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Occupy Anchorage – October 8, 2011

1:49 pm in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

Occupy Anchorage Sign-making tables

Last night, I posted an essay expressing my sense of frustration about the current state of protest in Alaska, after having attended the “Occupy Anchorage” event yesterday afternoon.   Interesting comments, especially this predictably anonymous one:

Oh, Phil. You’re not “jaded,” you’re just lazy. What efforts did YOU contribute, other than sitting on your ass yappin’ with Kelly Walters throughout the entire thing, so you could bash people afterward? You couldn’t even be bothered to take your own photos while there and have to poach those of a fellow blogger (whom you also habitually trash, of course). If you want causes and events to be better, how ’bout putting forth a modicum of effort yourself, instead of lazily throwing derision from the sidelines?


Here are the poll results.  I was only able to poll about 25 people, as I wanted to hear the speeches, and people began drifting away rapidly after the last speakers had their turns.  Not everyone answered every question, so numbers vary, as at some of my earlier tea party movement polls.

Did you show up more in solidarity with the issues of Occupy Wall Street, or over concern about Alaska issues:

National solidarity – 4
Alaska solidarity – 21

What Alaska issue concerns you the most: Read the rest of this entry →

Alaska Senate Race Could Go Anywhere

12:27 am in 2010 election, Elections by EdwardTeller

photo: ukslim via Flickr

The Scott McAdams campaign decided Wednesday evening to initially feed the results of the Hays Research poll, the first to show Joe Miller in dead last place, to the blogosphere.  Influential Alaska media outlets have openly declared for Lisa Murkowski, and the campaign felt it would be better to give initial spin to new media than to outlets who might spin the poll results adversely to McAdams’ campaign, which gained new wind in its sails Thursday as a result of the fresh breeze.

Very early Thursday, the results were announced first by the Alaska blog, The Mudflats, then a few hours later, in a front-page post at Daily Kos by Kos.

The poll, as related here earlier, shows Miller now in third place, with Sen. Murkowski in the lead, and Scott McAdams within margin of error:  Murkowski – 34%, McAdams – 29%. Miller – 23%.

The Hays poll was commissioned by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, who are supporting McAdams.  A few hours later, a poll funded by the Murkowski supporting PAC, Alaskans Standing Together, came out with markedly different results:  Murkowski – 43.5%,  Miller – 29.1%, McAdams – 22.5%.

Both of these polls were taken just before the most damning information yet to emerge on Miller had been digested.

A lawsuit filed in mid-October by The Alaska Dispatch (Murkowski), The Anchorage Daily News (Murkowski) and The Fairbanks News-Miner (uncommitted), seeking disclosure of the parts of Miller’s personnel file at the Fairbanks North Star Borough as an attorney, ended with publication of voluminous information on Miller’s duplicity while working there.  The facts that came out also contradict many recent Miller statements about what such a disclosure might reveal about his job performance.

The plain, bare truth of what Miller did, attempting to influence an election for the chair of the Alaska Republican Party, in early 2008, is this:

He checked before he came in that day, to make sure everyone in the office would be gone.  Then he hacked four borough computers, used by his colleagues in their work as attorneys.  After he was done trying to influence the scenario in which he hoped to take control of the Alaska Republican Party by creating fictitious input sources, her realized that he had to cover his tracks.  So he tried to delete the record of his hacking.  doing this screwed up caches involving ongoing legal work by his colleagues on cases he wasn’t part of.  When he was caught, this is what happened . . . Read the rest of this entry →

Alaska Democrat Scott McAdams Brings in $1 Million as Miller and Murkowski Campaigns Founder

4:55 pm in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

Senate candidate Scott McAdams of Alaska

Democratic Party nominee Scott McAdams announced today that his campaign has raised over a million dollars so far, in his quest to pull off a surprising victory against two opposing candidates who are entering stages of terminal infighting.

Joe Miller, who has had a succession of "worst week yet" weeks, is in the middle of the worst one yet. Not only did his Sunday evening arrest on of an award-winning news editor at a public event by unlicensed goons working for a company that itself is unlicensed go viral nationally, it has since gotten worse.

Yesterday, the blog Palingates detailed the extensive links between the illegal company’s owner and a sordid array of militia characters only two steps removed from Timothy McVeigh. Multiple contacts between the company’s owner and Miller himself are now starting to trickle out. As Palingates put it in their post on Monday:

Joe Miller chose a security firm for his campaign event which is not only unlicensed, but also right at the heart of an extreme militia group, with the owner of the security firm being a local commander of the militia and also the main supplier. This Alaskan militia is headed by the notorious Norm Olson, who played a major role in the radical militia movement in the 1990′s in Michigan, a movement which is at least partly to blame for the Oklahoma bombing.

