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Tea party group makes fundraising plea for Joe Miller

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Posted: Friday, October 15, 2010 1:17 pm | Updated: 1:26 pm, Wed Dec 26, 2012.

Updated 12:13 p.m. 10/15/10

JUNEAU, Alaska - A national tea party group is making a plea to donors, seeking their help to ensure the time and money spent supporting Alaska Senate hopeful Joe Miller doesn't "go to waste."

The plea by Tea Party Express was posted on a website dedicated to rallying voters behind candidates Sarah Palin has endorsed. A spokesman for the California-based group didn't immediately return messages Friday. Miller's campaign also didn't return a message.

The group, in its plea, said "problems are emerging" in Alaska. It cites a poll showing a tight race between Miller, Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Democrat Scott McAdams. It also notes McAdams' recent report of raising $685,000 over eight weeks and an independent group's spending nearly $600,000 to support Murkowski.

Tea Party Express spent a comparable amount supporting Miller in the GOP primary, which he won over Murkowski. Murkowski's now running as a write-in, and the group has vowed to do "whatever it takes" to defeat her again.

"Friends, we worked too hard, spent too much money and accomplished what many thought was unthinkable in helping Joe Miller win the Republican nomination for Senate in Alaska," the plea reads. "We can't let that all go to waste and lose this race."

During the primary, the group was a near-constant presence in the final weeks, crisscrossing Alaska and holding at-times sparsely attended rallies. Since then, its profile here has been relatively limited.

It returned to the state earlier this month and unveiled for reporters and supporters new TV ads it has yet to air. The ad entitled "Arrogant Lisa Murkowski - You Lost!" prompted Murkowski's attorney to issue a letter to broadcasters, warning them not to run it. Murkowski's campaign has called it "littered with lies and intentional mischaracterizations."

A spokesman for Tea Party Express had said it plans to launch a media blitz in the race's final days, hoping for a repeat of the primary.

Filings with the Federal Election Commission show the group spending money as recently as Sept. 30 on e-mail blasts either opposing Murkowski and or supporting Miller. It also made a $1,000 radio buy at a conservative station Sept. 28.

The Sept. 30 report showed total spending in support of Miller nearing $600,000.

Miller is among the featured candidates Tea Party Express has been backing. Others include Sharron Angle, locked in a tough race with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in Nevada, and Christine O'Donnell in Delaware.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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