
It is extremely important that all our Alaska readers read this thoroughly and sign up now to be on the write-in candidate list. If you know someone in Alaska contact them now and get them to sign up too.
This is a one day operation and has to be done today, it only takes a couple of minutes and can make a big difference in the outcome of this election.
C4P describes itself thusly:
We are ordinary citizens. We have dedicated our spare time to rectifying the great wrong committed against an honest and honorable leader during the 2008 election. We watched with horror and helplessness as a decent and sincere woman was savaged by a dangerously biased media. We decided that we wouldn’t remain powerless anymore.
The group also says it was begun by several posters on the Sarah Palin forums on the Hot Air message boards.
And though one C4P post from 2009 laments that “SarahPAC and Palin family spokeswoman Meghan Stapleton said Conservatives for Palin is not affiliated in any way with the governor” (the original Fairbanks News-Miner article that the post quotes is no longer available), there might be more of a link than SarahPAC allegedly let on.
As TPM reported in September:
Palin paid $22,000 to Rebecca Mansour’s Aries Petra Consulting for “internet messaging,” also known as posting on the Palin Facebook page. Previously identified by Politico as a “Los Angeles screenwriter and political neophyte whose creation of the popular cheerleading blog Conservatives4Palin (C4P) endeared her to Palin’s inner circle,” Mansour is described by Vanity Fair as “Palin’s most unconventional hire.
The TPM Poll Average shows Murkowski leading Miller 42.9%-31.6%, with Democrat Scott McAdams trailing at 23.3%.