Tea party favorite Joe Miller won a stunning victory when he defeated incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski in Alaska’s Republican primary. Now Miller is waging another battle against Murkowski, who is running a write-in campaign to retain her seat — a battle Miller deserves to win.
Murkowski was appointed to the Senate by her father, Gov. Frank Murkowski, when he resigned the seat he had held for 20 years to become Alaska’s governor in 2002, an appointment that many derided as nepotism.
In the Senate, Murkowski has taken positions to the left of many Republicans. She is pro-choice, and appears out of touch with Alaska voters, including the tea party opponents who helped Miller win the primary despite being outspent by Murkowski by a wide margin.
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who actively supports Miller, has pointed to Murkowski’s “involvement in racking up the massive debt burden on our children and grandchildren, as well as her plan to barter over the destructive job-killing cap-and-tax legislation.”
Joe Miller, on the other hand, opposes cap and trade and favors a balanced federal budget and a presidential line-item veto.
A West Point graduate, Miller fought for his country in the first Gulf War and was awarded a Bronze Star. His political positions are staunchly conservative.
Miller wants to repeal Obamacare, calls for the suspension of earmarks, opposes cuts to Medicare and Social Security for current beneficiaries, is critical of global warming alarmists, has received an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association, and opposes abortion except when the mother’s life is in danger.
Discussing the tea party movement that spurred his primary victory, Miller told Newsmax in an exclusive interview in September: "I think the message that is being spread of returning the country back to its constitutional foundations is absolutely something that can put the Republican Party back on track. It is something that, if embraced, could allow the Republican Party to provide the answers to a nation that is in crisis right now.”
As for the Sarah Palin connection in this race, there seems to be no doubt that bad blood exists between Palin and Murkowski.
Palin successfully ran for Alaska governor against Murkowski’s father in the 2006 GOP primary, and denied him re-election. She actively campaigned against Murkowski, the sitting Republican senator, in favor of Miller in the primary.
Palin wrote in a fundraising letter to Miller supporters that “public service should be an honor, not a family dynasty” — an echo of the “nepotism” charge leveled at Murkowski.
Palin also has criticized Murkowski for reneging on her primary vow not to “contest the will of the people” by staying in the race after her primary defeat.
Fortunately, most recent polls have Miller solidly ahead. A survey that Public Policy Polling released on Sunday showed Miller with 37 percent of the vote, Murkowski with 30 percent, and Democrat Scott McAdams with 30 percent.
A Miller victory would be a victory for conservative principles, Alaska, and the country.
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