Just how bad have things gotten for Senate Democrats this year? In Alaska, conditions have apparently deteriorated to the point where they need to run ads claiming what a great team they make when working with Republicans. Or at least that’s the strategy that Senator Mark Begich (D – Alaska) has been employing, producing some extremely cheerful looking marketing which highlights how well he gets along with his fellow Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski. It features a businessman, Skip Nelson, talking about what a dynamic duo the two make. Have a look.

Aviation – especially aviation in Alaska – is a difficult business. Sometimes a very dangerous business.

We’re fortunate to have two Senators that understand our business and understand how to support it. Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich vote as much as 80% of the time together. I don’t think we ought to break up that team.

I’ve been a lifelong Republican. I voted for Ted Stevens. I voted for Lisa Murkowski. Now I’m voting for Mark Begich.

That’s touching, isn’t it? Unfortunately, nobody checked in advance to see if Murkowski was on board with being used as a prop in a Democrat’s advertising campaign. As it turns out, she wasn’t.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) isn’t happy about Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) using her in his latest campaign ad — and has called in her lawyers to try to force Begich to stop airing it.

Murkowski’s campaign lawyers sent a “cease and desist” letter to Begich’s campaign Thursday demanding that the ad be pulled down.

“We are writing on the [Murkowski campaign] committee’s behalf to demand that Alaskans for Begich immediately cease any broadcast and/or web hosting of the television spot entitled ‘Great Team,’ ” writes attorney Scott Kendall in the letter. “This advertisement is factually incorrect. It also misuses Senator Murkowski’s image, and implies her support, without her permission — and, in fact, over her known objections.”

You almost have to give credit to Begich. It was a pretty bold move. And he might not even have to take the ad down legally, since it’s mostly a statement from the businessman being featured. But it does use Murkowski’s image, albeit briefly, and that may be crossing a legal line. Either way, it’s pretty embarrassing to have to run and hide behind a member of the other party to try to win another term.

It’s going to be a long, hot, election season.