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Senate Republicans spending money in Alaska

By Aaron Blake

The National Republican Senatorial Committee spent $162,000 on an independent expenditure effort in Alaska, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission today.

The lion's share of the NRSC independent expenditure in the Last Frontier when to National Media, a Republican media consulting firm -- suggesting that the committee may be going on television.

A spokesman for the NRSC said he couldn't comment on the buy, citing separation between the NRSC and its independent expenditure arm.

The committee's financial involvement in the race suggests the party is growing concerned about the prospects of attorney Joe Miller (R) as he faces a three way race against Sitka Mayor Scott McAdams (D) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) who is running as a write-in candidate. (Murkowski lost an Aug. 24 primary to Miller.)

Miller has struggled this week amid revelations that his security guards handcuffed a blogger who was trying to ask Miller about allegations that he had misused government computers during his time as a government attorney.

Following the incident, Miller was forced to acknowledge that he was disciplined for using the computers for political purposes, but he said the reprimand had nothing to do with his departure from that job.

A poll last week from the Club for Growth, which is supporting Miller, showed him leading Murkowski 33 percent to 31 percent, with McAdams not far behind at 27 percent.

It's an unwelcome nuisance for a party that is otherwise playing almost all offense and would like to use the money on those races.

The only other GOP seat that is currently looking vulnerable is in Kentucky, where ophthalmologist Rand Paul (R) and state Attorney General Jack Conway (D) are engaged in a rough-and-tumble campaign.

The NRSC disbursed $401,000 into the race Tuesday, bringing its total investment to $1.4 million.

The NRSC launched its first independent expenditures in Illinois and Nevada, for $825,000 and $362,000, respectively. The ads in those states are already available.

The Republican campaign arm also put another $1.4 million into Pennsylvania ($2.3 million total), $787,000 into Colorado ($3.1 million total), $940,000 into Washington state ($2.5 million total) and $38,000 into West Virginia ($2.8 million total).

By Aaron Blake  | October 19, 2010; 7:42 PM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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Next: Axelrod: 2010 will be a 'tough' election

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