Politco reports that Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) has publicly dressed down his fellow Republican Senators for not stripping Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski of her ranking committee membership after she announced a write-in campaign to try to hang on to her seat:
In a revealing e-mail to his supporters, DeMint gives his account of Wednesday’s private Senate GOP caucus meeting, when he believed his colleagues would vote to strip Murkowski of her post on the Energy and National Resources Committee — but the caucus instead allowed her to keep her remain in the coveted role.Miller said that he had been promised by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell that Murkowski would lose her ranking position on the committee even if she won her write-in bid, but, like so many other McConnell promises, it was worthless.
“It was bad enough to watch my colleagues work to support her in the primary after she had built a record of betraying conservatives principles,” writes DeMint. “But watching them back her after she left the party and launched a campaign against the Republican nominee was more than I could bear.”
Murkowski, who unexpectedly lost the GOP primary last month to attorney Joe Miller, announced last week that she was staying in the race as a write-in candidate — a move that angered Senate Republicans, who support Miller as the new GOP nominee. Murkowski resigned her position as Senate Republican Conference vice-chair, but several of her colleagues, including DeMint, insisted she should also lose her ranking committee membership.
DeMint revealed some details from the closed-door Senate Republican caucus meeting Wednesday.
“One senator after another stood up to argue in favor of protecting her place on the committee — a position she will no doubt use in her campaign against Joe Miller, the conservative Republican nominee,” writes DeMint.
The Senate GOP caucus’s decision was a major boost to Murkowski, whose seniority on the committee is a major selling point for her campaign.