It isn’t going to get better for Miller. The usually supine Alaska media is genuinely riled at Miller’s increasingly obvious odious nature, dishonesty and manipulative financial past – and present.  . . . Read the rest of this entry →

Joe Miller Invokes East Germany as Security Model, Then Has Blog Editor Arrested by Thugs

11:10 pm in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

At a town hall meeting Sunday afternoon(1) in Anchorage, U.S. Senate campaign GOP nominee Joe Miller was asked a long question on how we should keep illegal immigrants out.

His short answer: "If East Germany can do it, we can do it!"

After the meeting, Miller was approached by Tony Hopfinger, an award-winning journalist and editor of the on-line news source, The Alaska Dispatch. Here’s what happened next:

Hopfinger, who had learned at the last minute of Miller’s planned appearance at the public school, ducked into a hallway after the meeting to pose his own questions to Miller.

Hopfinger had been trying to ask Miller questions when two or three guards told him to leave or risk being charged with trespassing.

When Hopfinger continued to try to ask questions, one of the guards put the reporter in an arm-bar and then handcuffed him.

Hopfinger was released after police arrived.

The reporter was on public property where a public event was being held at the time of the incident.

Here’s KTUU TV’s early print coverage:

According to Hopfinger, Miller’s security team pushed him and he pushed back because he felt his personal space was being invaded. He says guards detained him and accused him of trespassing, although the town hall was a public event held at a public building.

Miller security guard William Fulton said in a statement Sunday that he was responding to Hopfinger’s actions.

“The Dispatch reporter repeatedly pushed a camera into the face of Mr. Miller,” Fulton said. “He continued to aggressively pursue him. I told the reporter several times that he needed to stop and that he was trespassing, he ignored me. He then proceeded to stalk Mr. Miller and even shoved an individual into a locker. Based upon this trespass and his assault, we detained him and escorted him from the premises.”

Hopfinger says he waited for about half an hour in handcuffs for police to show up. No arrests have been made and no charges have been filed.

Last Monday, under increasing pressure from the Alaska press to release more details of why his employment as an attorney for the Fairbanks North Star Borough (FNSB) ended in controversy, Miller scheduled, canceled, then rescheduled a press conference(2). At that event, Miller closed, stating:

We’ve drawn a line in the sand. You can ask me about background, you can ask about personal issues — I’m not going to answer. I’m not.

During this past week, press hostility toward Miller understandably grew. As a result of Miller’s refusal to sign a release allowing the FNSB to release his employment records, the former mayor of Fairbanks, Republican Jim Whitaker made a public statement(3) on Miller’s job performance there:

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller was nearly fired from his job as a borough attorney in 2008 after using borough computers in an attempt to oust the chairman of the Republican Party of Alaska, former borough Mayor Jim Whitaker said Wednesday.

Whitaker said Miller’s actions violated the Fairbanks North Star Borough’s ethics policy but did not result in a termination because the borough needed Miller to continue working on its lawsuit about how much to tax the trans-Alaska pipeline system.

Miller eventually resigned from borough employment on Sept. 1, 2009. “I’m speaking now because this occurred on my watch as mayor, because I know the truth, and because I have an obligation to tell the truth,” Whitaker said in an interview with the Daily News-Miner.

He said that, as a former mayor, he would prefer not to be involved in “the political melee.” “I also felt it was appropriate to give Mr. Miller enough time to come forward himself,” Whitaker said. “It’s clear with his statements of the other day, he’s not going to do that.

That was Wednesday. Alaska legal blogger, Wickersham’s Conscience made a case that Whitaker’s information indicates Miller engaged in criminal activity in his abuse of co-workers’ computers:

So Miller was allegedly was using other folks’ computers, without their permission or knowledge, so he could pretend to be sending votes by someone else in the contest for Republican Party State Chair. He is alleged to have been stuffing the electronic ballot box, using Borough computers. Alaska’s criminal laws have something to say about this.

WC goes on to list the felony statutes Miller appeared to have violated. The Miller campaign was quick to deny that Miller had done anything wrong. On Late Thursday, Miller’s dad, Rex, sent out an email that leaked out through the Tea Party Express grapevine by Friday. In it, Rex Miller asserted that what his son told him he had done with the computers was different from what former mayor Whitaker had described:

One noon hour, on his own time at the borough, Joe participated in an online poll voting against Randy,” Rostad wrote in the e-mail, recounting the Thursday morning conversation he said he had with Rex Miller. “He used four office computers in the office to do it, thinking this was his chance to boost numbers to get rid of Randy. He emptied the cache files on the computers so the users wouldn’t know what he had done.

