Murkowski issues "cease and desist" letter to Mark Begich

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.