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Posts Tagged ‘lisa murkowski’

Joe Miller: GOP candidate, egotistical cry-baby

In Political on November 22, 2010 at 5:09 pm

I’m gonna try and make this short and sweet, but no promises.

Joe Miller is pissing me off. Not just me, but the Alaska Republican Party as well. To save my Facebook friends’ news feeds from my periodic bitching I shall do the aforementioned bitching entirely in one place using the article linked above.

The Associated Press last week called the race for Murkowski, who had a 10,328-vote lead over Miller. Her total includes 8,159 ballots contested by Miller observers. Excluding those, she had a 2,169-vote lead.
Okay, first things first. Even with all of those “contested” ballots, Joe. Murkowski still has a lead over you. A 2,000 vote lead. Enough to win.

State law stipulates that write-in ballots must have the provided oval filled in and the candidate’s last name or name written as it appears on their declaration of candidacy.

“Defendants nevertheless have decided to ignore the statute and create ‘exceptions’ to count ballots that do not satisfy these clear requirements,” the 21-page lawsuit filed in Fairbanks states. “By so doing the defendants have violated the mandatory legislative requirements and fundamentally altered the election.

No, the defendants haven’t altered the election. Even if the Division of Elections stripped Murkowski of those 8K contested ballots she’d still will. The election would not have been fundamentally altered as she would win anyway. Remember those 2K votes?

The state, however, cites case law in counting Murkowski ballots containing misspellings or those phonetic to her name. Lt. Gov. Craig Campbell, who oversees elections, defends the procedure and says the state doesn’t want to disenfranchise any voters.
Thirdly: The way they are counting the ballots isn’t new. The stated they would do so prior to the election. If you had had a problem Joe, you should have whined sooner.
The complaint maintained that write-in candidates like Murkowski have a substantial advantage because of the state’s practice of hand-reviewing write-in ballots to determine voter intent. Ballots for other candidates went through automatic machines.
An advantage, to say, having your name on the fucking ballot? People had to write in her name and fill in the oval. All your supporters had to do was fill in the godforsaken oval. No, that is not a substantial advantage. You had the substantial advantage by being on the ballot. You are thwarting the will of the people, Joe. Those same people you claimed to be running for and listening to.
Speaking of your supporters:
The Alaska Republican Party has urged Miller to concede.
Dude, your own supporters want you to stop. When did this Alaskan Senate Race become the Joe Miller Power Hour? You lost. Your party lost. The only difference being they know it and you don’t. Give it up, Joe.
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Don’t forget: Dittman is a GOP pollster

In Political on October 29, 2010 at 7:37 pm

A poll recently released by the Anchorage-based pollster David Dittman shows Lisa Murkowski with a sizable lead over both Joe Miller and Scott McAdams. This poll is misleading for two reasons:

  1. Dittman was quoted in Politico as saying that he has “asked respondents whether they were voting for any of the candidates on the ballot or a write-in candidate, ‘such as Lisa Murkowski or someone else.'” With her name no longer on the ballot, I ask the question “Is referring to someone not on the actual ballot ethical polling?” This issue goes hand-in-hand with whether or not placing a write-in list at polling stations is ethical. The DoE says “no” (in it’s own legal code), but the Courts say “yes, go ahead.”
  2. Dittman is a GOP pollster.

Now, a brief note on three recent polls:

  • The Dittman Poll is released and has Murkowski supporters all a-flutter and McAdams fans in a fury. The poll is backed by a well-known GOP pollster.

“Oh, ho!” You say?

Well, the Alaska Dispatch (in a blog written by Amanda Coyne) now releases this, which cites the Hays poll and the Hellenthal poll as being backed by either a campaign or an organization sympathetic to the campaign (“It bears repeating that both of those pollsters had a relationship with campaigns”). The Dispatch then goes on to cite David Dittman as “one of the most reliable pollsters in the state.”

However, it also bears mentioning that Dittman is equally invested in the campaign. This article refers to Dittman in the following sentence: “Halcro has reached out to other local Republicans to help fund the poll, which will be done by GOP pollster David Dittman starting this weekend.” (The article is dated August 27, 2010.) The article was also posted on Andrew Halcro’s website.