Here’s WC‘s response to Rex:

WC is glad that Miller committed his felonies on his lunch hour and not on the Borough clock. However, it’s irrelevant to the real issue. Note that Joe Miller wiped the computers’ cache files afterwards. That’s the one of the places where a computer user leaves “digital fingerprints” of what he or she has done. (Not the only one, Joe.) And that’s very good evidence that Miller knew what he was doing was wrong. He was attempting to conceal the fact a crime had taken place. He was trying to wipe the fingerprints off of the crime scene. That’s certainly evidence he knew he’d done something criminal. Oh,and that’s a separate crime, by the way. Tampering with Evidence, AS 11.56.610, and possibly Tampering with a Public Record, AS 11.56.820.

Polls are being taken over the weekend. I was polled yesterday, and two friends relate that they were polled yesterday and today by firms that asked different questions from those I was asked. The late week Rasmussen Poll, showing Miller at 35%, Lisa Murkowski at 34% and Democrat Scott McAdams at 27% (plus or minus 4.5%) shows a very close race, with McAdams making his biggest jump since the race has been polled.

This race will continue to tighten. Democratic Party gubernatorial nominee Ethan Berkowitz, in a statement issued as I’m writing, has asked Gov. Sean Parnell to look more closely at Miller:

Ethan Berkowitz had a strong reaction upon hearing the news that Alaska Dispatch editor Tony Hopfinger was detained and handcuffed by a private security force hired by Senate candidate Joe Miller.

Berkowitz said, "In this country, journalists have a job to do, which includes exercising their rights and responsibilities under the First Amendment. A free press means that journalists must work without fear of muscle or muzzle.

"The fact that this was a private security guard hired by a U.S. Senate candidate in the heat of a political campaign makes this story even more outrageous. The actions of Mr. Miller’s agents against Mr. Hopfinger must be investigated and prosecuted by the State for violation of criminal statutes."

Berkowitz continued, "Even though Sean Parnell continues to stand behind Joe Miller, I call on him to follow my lead and condemn the Miller campaign for its chilling attack on a free press. That behavior has no place in Alaska, or in any free, representative democracy."

Berkowitz has been pounding Parnell on many issues and that race is tightening up quickly too. Late Friday, Republican Republican Bill Walker, who lost to Parnell in the GOP primary endorsed Berkowitz. Walker has many fierce advocates from the center and from the faction of the GOP that never liked Sarah Palin. Sean Parnell is derisively called "SP version two point zero" by many Republicans, mimicking GOP Rep. Don Young’s categorization of Parnell, for his blandness, as "Captain Zero." In the primary, here’s the way the votes broke down:

Sean Parnell (R) ————– 54,125
Bill Walker (R) ————— 35,734
Ethan Berkowitz (D) ——— 22,607
Hollis French (D) ————- 18,018

Both Walker and French have endorsed Berkowitz, and only polling conducted this coming week will reflect whether Walker’s embrace of Berkowitz will help significantly.

Update: The first video has emerged. It doesn’t show much, but Miller’s assertion that Hopfinger was violent doesn’t appear to hold any water:


(1) See also "Miller town hall in Anchorage Sunday,"

(2) See also "Miller Refuses to Answer Any More Personal Questions,"

(3) See also "Former mayor: Miller ‘not truthful’ about borough employment,"

Alaska Senate Candidate Miller Announces, Cancels, then Holds Press Conference Where He Refuses to Answer Any Questions

3:40 pm in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

In what may be the first solid signs of a U.S. Senatorial campaign about to go off the rails, Tea Bag Express star, Sarah Palin favorite, and GOP primary nominee Joe Miller, went through a bizarre set of moves in Anchorage early Monday. Miller scheduled an 11:00 a.m. press conference. Then he cancelled it. Then he participated in an 11:45 a.m. senatorial campaign forum, held by the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce. Then, he did this:

Update, 1:55 p.m.: Republican nominee Joe Miller just told reporters that he will not be answering any more questions about his personal background for the remainder of the campaign.

He made the statement at an impromptu news conference after today’s debate at the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce. He took no questions and immediately walked out of the room.

Early Monday morning, the Alaska Dispatch announced it has filed suit against the Fairbanks-North Star Borough, to gain access to Miller’s complete personnel file for the period when he worked as an attorney for the borough:

Alaska Dispatch sued the Fairbanks North Star Borough on Monday for the release of U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller’s employment records. The suit comes after accusations that Miller was politicking on borough time.

Miller worked as a part-time attorney for the borough for seven years until his resignation in fall 2009. In the months since announcing his candidacy for the U.S. Senate, questions have been raised about whether Miller resigned to avoid being fired, and more recently, about whether he once used borough computers for his own political activities.

