Leftover cash could fund Alaska depository

Posted: Monday, August 04, 2003

FAIRBANKS (AP) Gov. Frank Murkowski is mulling what to do with the $210,000 left over from his U.S. Senate warchest.

Murkowski said he is considering creating a repository for office material created by himself and Rep. Don Young.

The governor has talked to the University of Alaska about creating a repository for the material he jokingly referred to as ''our junk.''

Federal law allows such a use of campaign funds, Murkowski told The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

He could also give the money to other campaigns. His senate fund has contributed $2,000 to the campaign of his daughter, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, whom he appointed as a replacement. Under current law he could give up to $4,000 to a candidate over the course of an election cycle.

The governor also could donate up to $10,000 apiece to political action committees or give an unlimited amount to the Republican Party.

He cannot use the money for personal expenses or, under Alaska law, give it to candidates for state office.

Murkowski also could give an unlimited amount to nonprofit groups. Last year, the campaign sent $50,000 to the Anchorage-based North Star Foundation, created by some of his closest aides to promote economic development in Alaska.

Sen. Ted Stevens, whose campaign treasurer Timothy McKeever is among the North Star founders, said that the organization may attempt to counter ''educational'' campaigns by national environmental groups.

Stevens' friends and family also have been developing plans for his papers. Three years ago, a group formed the Ted Stevens Foundation to raise money for a library.

Murkowski served in the U.S. Senate from 1981 to 2002 and stepped down after being elected governor. Young was elected to Congress in a 1973 special election.

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