PRESSURE WILL BUILD ON ALASKA’S SENIOR SENATOR
A conservative group that includes former Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol has targeted Sen. Lisa Murkowski as part of a $1 million advertising campaign to turn on-the-fence Republicans into “yes” votes on impeachment.
A “Republicans for the Rule of Law” ad focusing on Murkowski showed up in Alaskans’ Facebook feed in recent days, imploring Alaska’s senior senator to “stand up for the rule of law.”
Over the summer, the group had placed hundreds of thousands of dollars in ads in home districts of Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida, Roy Blunt of Missouri, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Richard Burr of North Carolina, and James Lankford of Oklahoma. Murkowski ads are part of the group’s expansion effort.
The group has also targeted U.S. representatives who are seen to be facing competitive races in 2020, including Rep. Mark Amodei of Nevada, Fred Upton of Michigan, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Will Hurd of Texas and Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington.
While Murkowski is not up for reelection this year, she is seen as one of the more likely senators to vote to impeach Trump if and when the matter reaches the Senate.
Another group called Need to Impeach, which started two years ago, is targeting Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Joni Ernst of Iowa, Cory Gardner of Colorado and Martha McSally of Arizona, all of whom are up for reelection next year. Until September, the group had only focused on Democrats.
Earlier in the year, the Republicans for the Rule of Law advocated against Trump’s wall along the southern border with Mexico. But it’s been working on the Ukraine angle to oust Trump for the past six months.
A year ago, Murkowski was targeted by groups imploring her to vote against confirmation of Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh. In the end, she simply voted “present” on the final vote. Kavanaugh was confirmed without her. Political strategists are using a similar playbook as was employed during that effort to convince Murkowski to vote a certain way.
Names on the Republicans for the Rule of Law advisory board include Charles Fried, former Sen. Slade Gorton, Chris Gagin, Chris Truax, Peter Rusthoven, and Wendell Willkie II.
Republicans for the Rule of Law is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit and a project of Defending Democracy Together. The big-ticket names associated with the Defending Democracy Together group include columnist Mona Charen, Linda Chavez, former Chair of the New Hampshire Republican Party Jennifer Horn, and former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman.
Liberal groups that are actively lobbing for impeachment include: By the People, Center for American Progress Action Fund, CREDO Action, Courage Campaign, Daily Kos, Demand Justice, Democracy for America, End Citizens United Action Fund, Free Speech For People, Hispanic Federation, Indivisible, Kremlin Annex, March For Truth, National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund, People, For the American Way, Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Progressive Democrats Of America, Public Citizen, and Stand Up America.