Forty Alaska Republicans have signed an open letter to Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller, urging him to start answering questions from the media and voters about his background and qualifications to serve.
"It is unacceptable -- and certainly not a winning strategy -- to explicitly refuse to answer reasonable questions about oneself, and to disrespect the Alaska public and the press' right to do so before the questions have even been asked," said the letter, made public Wednesday.
The letter appeared to expose a growing rift within the party between supporters of Miller, the tea party's successful choice in the Republican Party primary in August, and centrist party activists who continue to support the write-in campaign of the incumbent, Lisa Murkowski, who lost in the primary to Miller.
The letter signers include 13 members of the state party's central committee, one of whom also serves on the party's executive committee. Many others were once on the central committee or held other posts or elective office.
Miller's campaign didn't respond to the points raised in the letter. Instead, it attacked the signers as supporters of Murkowski. Campaign spokesman Randy DeSoto said in a prepared statement that the letter-writers should be questioning one of her supporters, Alaska Standing Together, about the money it got from Native corporations that benefit from special federal contracting rules supported by Murkowski.
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