A source who spoke on condition of anonymity told Alaska Dispatch that Miller was caught using borough equipment in an attempt to unseat Alaska GOP party chair Randy Ruedrich. The Miller campaign has neither denied nor confirmed the claim. A press conference was reportedly set for 11 a.m. Monday to address Miller’s past employment with the borough; however, a spokesman for Miller said the campaign had decided not to hold a conference before Monday’s noon Anchorage Chamber of Commerce candidates’ forum but might speak with reporters afterward.

The activity Miller is accused of is similar to what got Ruedrich in trouble in 2003 when it was brought to light that he was using state computers and e-mail to conduct Republican party business while working for the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. His then-co-worker Sarah Palin blew the whistle on Ruedrich’s activities, and he ended up paying a $12,000 state ethics fine. Palin is a strong Miller supporter, as is the Tea Party Express.

There is a lot of speculation about other reasons Miller might be uncomfortable with materials in his personnel jacket. As reported this morning by The Immoral Minority:

Well I certainly hope "other issues will be covered as well" because the voters of this state have a lot of questions.

Such as:

"Why did you only serve three years of active duty after leaving West Point when the requirement is five years of service?"

"You told Phil Munger that you were a seriously disabled veteran. What is the nature of your disability and do you collect disability compensation from the military?"

"You have advocated cutting federal spending which includes having Alaska refuse federal dollars. Since one third of our economy is based on those federal dollars how would you replace them? And are you considering reinstituting state income taxes, which we currently do not pay, to cover that loss?"

"And finally how do you get your beard length to say halfway between pre-adolescent teenage boy and a real Alaskan man’s facial hair? Do you suffer from a hormonal imbalance perhaps? Or is THAT the ‘serious disability’ that you told Phil about?"

Snark aside, and teasing aside, Miller’s refusal to even answer questions on why he won’t be answering questions is very reminiscent of gubernatorial candidate John Lindauer’s last appearance in front of the Alaska press in September 1998, just as his campaign began to quickly unravel.

This morning, the Tea Party Express announced it is holding off on starting its big ad campaign up here on Miller’s behalf. There may or may not be significance in that announcement.

Murkowski’s most recent report shows she’s holding about $1.2 million in her campaign chest at this point.

There will be more stories on this throughout Monday – and beyond. I’ll post updates in the comments section. I’ve got a busy day and evening, helping deal with aspects of two coal mining projects, one in the Mat-Su Valley, the other across Cook Inlet from Anchorage.

Meanwhile, feel free to learn more about Scott McAdams, the Democratic Party candidate in this race:

I posted this diary by my friend Mel Green this morning, on Scott’s speech Saturday at an LBGTQ conference.

Here’s Scott’s web page.

In Alaska, Sen. Mark Begich’s Brother Explains How Scott McAdams Can Beat Joe Miller and Lisa Murkowski

9:14 pm in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

Alaska artist and political wonk, Tom Begich, was on Moore Up North today. Tom is U.S. Sen. Mark Begich’s brother. Along with brother Dr. Nick Begich, Jr, Tom is far more progressive than Mark. Tom borrowed my classroom blackboard from the University of Alaska Anchorage to illustrate two important things – why Sen. Lisa Murkowski cannot win on November 2nd as a write-in, and how close Scott McAdams may really be.

Here’s Tom’s segment from the show:

The rest of the show – a long, detailed and sometimes quite humorous interview with Democratic Party U.S. Senate candidate Scott McAdams – may be viewed here.

Joe Miller keeps on getting slammed in the Alaska press and blogs, perhaps more than any GOP candidate in a statewide race since John Lindauer, back in 1998.  . . . Read the rest of this entry →

Joe Miller’s Alaska U.S. Senate Campaign Goes Into Free Fall – Now Down 8 Points to Sen. Murkowski

9:57 pm in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

Five consecutive polls, three of them with Sen. Lisa Murkowski being polled as an active write-in candidate in a three-way race show Teabagger Joe Miller at 50%, 47%, 42%, 36% and now – 30%. The last one, taken by fairly accurate pollster Craciun, puts Joe the Teabagger 11 points behind incumbent Murkowski, who he beat in a fairly closed GOP primary, back in late August.

Miller has lost .6 percentage points per day since the primary.

Unfortunately for progressives, Democratic Party primary nominee, Sitka Mayor Scott McAdams has stayed in the mid- to low-20s pretty much through all the polls. McAdams’ best hope is for Miller-Murkowski to stay tight enough that they go so negative, voters end up choosing McAdams, who might seem the only adult in the room among the three.

Murkowski didn’t poll well against Miller in the first polls to emerge early last week, when she announced her write-in candidacy. Late last week, and through this one, a series of disclosures about questionable actions by Miller in the past, and the poor way Miller’s campaign has handled his attempted transition from Tea Party hero, to some sort of moderate that might appeal to the majority of Alaska voters who are not party members, have combined to make likely voters turn against him quite rapidly.

