Politics & Government

Tea Party Express says it'll spend big to defeat Murkowski

ANCHORAGE — The Tea Party Express plans to spend "six figures" on the Alaska general election for U.S. Senate, the group said Monday in Anchorage.

Expect another round of TV and radio ads blasting U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski -- the incumbent who is waging a write-in campaign to keep her job -- and boosting newcomer Republican nominee Joe Miller in the coming weeks.

“We are here to let Lisa Murkowski know that no means no,” Tea Party Express chairwoman Amy Kremer told reporters. “She has said that she was not quitting. That she was not giving up. Well she’s not a quitter. She didn’t give up. She was fired.”

Kremer said she can’t say how the Tea Party Express's general election spending will compare to the $550,000 it poured into the Republican primary race -- an effort that helped Miller uproot Murkowski in the first place.

"It all depends on how much money we raise," Kremer said.

At a press conference that began with a Pledge of Allegiance and the singing of the national anthem, the California-based group previewed two ads. One attacked Murkowski and the other cheered Miller’s military background:

Kremer said she plans to leave Alaska Tuesday morning and will likely spend Election Day in Nevada, where the Tea Party Express is backing Sharron Angle against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in that state’s Senate race.

In the meantime, the Tea Party Express plans for the Alaska Senate race include:

-- Airing television and radio ads.

-- Sending direct mailers to voters.

-- Operating phone banks.

Kremer called on other tea party groups to help raise money for the Tea Party Express efforts in the Alaska Senate race.

"Lisa, we have beat you once and we will beat you again," Kremer said.

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