I will be the first to say that everyone has a political opinion on some level. More so if you are involved in politics…like a pollster. However, we need to be up front with our opinions, especially when thousands of people may potentially read our poll and make several fundamental assumptions about it. For instance: that it is non-biased.

I will go further: I support Scott McAdams. I also have a poll on the main page of this blog. I also intentionally named Lisa Murkowski in the poll. Why did I do so? Because it’s an unofficial poll on a blog and because I doubt anyone who visits this blog can name any other write-in candidate. That is an assumption I am making on my blog. I am not a newspaper (although I do write for one). My blog posts are (what I consider) “hypertext editorials.” That is my bias. Now, what’s yours?

2 DEMS, 1 SENATE

In Political on October 28, 2010 at 10:44 pm

I am going to come right out and say it: I am going to be more opinionated in this post than I usually allow myself to get.

Has anyone caught the latest poll on Alaska’s senatorial race? If not, go here. If those of you would prefer something other then the Huffington Post, then by all means go here.

For those out of the loop: The Hays Research Group published a poll that was first picked up (if I am not mistaken) by Jeanne Devon, aka “AKMuckraker” over at her Mudflats blog.

The essentials of the poll are this: Scott McAdams (D) is at 29%, Joe Miller (R) is at 23% and Some Mysertious Write-in Candidate is at 34%. Oh, and 13% of those polled were undecided. That’s still a lot of undecided voters.

It’s been interesting to watch the Huffington Post’s Pollster page change it’s color code for Alaska. It had bounced back and forth between light red (Lean Rep.) and a sort of malarial yellow (Toss Up). Now it’s at beige (Leaning Ind.). I’ll confess, for someone who likes bright alternating colors it’s kind of cool.

For someone who likes seeing things change right before his eyes, it is even cooler. Which leads me to another point: No one knows what the fuck is going to happen in Alaska on November 2. If a lot of Democrats and Independents vote their conscience, McAdams definitely has a shot. A real, actual “OMG ‘2 Dems 1 Senate'” shot. If some Democrats and most independents get frightened about Joe Miller (and who simultaneously buy into the notion that Murkowski is Alaska’s only hope) and vote “Write-in”, then it’s going to be a toss-up between shades of red.

Believe me when I say (or don’t) that Murkowski and Miller are not that far apart politically. Yes, Miller talked an extremist game before the primary but Miller is simply pure gold: valuable to whoever controls him and as equally malleable. His back-and-forth wavering has been well documented.

Murkowski, IMO, is perhaps more willing to think for herself, and can, but will she? She’s cowtowed to the GOP during her term-and-a-half and is rated as a Hard Core Conservative on ontheissues.org. (Scroll to the bottom of the page).

Oh, and this idea that a candidate needs experience to be in the senate suffers from one gigantic flaw: How can you gain senate experience unless you actually work in the senate? Was Lisa Murkowski experienced in the senate when her father, former Governor Frank Murkowski, appointed her to replace him? No. Did Frank Murkowski himself have senate experience prior to being in the senate? No.

No one is born knowing how to do any job, and to think otherwise is a failure to think at all.

So, you know, go vote…and do your civic duty.

Joe Miller’s Resignation Documents RELEASED

In Political on October 26, 2010 at 9:53 pm

This just in: As it says in the title, the documents pertaining to Joe Miller’s resignation have been released. The release came about after Judge Winston Burbank stated that Miller’s records were of public interest and that said interest outweighed any right-to-privacy Miller has/had.

I suppose that is the price you pay when seeking an elected office.

Those documents can be found here. It’s a link to the PDF made available by the Anchorage Daily News. There appears to be some duplication of material and the first email (in chronological order) begins on the last page of the PDF, as an FYI.

I am re-posting the link made available to me by my editor Andrew Sheeler of the UAF Sun Star (the paper I write for).

No word yet on how Democratic candidate Scott McAdams or write-in candidate Lisa Murkowsi are incorporating the information into their campaign but one can easily guess.

