It's Miller Time in Alaska

Senator Lisa Murkowski has conceded the GOP primary to the Tea Party extremist Joe Miller, a West Point grad with a Yale law degree in private practice up in Fairbanks.

The story in the New York Times:

Mr. Miller shocked the political establishment here and in Washington last week when he emerged with a narrow lead, 1,668 votes, after the primary vote, on Aug. 24. His victory makes him the presumed favorite to win the Senate seat from this heavily Republican state.

Mr. Miller, who has proposed drastic cuts in federal spending, had trailed badly in local polls in the weeks before the election but benefited from a last-minute flood of advertisements, mailings and automated calls casting Ms. Murkowski as a Democrat in disguise. An abortion-related ballot measure also brought conservatives to the polls.

Many people said Ms. Murkowski’s failure to respond aggressively to Mr. Miller’s attacks, including some that distorted her voting record, had played an important role in her defeat. But she suggested on Tuesday that she had no regrets.

“I’m so proud of the campaign that we conducted,” she told reporters at her campaign headquarters here as dozens of friends and family members surrounded her and cheered. “It was honest. It was upright. It was energetic. It was what a campaign in Alaska should be.”

“We stayed on the high road,” Ms. Murkowski said. “We talked about how we move the state of Alaska forward.”

Her concession followed the counting of about 17,000 additional ballots in the race on Tuesday, which left Mr. Miller with a lead of 1,630 votes out of about 104,000 cast. Several thousand more votes were to be counted on Friday, but the trend suggested Ms. Murkowski would not gain enough ground to win.

“Based on where we are right now, I don’t see a scenario where the primary will turn out in my favor,” she said.

It's certainly a feather in Sarah Palin's cap. Another Republican who was beyond ecstatic was South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint. He issued a short statement calling Miller's win "a wake-up call."

Joe Miller’s victory should be a wake-up call to politicians who go to Washington to bring home the bacon. Voters are saying ‘We’re not willing to bankrupt the country to benefit ourselves.’”Now it’s time for Republicans to unite behind Joe Miller and help him win this important race in November. I’m proud to announce that the Senate Conservatives Fund will add Joe Miller to its list of endorsed candidates, and will immediately begin working to raise support for his campaign.”

Joe Miller now faces Scott McAdams, the former mayor of Sitka. A Public Policy Polling survey released Sunday showed McAdams trailing Miller by only 8 points in a two-way race, 39 percent to 47 percent. McAdams would not fared as well if he had run against Murkowski. That same poll showed Murkowski leading McAdams, 60 percent to 28 percent.

There had been talk of replacing McAdams with a higher profile Democratic candidate but Senator Mark Begich and the Alaska Democratic Party have reaffirmed their support. The key now is raising at least a million dollars to run an effective campaign. McAdams had raised less than $10,000 as of his last FEC filing.

Miller is perhaps the most extreme candidate running this cycle and that's quite a statement given the likes of Sharron Angle, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio. Miller wants to eliminate the Departments of Education and Energy. He believes that unemployment insurance and Medicaid are unconstitutional and has called for sweeping cuts to Medicare and Social Security with a goal of phasing them out entirely in favor of total privatization. He wants to ban all abortions, even in the case of rape or incest. And while he favors deep spending cuts to social safety net programmes, the former combat veteran of the first Gulf War does not think the defense budget should be cut.

“If we have one nuclear bomb or one chemical weapon go off in one of our cities overnight, it changes the face of this nation and in a horrific way, not just in loss of life, but in loss of freedom, the impact financially,” Miller told the Fairbanks News Miner. “We still haven’t recovered from 9/11. We can’t afford to have a military that isn’t that strong, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have efficiencies, and I think that’s what the secretary is trying to build.”

 

Tags: Alaska Politics, Joe Miller, Tea Party Express, Senator Lisa Murkowski, Scott McAdams (all tags)

Comments

3 Comments

Lisa Murkowski

I think the Dems should ask McAdams to step down and offer the ballot line to Murkowski.  She's got the money, the name recognition, and would defeat Miller in a way none of our Democrats up there can.

by Vox Populi 2010-09-01 09:08AM | 0 recs
The TEA Party is an idea whose time has come

The TEA party, in its pure form - is an idea whose time has come. The GOP just lost a senator that actually stood up, and with a straight face - said it was the conservative point of view to give BP lots of federal money to help them clean up their corporate error.

I don't think any of us realize, however - just how little Sarah Palin has to do with the TEA party. She came in to our state, with her robo calls and her high profile campaign rallies - she covered our state back and forth - almost as much as her own home stomping ground - where Miller just won.

But in the end, her candidate lost. The support of Sarah Palin - is according to the latest polls - support where - those who do not consider themselves conservative  - rank only 17% in favor of her skills to lead as president, and even in her so called conservative base - they are split more or less 50/50 on whether or not she could actually lead. This is not someone who causes trending at the polling station -

 

This is someone who tries to fly in, and bask in the limelight of others. The TEA party did this. And there will be more.

 

And I say . More power to them.

The TEA party is about getting rid of lobbyists and lobbyist-centric candidates like Sarah Palin and Lisa Murkowski - we all know that Sarah Palin even hired a lobbyist for a small town of 20,000 people.

 

Vox Populi up here is talking about trying to get a senator in power that was already in the pocket of big oil. But in the end, Miller is rising to power from the same strength  - that all the polished people in Washington could not foresee - and this country could easily end up being stronger, the progressives and the TEA party people are coming from the same place believe it or not.

Its the place where the only thing that counts is my vote. Not the pundit or the media hype but my vote. And We're seeing that people are immune to the types of big money lobbyism that used to be a king maker.  We just saw a deeply entrenched, heavily funded senator go down.

 

Who's next?

 

by Trey Rentz 2010-09-01 09:52AM | 0 recs
RE: The TEA Party is an idea whose time has come

Joe Miller won because the Tea Party Express spent over $500,000 on an advertising blitz, in a state where advertising is dirt cheap.

Not to preclude you from persevering with your paean to people-powered politics, but do you even know where the Tea Party Express gets its money?

by Steve M 2010-09-01 07:44PM | 0 recs

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