Fishing interests top donors to Murkowski war chest

Posted: Wednesday, April 23, 2003

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- In the first three months of the year, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski raised $155,000 for her bid to win a full term in office, according to a filing released by the Secretary of the Senate this week.

Much of the money came from executives in the Seattle-based commercial fishing industry. Various lobbyists and individuals with Alaska interests also contributed.

About $43,000 came from political action committees in the energy, chemical, transportation, mining, construction and finance industries, according to the filing released Tuesday.

Sen. Ted Stevens' political action committee, the Northern Lights PAC, gave Murkowski's committee $10,000, the maximum allowed by the new federal campaign finance law.

Stevens' personal campaign organization also gave Murkowski's campaign $1,000.

Former Sen. Alfonse D'Amato, R-N.Y., and Christopher D'Amato each gave Murkowski $2,000 apiece, the maximum contribution per election cycle.

The Murkowski campaign spent about $35,000 over the same time period to cover reception costs and other expenses, leaving about $121,000 at the end of March.

Murkowski will be up for election in 2004 because she was appointed to serve the remainder of her father's term, which would have ended that year had Frank Murkowski not been elected Alaska governor last year.

Stevens, up for re-election in 2008, has been raising a little money but spending a lot more. His personal campaign organization collected $5,100 during the three months but spent $98,000.

The spending went in some large chunks to consultants and campaign managers. For example, deputy campaign treasurer Edie Opinsky of Anchorage received a check for $10,200. Holmes, Weddle and Barcott, the Anchorage law firm where campaign treasurer Tim McKeever works, earned about $16,000. Another $15,000 payment went to C. Landon Parvin, a consultant in Fredericksburg, Va.

The campaign also made a $5,000 donation to the Northern Lights PAC.

Fund-raisers and thank you gifts sapped some of the campaign's money. A reception at The Georgetown Club in Washington cost $10,100 on Feb. 10. The campaign bought about $3,500 worth of gifts from the U.S. Senate Gift Shop.

However, Stevens' campaign paid some much larger bills right before the end of 2002, according to the year-end report filed with the Federal Election Commission.

Those included an $80,000 check to Edmonds Hackney and Associates, the campaign's political consulting firm and advertising producer.

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