To be honest, I have the feeling that this will be the next-to-last, if not the last “October Surprise” of this election year. Not only that, but I have the melancholic notion that very little people will care about this information. On that note, au revoir.

What Japanese history can tell us about Alaskan politics

In Alaskana, Political on October 19, 2010 at 8:27 pm

Alaskan politics has always been a little special. A little out of the ordinary.

Alaskan Republicans like their dinner with a side of socialism, and Democrats enjoy their Second Amendment rights almost as much as they love the thought of drilling in ANWR. Of course, there are plenty of those who fall on the outside of this dichotomous assumption. The individuals who display “Joe was right” stickers, or others, like my friends in the Good Daze band, who hold rallies in support of renewable energy. There is a place in Alaska for everyone. From the most liberal of bloggers to the most conservative of militia members.

A cursory survey of Japanese history shows it to be equally unique in its own right, yet painfully similar in the aggregate:

  1. Citizen soldiers. Japan has been a nation of warrior-farmers; individuals as likely to pick up the plowshares as the rifle. The same is true of Alaska where the homestead and the hunter have often gone hand-in-hand. The earliest migration to Alaska after the Gold Rush was of displaced Midwestern farmers during the Great Depression. For Japan (up until the Sword Collection Edict of Toyotomi Hideyoshi in the late 16th Century), any farmer could be a warrior. All it took to make a warrior was a sword.
  2. Homegrown spirituality. Local religious practices often win out over foreign dogmatism. While Japan battled with and/or assimilated various aspects of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Christianity into its own spirituality (a sort of Buddhist-Shinto hybrid), the same is true of Alaska. A 2009 Gallup Poll showed Alaska to be the 5th most irreligious state in the country. You will always find enclaves of the extremely religious (for example: North Pole and Mt. Hiei), but the majority of the population is incredibly anti-religious, or at best believes in a sort of “religion of the masses” (see: Pure Land Buddhism).
  3. Isolated, yet hungry. Japan, like Alaska, is isolated. While both have thrived economically, each has had to rely on the importation of goods (at one point or another) in order to expand and survive. For Japan it has been guns, lead, sugar and gold. For Alaska, it has been fruits, textiles, and the majority of our manufactured goods. Japan, I will confess, has long been the more sustainable of the two. Where is Alaska’s own Nikon, Subaru, or Kawasaki? We have what little oil remains under the North Slope. But what will become of Alaska when the pipeline runs dry?
  4. Divine personalities. Each state, both Japan and Alaska, has its own “divine” political body. For Japan, it has long been the Imperial family. For Alaska, the names Begich, Murkowski, Young and until recently, Stevens, had their own divine nature to them. Alaskans have viewed many of these individuals with great respect, enough to enable one (Don Young) to remain in his Congressional seat for 37 years, and another (Ted Stevens) to retain his for 41 years.
  5. Politically fragmented. Despite the long-reign of the Imperial family, Japan has had a fragmented political system. Japan had the Warring States period while Alaska has begun experiencing its “Warring Senate” period. Japan had no centralized authority (the emperor being merely a figure-head) for several centuries. It took the force of several well-resolved individuals to end the unrest and insure stability.Now, Alaska is facing its own period of unrest with the question of “Who will speak for us in the Senate?” being the most prominent. Alaskans are torn between three different candidates. Candidates who have almost split Alaska into political thirds. An anachronistic rephrasing of that question would be “Who will be Alaska’s Tokugawa?” Unlike Japan, Alaska is (hopefully) in the midst of a bloodless transition that will not (I assume) take hundreds of years to accomplish. However, for those who are aware of the recent Drop Zone incident, who knows?
  6. Emigration-by-proxy. Japan has had millions of its citizens emigrate to other shores. 15,000 moved to Siam alone during the feudal era, to say nothing of those that later went to Cambodia, the Philippines, Brazil and even the United States. Alaska currently suffers from its own emigration-by-way of a “brain-drain”, with many of its graduates seeking jobs and a better education in other states. Alaska is perfect for northern studies and the sciences, but not much else at the present.

What does this mean for Alaska and it’s political structure?

