NASHVILLE - Alaska business filings show Sarah Palin and Tennessee GOP Senate hopeful Joe Carr, whom Palin endorsed last week, both have a tie to Nashville millionaire investor Andrew Miller, a Carr supporter.
Miller and Palin's husband, Todd Palin, are among the owners of Rainbow Bay Resorts LLC, which operates what its website calls a "luxurious rustic fishing lodge" on Southwest Aslaska's Bristol Bay watershed.
Filings with Alaska's Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development show Miller and Palin have 22.5 percent interests in the business.
In a statement Miller charged the "Alexander campaign team is apparent trying to sell a story that Sarah Palin's endorsement of Joe Carr is related to my personal ownership of an interest in an Alaskan fishing lodge."
Miller said "there are numerous investors in that lodge and the investment by the Palin's [sic] and I were made over a year ago, long before Joe Carr even thought about entering the Senate race against Lamar.
"The idea that the investment has anything to do with the Palin endorsement is ludicrous and insulting."
Sarah Palin's endorsement of Carr "was entirely in keeping with the conservative, Tea Party, Constitutional ideology that motivates her to support candidates who reflect those values."
Miller generated headlines recently after the Federal Election Commission questioned whether a company Miller owned, Life Watch Pharmacy LLC, made a $9,564.54 corporate contribution to Carr after Miller had already hit the $5,200 limit on what he could personally contribute to Carr.
Carr said the $9,564.54 was interest on a $200,000 loan his campaign made to Life Watch, a transaction one expert has called highly unusual.
Miller is also spearheading a major independent expenditure effort in the U.S. Senate race with most of the funds attacking Alexander. Also running in the race is Memphis physician and businessman George Flinn.
Carr's campaign did not answer questions posed by the Times Free Press. But Politico, which first reported the tie in, quoted a statement from Carr spokesman Kurt Bardella in which he said Palin's endorsement is among a line of endorsements she has made this campaign cycle in other races.
“From Karen Handel to Chris McDaniel, Joni Ernst to Ben Sasse and now Joe Carr, Gov. Palin has been very consistent in the quality of candidates she endorses,” he said, according to Politico. “If anyone is looking for the reason why Gov. Palin endorsed Joe Carr and not Lamar Alexander — they need only look at Alexander’s support of amnesty and refusal to debate.”
Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...