Who in the Alaska Republican Party made up a fake fundraising invitation that led a national Republican group to attack U.S. Sen. Mark Begich? Or was the invitation fabricated by someone else? Those are questions being asked by the campaign to re-elect U.S. Sen. Mark Begich of Alaska after the National Republican Senatorial Committee issued a guilt-by-association press release, blasting Begich for raising funds in state last week with that "cap-and-trade liberal," Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand from New York.
Only one problem: There were no fundraisers with Gillibrand, the Begich campaign says. Now the national group has apologized, sort of. But it says it won't retract its statement because it argues the essence of the material -- that Gillibrand is working to put Begich back in office -- is true.
The flap arose as Republicans, believing Begich is vulnerable, work to paint him as out of step with red-state Alaska. Though Gillibrand earned a reputation as a centrist when she served in the House, the National Journal labeled her one of the most liberal senators in 2012.
A spokesperson with the National Republican Senatorial Committee, a group registered with the Federal Election Commission as a National Party Committee dedicated to electing Republicans, said it was forwarded ...