In my opinion, Alaska is in need of fresh political blood, term-limits and more then two dominant parties. Some of you, who’ve read my earlier blog on Lisa Murkowski’s write-in campaign know how I feel: it’s a terrible idea. But, what isn’t so bad about her running is that it proves a third-party candidate is viable. It’s been a long time since someone other then a party Democrat or Republican has done so well in an election. Or at least in the run up to an election. Alaska needs an Alaskan candidate who actually gets the state. At the risk of sounding like an Alaskan Exceptionalist, this state is unique and needs an equally unique individual to help ensure it’s survival and hopeful prosperity.

Miller security detains editor

In Political on October 17, 2010 at 8:50 pm

I take a hiatus from that deliciously unsupervised use of free speech called “blogging” only to come back to this.

I’m going to saunter casually out onto a limb and say that the handcuffing and detention of Alaska Dispatch editor Tony Hopfinger by Joe Miller’s personal security detail is going to be the biggest surprise of this years election cycle. Bigger then Miller’s probably firing from the Fairbanks North Star Borough. Bigger then Miller’s desire to repeal every constitutional amendment since 1789.

I’m calling it: it appears as if Joe Miller has become so frustrated by Alaska’s free press that he is going out of his way to silence it. He refuses to answer any questions about his past and now he has his personal security (from the Drop Zone security firm in Anchorage) handcuff and ‘arrest’ a member of the free press. At a public event nonetheless!

How will Lisa Murkowski and Scott McAdams’ camps respond to the incident? I look forward to hearing Miller’s defense/apology within the next day or so. If he waits any longer, however, he may as well call it quits.

Those Sweet Old Blogging Blues

In Alaskana, Art, Cinema, Culture, Drink, Health, Music Reviews, Political, UAF on October 4, 2010 at 3:22 am

I plan on writing an actual update sometime early this week. However, before then, I wanted to throw out a few topics I plan on writing about which include health, journalism, music, and politics.

Why? Because I want to do something with the blog tonight/this morning but have no energy for anything investigative (i.e. that isn’t already in my head and doesn’t involve anything more then spellchecker and Google). You know the mood…where you want to feel productive, so you get away with “thinking” about being productive?

Yeah, it’s kind of like that.

Topics for future posts:

Health: Asthma; the Life Insurance process
Journalism: How to Write a Decent News Article; the Ethics of Journalism
Local Music Review: For both Feeding Frenzy and Good Dazes’ (Germ of Creation) new albums; Blurb about a buyers experience at the recent Record Expo.
Non-Local Music Review: Serj Tankian’s new album Imperfect Harmonies and Maroon5’s Hands All Over.
UAF: ASUAF Summer Senate Score Card; Photo slide-show of two university professors research.
State Politics: Scott McAdams and Lisa Murkowski position overviews (to match the one I did for Joe Miller).
History: What Norwegian Vikings Can Tell Us About Masculinity; something with Teddy Roosevelt since it’s his birthday this month.
Film: Maybe something on the Scandinavian Cinema Society I have recently formed with a fellow film enthusiast.
Drink: Brew Reviews-ala-the Northern Light

There are many other things I can and will write about. Some of them I haven’t even thought of yet!¬† I understand this post could be considered “lame”, but I try to view it as a “teaser” of future posts to come. Feedback is always appreciated.

Thanks a lot, Lisa

In Political on September 27, 2010 at 1:08 pm

I’m going to make a political prediction: Joe Miller is going to win the Alaskan senate race and the fault will be entirely Lisa Murkowski’s.

Why?

Because she will split Scott McAdams’ loose confederation of liberals, moderates, and Republicans who are against the Tea Party right down the middle. I am not making this up. Check out this Rasmussen poll and then get back to me.

According to the above poll, McAdams – an unknown before the primary – was only trailing Miller by 6 points on Aug, 31. Now, since Murkowski has entered the race, McAdams is trailing both Miller and Murkowski. And by a hefty margin.

Why should you care?