His campaign may be about to enter a free fall, down into the mid-20′s, as one of the latest scandals sinks into the consciousness of Alaskans. He appears to have broken Alaska Department of Fish & Game laws in the way he and his wife applied for a moose hunting permit back in the mid-1990s, about the time they moved here from the mid-Atlantic area and Kansas:

And is it just me, or is anyone else a bit skeptical that Mrs. Miller went out and shot her own moose? Now, I’ve known many a fine Alaskan woman who has shot and killed moose and various other wildlife, and many more who are far better fisherpersons than I am, so it is certainly possible. But how likely is it that a recent Alaskan transplant, who apparently spent the greater part of a decade pregnant or recovering from giving birth, went out and shot her first moose in 1995?

The penalty for knowingly making a false statement or omitting a material fact in an application under AS 16.05 is a class A misdemeanor. AS 16.05.420(b); see also AS 11.56.210 (unsworn falsification). There is absolutely no question that Joe Miller was not a resident of the State of Alaska when he applied for these resident permits. It is likely that his wife was also not a resident when she applied for these same permits. Joe Miller should be penalized for lying on his application and saving himself $245, and his wife should likely be punished as well.

Of course, there is an additional issue: did Joe Miller lie about his income in order to get a further reduction in the cost of his falsely-obtained resident permit? (From $55 to $5) Perhaps the Alaska State Troopers need to take a look at Mr. Miller’s income in 1994 — I would suggest starting with his 1994 mortgage application and his tax returns for that year. I’m sure that the military has records of the payments it made to Mr. Miller for his service in the reserves, and I’ll bet that the USDA has a record of the farm subsidies that Joe received. There is also the small matter of the Kansas farmland that the Millers claimed to have sold off to buy their house, and whatever subsidies Kathleen received for home schooling whatever portion of their brood of children existed at the time.

Fish and wildlife are not just important in Alaska; they are fundamental to our lifestyle and our identity as Alaskans. Thousands of Alaskans rely on subsistence hunting and fishing to feed their families, and Joe Miller gamed the system to get permits illegally. He lied and cheated to save himself $295 and he stole a moose and an unknown number of fish.

Joe Miller is a poacher and a liar.

Just days before that, it was revealed that Miller took thousands of dollars of Federal farm subsidies on some Kansas land, for leaving it fallow. He had the money sent to the same post office box he’d set up in Anchorage, to get the moose permit as a state resident, while still going to Yale Law school, and supposedly not making enough money to pay the same I would for mine.

Today it was revealed that he hasn’t yet filed the mandatory Federal Election Commission personal finance disclosure reports. They were due in April or May. His campaign is claiming it is an oversight, and Joe, confronted Wednesday outside a DC fundraiser, by, refused to answer questions:

Alaska GOP Senate nominee Joe Miller refused to answer questions Wednesday about his failure to file personal financial disclosure documents that were required by law to be filed several months ago.

While entering a high-dollar fundraiser in Washington D.C., on Wednesday evening, Miller stayed silent when questioned by POLITICO about the missing documents that were supposed be filed when he began his campaign for Senate in April.

There has been a lot of scrutiny about his finances. He seems to want to hide personal information in a number of ways, and he has a large staff. His staff’s story, late Wednesday afternoon, that the failure to file the disclosure was "an oversight," is most likely bullshit. Everyone in Alaska knows that Ted Stevens got taken down for not making such disclosures.

More likely, there is information he or his campaign feels would hurt his chances, that they were hoping could slide by until later.

Rasmussen: Joe Miller Down from 47% in PPP Poll, 50% in Early Rasmussen to 42% in Today’s Rassie Poll

8:52 am in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

Prior to information emerging yesterday that Fairbanks divorce attorney Joe Miller took thousands of dollars in Federal farm subsidies for apparently doing nothing on Kansas farm land while Miller resided in Alaska, a new Rasumussen Poll shows him losing 8 points of support in 18 days, in the first post-Murkowski write-in campaign poll made public. At this rate, Miller could easily be in the 30-something point area soon, should media questions about why he was discharged early from his military obligation reveal more about the pattern of evasiveness so uncomfortably shown in his responses to investigations by The Mudflats and The Alaska Dispatch.

Dispatch had earlier linked a Joseph W. Miller — Miller’s legal name — to farm subsidies for land in Kansas sent to a post office box in Anchorage when Miller was working in the city as an attorney. Miller’s campaign was asked last week whether the candidate was the Joe Miller who got those funds but refused to answer until late Monday. Since the question was asked, Alaska Dispatch linked candidate Joe Miller to that address — P.O. Box 112926 in Anchorage.

