Posted on | August 27, 2010 | 43 Comments
Early Wednesday morning, Alaska Libertarian Party chairman Scott Kohlhaas got a call from ex-Republican Andrew Halcro, asking if Kohlhaas would be open to having Sen. Lisa Murkowski replace Dave Haase as the LP’s Senate candidate.
Such a switch would be the only option for Murkowksi to be on the Nov. 2 ballot, should she and the National Republican Senatorial Committee fail in their effort to overturn conservative challenger Joe Miller’s 1,668-vote victory in Tuesday’s primary.
A former Republican state legislator, Halcro has disavowed any “official” connection to the Murkowski campaign, but a source in Anchorage says Halcro has masterminded the effort to secure the LP nomination for the incumbent Republican senator as a fallback option, should Miller’s victory hold up. And Halcro acknowledged to an Anchorage Daily News reporter that he is in direct communication with Murkowski.
Major national media have quoted Halcro without noting that, after Sarah Palin won the GOP gubernatorial nomination in 2006, Halcro launched a third-party vengeance campaign focused on attcking Palin. He finished with 9% of the vote, and subsequently launched a blog which made him a “folk hero” to Palin’s enemies, according to an Anchorage Daily News article published in August 2008 — just two weeks before Palin was picked as the GOP vice-presidential nominee.
The New York Times extensively quoted Halcro in a story Wednesday without detailing his anti-Palin animus:
“The Murkowski campaign just did not attack, and these guys are bullies,” said Andrew Halcro, a former state lawmaker and candidate for governor who is now a political consultant. “The Tea Party people are bullies. From his introductory spot to all of the Tea Party spots, they were all scorched earth.”
Mr. Halcro, who supported Ms. Murkowski but did not work on her campaign, said he was aware that Ms. Murkowski’s advisers had debated how to respond.
“At the end of the day it was we weren’t going to give credence to his message by responding,” Mr. Halcro said. “But when somebody’s whacking away at your kneecaps consistently for weeks, you’re going to start to wobble.”
Halcro is now reported to be teaming up with Anchorage pollster David Dittman to conduct a poll testing how Murkowski would fare as a Libertarian candidate.
Erick Erickson of Red State wrote this morning that Murkowski has offered the LP “a sizeable chunk” of her more than $1 million in campaign cash in return for the Libertarian nomination. My source in Anchorage says the Miller team has had no direct contact with Libertarian Party officials, although many grassroots supporters of Miller have spoken to Kohlhaas and Haase.
UPDATE: Dan Riehl has two long reports today about the Alaska situation:
- Betrayal: AK GOP HQ Phone Banked For Murkowski On Election Day
- Palin Goes Rogue: Who’s The Rube, Now, Murkowski?
I’ll have more in a little while, but first I have to change out of my pajamas, go buy some smokes and get some more coffee. Remember, I’m still rattling the tip-jar for next week’s planned Alaska trip.
UPDATE II: Vodkapundit on GOP tactics: “It’s almost as if they’re trying to lose.” The sad thing is, why do the worst people always seem to have the Big Money on their side? One of the commenters who lives in Alaska describes Palin-hater Halcro as “a smarmy little richboy scumsucking RINO” and another calls our attention to this photo of the PDS sufferer:
Pathetic looking, isn’t he? Instapundit had a roundup of Alaska Senate news this morning and didn’t link here, but did link our friend Sissy Willis, who also has a roundup. The other day, Rush Limbaugh had an excellent rant about Murkowski as a “Ruling Class RINO.”
UPDATE III: Ace is in fine foaming fury over the NRSC’s intervention. BTW, I don’t know Erick Erickson’s sources are, but he’s gone much further than I have in stating definitively that Team Murkowski has offered to buy the LP Senate nomination. I’ve hinted in that direction, but I don’t know for a fact that such an offer has been made. Anchorage seems to be a political Peyton Place filled with two-bit Machiavellis, doesn’t it?