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K Street Firm to Host Murkowski Fundraiser

The Washington, D.C., lobby shop Alpine Group is scheduled to host a fundraiser for Sen. Lisa Murkowski on Tuesday, according to an e-mail invitation obtained by Roll Call. Republican leaders have discouraged K Street from backing Alaska Republican’s write-in re-election bid.

Among the Alpine Group’s corporate clients is Atlanta-based Home Depot Inc., whose vice president of government relations, Kent Knutson, is Murkowski chief of staff Karen Knutson’s husband. Alpine Vice President Michael Henry previously worked for Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska).

In the e-mail invitation circulating downtown, Karen Knutson describes the event as “one final push … here in D.C.” Murkowski is running as a write-in candidate on the Nov. 2 ballot after losing the August GOP primary to attorney Joe Miller. Murkowski is the ranking member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee and stands to become chairwoman if she wins re-election and the Republicans take over the Senate.

That would normally make fundraising downtown an easy task. But Senate GOP leaders have heartily backed Miller and put the word out to K Street Republicans that contributions should go to the party’s official nominee, not Murkowski. Recent polling has shown Murkowski running close with Miller, although it is unclear whether the support she has been receiving will translate to voters writing in her name.

“We are working hard to make history and you have been a big [part] of our efforts to date. We are making one final push on Tuesday, October 19 here in DC and I hope you will join us once again. Lisa has great momentum in the State and the polls are looking good for us,” Karen Knutson wrote in the e-mail invitation. “At Tuesday’s event, we will have the latest polling data, our extremely popular wrist bands that say, ‘Fill it in, Write it in LISA MURKOWSKI’ and a chance to hear from Lisa about the excitement on the ground in Alaska.”

“You have been so helpful so far, and I hesitate to even ask again,” Knutson continued. “But frankly this is important for our State and our Country.”

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