This is the Anchorage address at which the attorney and his family received Permanent Fund dividend checks; it is the address Miller used on his state hunting and fishing licenses; and a Freedom of Information Act request has now revealed it is the address to which the U.S. Department of Agriculture mailed 61 farm subsidy checks worth a total of $7,235 from 1991 through 1997.

The Miller campaign’s response to queries from The Dispatch on the subsidy payments show a disturbing trend from a candidate who is already fully disliked by 52% of Alaska’s voting public:

[Miller spokesman Randy] DeSoto said that it was standard practice for farmers to receive the subsidies in Kansas and that the nation was in a much better financial situation at the time that Miller received the funds.

“This was back in the 90’s, the situation the country was in was far different than now,” he said.

Hey, Joe! I just pulled out my well-thumbed copy of the U.S. Constitution. I’m looking for the consitutional argument for taking Federal farm subsidies for not growing anything, and living a few thousand miles away from the land. Looking in the index for the term "standard practice," I’m drawing a blank, Joe.

Joe’s lies and distortions about his past and present bode ill for the Tea Party prima donna. The only things he has going for him at this point are the supine nature of Alaska’s mainstream media outlets, especially the Anchorage Daily News, and the Alaska voting public’s strange love affair, amply demonstrated over the years, for crooks and liars.

Hats off to The Mudflats and The Alaska Dispatch for their work on this.

Democratic Party nominee Scott McAdams has a tough fight ahead, as the Rasmussen poll clearly indicates. But the Murkowski campaign is just getting started, and their target will not be Sitka Mayor McAdams. As a commenter at Daily Kos observed the other day, briefly encapsulating Murkowski’s probable motive for fighting on:

She wants to fuck up Palin and the dude that called her a whore…

Stay tuned. There is no way in the world Joe the Teabagger’s negatives are going down at this point in the race.

As Even Chris Wallace Seems to Tire of Joe the Teabagger, Where Does One Find the Real Joe?

2:05 pm in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

Watching Chris Wallace’s growing frustration in trying to get a straight answer out of Fairbanks divorce attorney Joe Miller this morning reminded me of Rep. David Guttenberg’s statement about Miller’s shallowness:

I beat this fool when he ran against me in 2004. Miller speaks drivel.

He clearly cares nothing about the lives of Alaskans just about this constitutional double talk. If I was a Tea Party supporter, I would worry about this guy being my champion. I believe he is a career wanna-be big high mucky muck, who wants to be in charge of your life.

Wallace kept on trying to get Miller outside of his arrogant little box, outside of his 10th Amendment "drivel," as Rep. Guttenberg, the last guy to beat Miller, so accurately described it.

It’s almost refreshing to watch Wallace keep on going after Miller to get off of his 10th Amendment bullshit, and provide some clear answers. Or even one.

Last week I lamented that listening to Amanda Coyne and Tony Hopfinger, two excellent Alaska writers, fluff Miller for minute after minute on Dan Fagan’s KFQD AM talk program was aggravating. And so too is most of the "lamestream" Alaska media coverage of Miller so far. Like their coverage of Sarah Palin before Miller, their refusal to write comprehensively about how Miller’s evangelical religious beliefs limit how he could govern is a serious departure from reality.

With the revelations (no pun intended) of nutcase Christine O’Donnell’s strange confessions on a decade-old episode of Bill Maher this Friday, that have now led to her backing away from any public forum, one can’t help but wonder how many similar fragilities there are in Teabagger Joe’s closet that a good reporter might uncover over the next few weeks.

The Alaska blogs have done far more to search Miller’s past so far than have other media. By far the best expositions on Miller’s fragility have been these:

Legal Eagle’s four-part series (so far) at The Mudflats on the extremely high percentage of bullshit in Joe the Teabagger’s legal arguments that are the main underpinning of Joe’s rants:

1. Joe Miller – Liar or Idiot? A Legal Analysis:

"While it’s true that Yale Law is pass/fail, and while we can assume that Mr. Miller was grateful for that during his constitutional law classes, one would assume that he at least had given our founding document a quick skim."

2. Unemployment Benefits Unconstitutional? Time to Divorce Joe Miller:

"Yes, you heard that right: unemployment benefits, in existence since 1935, are UNCONSTITUTIONAL. It’s strange that Joe Miller is the first person to think of this….I never imagined that a divorce lawyer knew more than constitutional law scholars about the constitution. Go figure."

3. Joe Miller Thinks You’re Not Very Smart:

[Miller] recently told his hometown paper that despite the inflammatory Teabagger rhetoric that he used during the primary, he’ll request money from the federal government until we get our land back from them. Given that this will never happen, I believe that it’s safe to call Joe Miller a flip-flopper." [Legal Eagle goes on to destroy Miller's stance on Federal lands in Alaska.]

