Alaska's Joe Miller Urges End to 'Federal Fiefdoms' of Massive Land Holdings

Wednesday, 01 Sep 2010 05:44 PM

By David A. Patten

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Joe Miller, the grass-roots conservative still celebrating his stunning victory over incumbent Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski in Alaska's Senate primary, is calling for a halt to massive federal land holdings he calls "federal fiefdoms."

In an exclusive Newsmax.TV interview, the Fairbanks attorney added that all Bush tax cuts should be extended, the role of the IRS should be diminished, and states ought to be restored to their proper constitutional relationship with the federal government.

Story continues below video.



Newsmax asked Miller whether he's concerned that Democrats will use his conservative stances to portray him as an extremist.

"Frankly, if they characterize me as extreme, they have to do the same for the Founders," Miller replied confidently. "We're just asking to restore basically the republic to what the Founders intended it to be."

Miller's come-from-behind victory over Murkowski rattled the national political establishment. It also suggests that the small-government, constitutional-governance movement may be even more powerful than previously recognized.

Miller's victory is considered a major coup for former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, whose endorsement helped put him over the top.

At the time Murkowski conceded the race Tuesday evening, Miller was leading by 1,469 votes, with an estimated 9,000 ballots yet to count. He expressed surprise that Murkowski accepted defeat so early in the process.

"I thought it was a very honorable thing to do," Miller told Newsmax. "I was very impressed with it. It came as somewhat of a surprise, yes."

Miller expressed confidence that he will be able to unite Alaska's Republican Party, despite the hard-fought primary.

"We certainly hold no hard feelings or animosity, and look forward to working together as a party to make sure that we win in November," he said.
Miller attributed his victory to his volunteer network, the high-profile endorsements he received from former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Palin, as well as the estimated $600,000 in support he received from the Tea Party Express organization.

"It really was a perfect storm," Miller told Newsmax, "all of these folks and groups getting together to push forward this campaign."

Miller also spoke in detail about his plan to get Alaska off the federal dole by restoring its budgetary independence. According to the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, the federal government owns 60 percent of all land in Alaska — about 222 million acres.

"It's going to require some coalition building," to get that changed, Miller said. "It's not just Alaska that's under the thumb of the federal government, but it's many other states as well.

"Many of the Western states are in a similar predicament, what we call federal fiefdoms, where the national government owns most of the landholdings, or significant landholdings, within those states. And there are wonderful resources within those regions that can be developed for economic [purposes].

"But it's also a matter of the federal regulatory burden, and reducing that dramatically. Again, looking at the role of the central government [being] far outside the bounds of what I believe the Constitution intended, restricting the federal government's heavy glove, or heavy hand, on the states is another way by which these economies get underway and start producing again," Miller said.

Given that the United States has an estimated $100 trillion in unfunded future obligations and a $13 trillion deficit, Miller proclaimed: "The age of the entitlement state is absolutely over."

Miller told Newsmax that he's "not much of a fan of the IRS," and favors the Fair Tax on consumption as an alternative to the current tax system.

"But I'm an advocate of looking at all these different systems or approaches to taxation at the central level, that get the IRS out of the leading role it's in [and] I think the bureaucratic burden that is created by that dominant role of IRS," he said.

One change in the tax code he'd like to see immediately, he added, is an extension of the Bush tax cuts.

Overall, Miller sounded optimistic that the changes he wants to bring to Washington can actually occur.

"The question is whether or not we're going to have the strong leadership necessary to turn the country into the direction it needs to go, which means power turned back to the states, land back to the states, the regulatory controls transferred over to the states," he said. "Those are all things that can bring about a change dramatically economically for the country, and put us ahead. And getting rid of the entitlement state, of course, helps us get ahead so our people will go to work again and be the producers they can be."

Miller is strongly favored in his general election contest against Sitka Mayor Scott McAdams. As of June, McAdams had raised less than $10,000 for his campaign.


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