Group will speak in support of Senate coalition

Associated PressJuly 20, 2012 

JUNEAU -- A nonpartisan group formed in 1999 to fight a huge oil merger in Alaska is speaking in support of the Senate's bipartisan coalition.

Leaders of Backbone plan to hold a news conference next week in Anchorage to support the coalition, which Backbone says has a record of "putting Alaska first."

This comes after some Republicans, including the governor, expressed a desire to break up the current coalition.

Malcolm Roberts is with Backbone. He says Alaska is at risk of becoming the "owned state," rather than an owner state. He says the coalition has shown courage and reflected the spirit of Alaska, which he says isn't partisan.

Roberts says Backbone doesn't plan to register as an independent expenditure group, and he's not sure yet what role it might play in the elections.

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