Contractor disputes Miller electioneering accusation

Posted: Wednesday, November 10, 2010

ANCHORAGE - A federal contractor from Washington state disputes claims by Alaska Senate hopeful Joe Miller that an employee engaged in electioneering.

Miller's campaign released a video it said showed an Osborne Construction Co. supervisor trying to influence votes for Miller's rival, Sen. Lisa Murkowski. The campaign said the video was shot Nov. 1 at a housing construction site at Eielson Air Force Base.

Jake Jacobson, an executive vice president for the Kirkland, Wash.-based company, tells The Associated Press project manager Mike Ritchie was encouraging workers to vote, not telling them how to vote. He says Ritchie's mention of Murkowski's work on appropriations and her write-in campaign came at the end a safety meeting, when community service announcements are often made.

He says the point was to have people think about what they're doing - whatever they decide.

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