For several reasons:

  1. Murkowski had her chance to beat Miller during the primary. Even if we did not get the result we desired, the system still worked and we (and Murkowski) should respect it.
  2. Even if Murkowski does win, she will not be doing so as a Republican. This means that all of that “seniority” everyone is talking about will be stripped from her regardless.
  3. McAdams is a good candidate and not just because he isn’t Joe Miller. I am sure the not-Joe Miller fact attracted a lot of people to his cause (including me) but, now that we’ve actually had a chance to see him…he appears to be a good candidate.
  4. Murkowski is a die-hard conservative, and against many ideas and policies that I would consider progressive including gay marriage, pro-choice, and the recent health care reform bill. Why would liberals vote for someone like that if they had a viable option, which they do?
  5. The pro-Joe Miller constituent is far more united then those against it. As the above poll showed, Murkowski’s bid has divided those who remain against the Tea Party and taken only a small number of votes (6 points) away from Miller.
  6. A Miller victory means Alaska will have another ideological Sarah Palin in office; just this time at the national level.

What can we do about it?

Practically nothing besides voting for Scott McAdams. As my editor says half-seriously/half-jokingly, “Tell us how you really feel, Jeremia.” Well, this is how I really feel. Lisa Murkowski had her chance and missed it. Now, Alaska has to deal with the consequences.

Joe Miller: The Issues Breakdown

In Political on September 1, 2010 at 11:26 pm

A vandalized Murkowski sign sits on College Rd. prior to August 24th's election primary. Photo by Jeremia Schrock.

It goes without saying that this election cycle will see Alaska’s senatorial delegation receive something of a surprise face lift. Just whose face will be lifted up to the ranks of the United States Senate remains hotly debated. However, it is the opinion of this blogger that every Alaskan citizen of voting age know just who their voting for and why. Therefore, I intend to straighten the political learning curve by reducing candidates issues to their simplest forms followed by a short explanation of what those candidates mean. These posts are not meant to be definitive, but instead are intended to act as a laypersons guide to the 2010 senatorial election in Alaska.

—–

The “Issues” page on Mr. Miller’s website highlights the four primary tenants which make up Mr. Miller’s platform.

1. He is a strict constitutionalist. Miller believes that the US should follow the constitution as set down by the original signers in 1787. What he does not say, however, is if he believes that all amendments since 1787 should be repealed.

I will work to limit Washington to the constitutional powers anticipated by our Founders…the only answer is to return our federal government to the limits prescribed by our Constitution. ¬†Federal powers not specified in the Constitution are reserved to the States by the 10th Amendment.

2. He wants to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (commonly called “ObamaCare”). Miller believes that individuals should pay for their own health care with the exception being in the event of a “catastrophic” incident.

I will support reform legislation that is market-based and incentivizes individual responsibility. One major aspect of this reform must include allowing and promoting a system of robust employer and/or self-funded tax-free health savings accounts.

3. Against the trading of emissions (i.e. Cap and Trade). Miller believes that offering economic incentives in order to reduce the amount of pollution is unconstitutional, citing that the evidence for climate change is inconclusive.

We need good science, and a long-term climate trajectory before we jump in and make decisions that will profoundly affect the lives of ordinary Alaskans. California has already passed a Cap and Trade law, which has made it even more expensive to do business there and has increased unemployment.

4. Pro-Life. Miller believes that life begins at conception. He has also stated that he is against abortion even in cases of rape and incest.

In July 2006, Senator Murkowski voted in favor of the Stem Cell Research and Enhancement
Act of 2005 (HR 810) which attempted to use Federal funds to support the destruction of living
human embryos for medical research. – From Miller’s “Letter to Pro-Life Supporters”.

Miller also believes/supports the following:

  1. A Smaller government
  2. A more strict immigration policy
  3. The Second Amendment
  4. A phasing out of Social Security
  5. That hate crime laws violate the constitution
  6. Global Warming is not man-made
  7. Unemployment benefits are unconstitutional
  8. The Department of Education should be shut down

Official endorsements have come from: Mike Huckabee, Sarah and Todd Palin, Laura Ingraham, John Coghill, Tammie Wilson, Wes Keller, Fred Dyson and Tea Party Express.

All quotes can be found on Joe Millers website: http://joemiller.us/issues

For further reading: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/26/joe-miller-alaska-candida_n_694559.html