4. A History Lesson for Joe Miller: The Tenth Amendment:

"You see, one of the fundamental bases for Mr. Miller’s political philosophy (if we can call “say whatever they want to hear, regardless of truth or accuracy” a political philosophy) is that the federal government must be stripped of its powers. The basis for this argument is the 10th Amendment. ( Yes, not only is ol’ Joe a Tea Bagger, and probably a Birther, but he’s also a 10th’er. Naturally.

"Because of the problems with the Articles, a group of “Founding Fathers” led the charge in repealing them in favor of a stronger central government. Who was one of the proponents of this? None other than George Washington, the subject of many a 10th’er, Tea Bagger and Birther’s wet dreams (over original intent, that is). You see, Joe, George Washington knew that your proposed system of government didn’t work over 200 years ago — and that was with a small country with an agriculture-based economy. Why are you trying to shove it down our throats now? Oh, that’s right – you’re a Palin protégée. You’ll say anything to get elected, no matter how absurd, untruthful or just plain wrong. (Seriously, I’m conflicted: is he really this stupid? Or does he know better, but lies just to get elected?)

"So there you have it, Alaska. Joe Miller doesn’t know history, the law, or the Constitution. You know what to do."

Another Alaska writer, dealing with getting facts out about Miller as a comprehensive series is the relatively new Interior Alaska blogger, Wickersham’s Conscience. Here’s a listing of the most important articles so far, from older to newer:

Joe Miller, Tea Baggers and the Koch Brothers (August 31st)

Joe Miller Ignores the Law (August 31st):

"Joe Miller thinks the Social Security Act is unconstitutional. So did George P. Davis, a minority shareholder in Edison Electric Illuminating Company. Davis was so upset that in 1937 he fought the constitutionality of the Social Security Act all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. And lost."

What WC is Reading: Joe Miller (September 9th):

"WC has gotten a couple of harsh comments for his criticisms of Joe Miller. So, in fairness and in response, WC offers a simple test for Joe Miller to show he understands constitutional rights and citizen responsibilities. Some fundamentalist preacher in Gainesville, Florida wants to burn a bunch of Qurans – the Islamic Bible – on September 11. Generals, the President, the Secretary of State and the Pope have all condemned the idea. Politicians running for office have been disappointingly silent. So Mr. Miller, how about a public condemnation of the preacher’s plans? Can you show us a smidgeon of moral, or at least political, courage?" [that same day: Joe Miller called the warnings that a Florida pastor’s plan to burn some 200 copies of the Koran could endanger Americans “kind of a red herring.”]

Questions for Candidate Miller (September 11th)

Miller’s Waffling and Flopping (September 13th):

"So what’s Candidate Miller talking about when he waffles? Which specific “land and resources” haven’t been turned over to “the people of Alaska”? What specific “promises made at statehood” have been broken? And if there are such broken promises, how do they justify earmarks? Flip. Flop.

"Or is it possible – and even likely – that Candidate Miller doesn’t have the faintest idea what he is talking about?

"WC has landed salmon that didn’t flop around as much as Joe Miller. But Joe Miller and WC’s salmon have this much in common: they’d stay out of trouble if they kept their mouths shut."

Correcting Miller’s "Misstakes," – Part 1 (September 17th update)

Other articles by Alaska bloggers also shed far more light on Miller than our media:

Club for Growth, Clubbing Alaska? – by Zach Roberts [The Club for Growth loves Joe the Teabagger]:

"The Club for Growth has endorsed Joe ‘the beard’ Miller. Who, or What is “The Club for Growth?”

"Personally, when I first heard about “The Club for Growth” years ago, I pictured a sunny country club where rich people went to grow their inner feelings – maybe gain respect for the little people. Maybe get a soul.

"Sadly, the truth is nothing so kumbaya.

"To put it bluntly, The Club for Growth is a corporate front group run by the former CEOs of some of the largest companies in the world. wrote this in 2006 “The Club for Growth, which shares an office with Americans for Limited Government, is an offshoot of the Cato Institute… which was founded by the Kochs. We’ve heard that name before haven’t we.
Yes, the same Kochs, the same astro-turfing billionaires from Joe Miller’s home state, Kansas. Linda Kellen-Biegel has already written up all the details and the Alaskan connections."

$how Me the Money – The Alaska $enate Race
- by Jeanne Devon:

"His experience? The only public office he’s ever run for was State House, and he lost. To a Democrat. In Fairbanks.

"His platform? Tell the federal government to keep their stinkin’ money (also known as one third of the Alaskan economy).

"His primary campaign strategy? Distorting the record of, and disrespecting a well-loved sitting Senator who by all reasonable assumptions would have trounced him in a head to head general election, and making her many loyal supporters hate his guts.

"His past history with the party? He tried to overthrow the Alaska Republican Party two years ago by staging a coup and ousting Party Chair Randy Ruedrich. He failed."

More needs to be researched and written locally on Joe’s religious beliefs and the way they limit his thinking. His belief that a woman raped by her father, no matter how young, must bear the child, is no doubt deeply rooted in the same kind of superstition and male supremacism that brought us Papa Pilgrim.

A few Outside (outside of Alaska) writers have done stellar work on Joe the Teabagger. Perhaps foremost so far, has been Amanda Terkel, from her new perch at the Huffington Post. Amanda had the first great takedown up on Miller’s FOX News Sunday appearance. And her post-primary rundown on Miller stood out at the time as astute.

I’ve written a few articles on Miller for firedoglake’s The Seminal. Daily Kos has many Miller diaries of varying quality.

I’ll be quite surprised if our Alaska media really does reality or depth justice in their Joe Miller coverage between now and the first Tuesday in November. Too many reporters out there thinking a job in his press office would provide more job security than what they’re doing now.

Sen. Murkowski to Announce Write-In Campaign Within Hours

12:31 pm in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s campaign office, largely dormant since her loss to teabagger Joe Miller in the August GOP primary, is coming back to life yesterday and today, with signs being put into delivery trucks and this e-mail announcement Friday morning:

"Join us at the Kick-off of Senator Lisa’s campaign — with a theme of "write in her name in and fill in the oval."

"Denai’na Convention Center, third floor and hopefully out on the sunny deck, 5 pm. Bring your family including children, friends and business associates. We plan to make history!"

Alaska progressive blogger, Steve Aufrecht obtained photos yesterday of Murkowski campaign workers recovering large, 4′ X 8′ signs from an Anchorage recycling depot.

Let the three-way U.S. Senate race begin.

Meanwhile, yesterday in Juneau, Teabagger Joe and Sitka Mayor Scott McAdams had their first post-primary faceoff, in a Chamber of Commerce forum that was supposed to concentrate on problems unique to Southeast Alaska. The local paper, the Juneau Empire covered the debate from that angle:

The two hottest politicians in the state, Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller and his Democratic counterpart Scott McAdams, appeared in Juneau to debate before a packed Chamber of Commerce audience Thursday

The group heard Republican nominee Miller offer a conditional approach to keeping Juneau as the state capital, calling it a state decision, in contrast to McAdams’ unequivocal support.

Miller said studies suggest it would not make economic sense to move the capital, and the state government currently wants it in Juneau.

"The state supports it and therefore I do," Miller said.

"Over my dead body," McAdams said of a capital move, saying it could have negative effects all throughout Southeast Alaska, including increased shipping costs and decreased plane flights, if the capital were lost.

But then the Chamber audience, long backers of a road north out of Juneau, heard Miller give strong support for the Juneau Access Project while McAdams waffled.

"I absolutely support it," Miller said, but said the local community also needs to support it as well. It is hard to open up new rights of way without strong local support, he said.

Rolling back environmental regulations make such projects more costly and lengthy, but Miller said his efforts at regulatory relief will also make such projects more likely to happen.

"Unequivocally I support it," he said.

McAdams, mayor of the island community of Sitka, didn’t answer moderator Richard Burns question about the road, but instead talked of his support for ferries, a common strategy for road opponents over the years.

"I’m a big Marine Highway guy," he said, without saying whether he was for or against the road.

The Associated Press covered the forum from a different perspective:

The tone was set early, with McAdams taking aim at Miller, and Miller sticking close to his talking points.

McAdams has cast himself as a centrist against Miller, a self-described constitutional conservative.

Miller has said the federal government is on the brink of bankruptcy, the era of big spending and earmarks is over and that Alaska must be weaned from its dependency on the government. He advocates that the state be given the ability to develop its resource base — and, therefore, to take greater control of its own future.

McAdams said the state deserves its fair share and that saying no to earmarks is a threat to Alaska.

Murkowski’s entry into the race this evening will change the landscape of this contest markedly. Polls of a possible three-way contest, taken immediately after Murkowski’s concession, showed her winning a three-way race as a candidate representing an established party. No recent polls have yet been released, but there will probably be fresh ones out by Sunday afternoon. The history of write-in campaign candidates on Alaska shows little hope for Murkowski, even in a three-way battle.

On Wednesday, a 527 group, America for Americans (disclosure – I’m helping them raise money for this campaign), came out with an anti-Miller TV ad that is beginning to get some airplay here: