Alaska Tea Partier Joe Miller will not seek to prevent Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski from being seated in the new Senate—though he still promised to not give up his challenge to the state’s count of write-in votes. Previously, a federal judge had issued a stay preventing the state from certifying Murkowski’s victory; Miller has said he does not oppose the lifting of the stay, which would prevent her from taking her seat on January 5. The judge has indicated he’ll lift the stay.
Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) was shunned by her own party when they “primaried” her in favor of Joe Miller. It was considered one of the biggest political defeats of the year. However, her stunning write-in victory nullified her defeat. She has emerged the winner in the now infamous Alaska Senate seat battle, leaving Joe Miller to lick his wounds while challenging her win at every level. (Miller’s challenge was recently rejected by the highest court in Alaska.)
Lisa Murkowski deserves to “go rogue” after the bitter battle she fought with her own party.
Lisa Murkowski isn’t gunning down caribou on national TV like that other famous Alaskan, but the Republican lawmaker is going rogue in the Senate just weeks after staging the most stunning back-from-the-dead political win of the 2010 cycle.
Murkowski is already showing a fierce independent streak, becoming the only Republican to cast votes for all four items on President Barack Obama’s wish list: a repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” a tax cut compromise, the START treaty and cloture for the DREAM Act.
The lame duck votes capped a strange political odyssey for the Alaska Republican — one that started Aug. 31 when she conceded the GOP primary to tea party-backed Joe Miller, continued when she resigned her leadership job in September and ended when she waged Alaska’s first successful statewide write-in bid to retain her seat.
Now, she heads back to the Senate with a fresh six-year term without owing much to either her home state party establishment or her Washington leadership. More…
- Lisa Murkowski’s ‘Newfound Independence’ Could Have Impact On Obama-Backed Issues (huffingtonpost.com)
- A senator scorned (washingtonmonthly.com)
- Alaska High Court Throws Out Miller Claims (time.com)
- Alaska high court rejects claims in Senate race (msnbc.msn.com)
A state court judge has moved a lawsuit over Alaska’s still-disputed U.S. Senate race from Fairbanks to the state capital, Juneau.
Judge Douglas Blankenship said Monday that the case brought by Republican Joe Miller raises statewide issues and that he believes it’s inconvenient for the state to be involved in a case in Fairbanks.
He said it may be necessary for a recount or for disputed ballots to be inspected and that he did not want to do anything that might “further risk the integrity of the election” – like moving the ballots from Juneau to Fairbanks.Blankenship told attorneys a status hearing would be held Wednesday.
However, the judge declined to issue a ruling on whether Sen. Lisa Murkowski could intervene in the lawsuit brought forth by Miller. Last week, the incumbent senator’s campaign filed a motion seeking a swift resolution to the unresolved race. Attorneys for Miller’s political operation pushed back against the legal action.
Murkowski ran as a write-in candidate following her loss to Miller in the GOP primary. Unofficial results show her leading Miller by 10,328 votes. Excluding votes challenged by Miller observers, she still had a 2,169-vote lead.
However, a federal judge has conditionally halted certification of the race, saying Miller’s challenge to the counting of write-in ballots raises “serious” legal issues that should be decided by a state court.
The Washington Post reported over the weekend:
Miller, a tea party favorite who beat Murkoswki in the GOP primary, has alleged bias on the part of state officials as well as voter fraud, arguing that some of the ballots have suspiciously similar handwriting. He has attacked the state Division of Elections for accepting minor misspellings of Murkowski’s name. He has complained that the hand-count of the write-in ballots started too early to give him enough time to train his volunteers to monitor the outcome.
Continue reading here…
- Joe Miller: From Alaska Maverick To Sore Loser (outsidethebeltway.com)
- Miller loses ruling on trial location (politico.com)
- How an Anonymous Graffiti Artist Voted (thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com)
- You: Despite Alaska Senate race results, Joe Miller presses on in principle (washingtonpost.com)
- Joe Miller Pushes Back Against Murkowski Campaign Intervention In Alaska Senate Election Lawsuit (huffingtonpost.com)
An Alaska federal judge ruled Friday that Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller’s challenge to the counting of write-in ballots raises “serious” legal issues but is a matter for a state, not federal, court to decide.
Yet in deferring to an Alaska state court for a final decision, U.S. District Judge Ralph Beistline said he would grant a temporary injunction to halt official certification of the Nov. 2 election – an action Miller is seeking – so long as Miller takes his case to the state court by Monday. Miller told The Associated Press late Friday that he intended to do so.
Beistline’s unusual action was intended to “ensure that these serious state law issues are resolved prior to certification of the election,” the ruling said.
Miller sued in federal court in a bid to stop the state from using discretion in determining voter intent on write-in ballots cast for his election rival, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who declared victory in the race Wednesday. She mounted the write-in campaign after losing to Miller in the GOP primary.
State law calls for write-in ballots to have the oval filled in and the candidate’s last name or name as it appears on their declaration of candidacy written.
But the state pointed to case law in counting Murkowski ballots that contain misspellings or were phonetic to her name. Lt. Gov. Craig Campbell, who oversees elections, has defended the practice, saying the state doesn’t want to disenfranchise any voters.
Miller wants the law adhered to strictly, and asked Beistline to keep the state from certifying the election results based on a count of ballots that aren’t in line with it. The target date for certifying the race is Nov. 29. A recount can then be requested by Dec. 4.
Beistline said a state court is in “the best position, at least initially, to apply Alaska law and to determine who won this election.”
But he also said he’d “remain available to review any constitutional issues that may exist once the state remedies have been exhausted.”
- Judge: Alaska court must decide Senate dispute (msnbc.msn.com)
- Alaska Judge To Halt Murkowski Certification? (riehlworldview.com)
- Joe Miller tries to stop Senate election certification (seattlepi.com)
- Judge: State court must decide AK Senate dispute (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Joe Miller Seeks to Stop Election Certification (politics.usnews.com)
- Miller Sues to Prevent Alaska Vote Certification (foxnews.com)
- Joe Miller Files Suit To Prevent Certification Of Alaska Senate Results (outsidethebeltway.com)
Alaska Republican Joe Miller made clear on Thursday that he has no intention of conceding in Alaska’s U.S. Senate race despite rival candidate incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski being declared the winner of the drawn-out election earlier this week and calls mounting for the embattled contender to admit defeat.
The AP reports that a lawyer for Miller’s campaign is seeking an injunction from a federal judge to stop election officials in the Last Frontier from certifying Murkowski’s victory. The challenge comes as the latest in a string of legal challenges the the senator’s team has made against the validity of write-in ballots cast for Murkowski, whom he defeated earlier this year in the state’s GOP primary.
Miller’s lawsuit claims Alaska law requires voters to write in a candidate’s name as it appears on a declaration of candidacy, or the last name of the candidate, to cast valid ballots. His campaign filed the lawsuit last week as hand counting of write-in ballots began. … Anchorage U.S. District Court Judge Ralph Beistline denied his request to immediately stop the state Division of Elections from counting write-in ballots that strayed from the exact spelling of a candidate’s name.On Monday, state officials filed a formal brief in opposition to the lawsuit. Thursday was the deadline for Miller to reply.
Attorney Tom Van Flein said in his filing Thursday that Miller was revising his injunction request because the Division of Elections has nearly finished its vote count.
He asked the court to stop elections officials from accepting as valid any write-in votes in which a candidate’s name was misspelled or was not written on the ballot as it appeared on the candidate’s write-in declaration of candidacy.
- Lisa Murkowski: “Alaskans Have Spoken” (cbsnews.com)
- “Lisa Murkowski wins rare write-in victory in Alaska Senate race” and related posts (personalmoneystore.com)
- AP calls Alaska Senate race for Lisa Murkowski – Joe Miller disagrees – Christian Science Monitor (news.google.com)
- Alaska’s Murkowski poised for Senate write-in win (reuters.com)
Sara Palin’s candidate did not win the Alaskan senatorial race. Why am I so happy that a Republican won? Well, because ANYTHING is better than another Tea Party candidate in the Senate. Especially one hand-picked by the “grizzly momma” herself.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski on Wednesday became the first Senate candidate in more than 50 years to win a write-in campaign, emerging victorious over her tea party rival following a painstaking, week-long count of hand-written votes.
The victory completes a remarkable comeback for the Republican after her humiliating loss in the GOP primary to Joe Miller.
Her victory became clear when Alaska election officials confirmed they had only about 700 votes left to count, putting Murkowski in safe territory to win re-election. Murkowski is flying back from Washington to Alaska on Wednesday to make an “exciting announcement,” proclaiming in an e-mail to supporters that the campaign “made history.”
Murkowski has a lead of 10,400 votes, a total that includes 8,153 ballots in which Miller observers challenged over things like misspellings, extra words or legibility issues.
Miller told Fox News that he is not conceding the race, and will decide at the end of the week whether the campaign will request a recount. Miller has maintained he’ll stop fighting if the math doesn’t work in his favor. Continue reading…
- Lisa Murkowski Wins Alaska Senate Race (politics.usnews.com)
- Lisa Murkowski: First Successful Write-In Senate Candidate Since 1954 [Victory] (gawker.com)
- Lisa Murkowski emerges as winner in Alaska Senate race (thenewstribune.com)
- AP Calls Alaska Senate Race For Murkowski (outsidethebeltway.com)
- AP Calls Alaska Race for Murkowski (blogs.wsj.com)
- ALASKA: GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski Declared Winner Over Teabagger Joe Miller (joemygod.blogspot.com)
I’m not a Lisa Murkowski fan, not in the least. However, if it comes down to the lesser of two evils, Murkowski is my choice.
Buh Bye, Joe Miller!
As Alaska’s write-in candidate Lisa Murkowski’s lead grows—98 percent of written ballots are clearly for the incumbent—Tea Party challenger Joe Miller’s legal staff is departing. Shushannah Walshe says Miller needs to give up now.
It’s not looking good for Joe Miller, Sarah Palin’s protégé and GOP Senate nominee in Alaska. The vote count continues, but he trails “write-in” by 10,000 votes and the state division of elections has examined write-in ballots for close to 60 percent of the precincts and nearly 98 percent have been counted for Lisa Murkowski.
In August, Miller pulled the biggest stunner of the election cycle when he upset eight-year incumbent Murkowski in the Senate GOP primary, prompting her to wage a risky write-in bid.
Despite the near-impossible deficit in numbers, Miller is not giving up without a fierce fight, stressing that victory is still possible. The Murkowski team says they are just desperate. When it comes to a future in Last Frontier politics, some Alaska political observers say it is better for him to bow out gracefully now then to hang on until the bitter end.
“I think he risks alienating his base,” says Brian O’Donohue, chairman of the journalism department at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. “He’s an individual that’s been very critical of activist judges and yet he seems to be very tenaciously exploiting any argument that can be made legally to overturn what appears to be straightforward voter intent.”
WRITE-INS: Miller camp steps up challenges, threatens new lawsuit.
The Division of Elections has reviewed write-in ballots for almost half the precincts in Alaska and is counting nearly 98 percent of them for Lisa Murkowski. The Murkowski campaign is acting confident of victory and is accusing Joe Miller of taking “desperate” measures to try to win.
The state Thursday finished its second day of going through the write-in ballots in Juneau. More than 45,000 of them have been reviewed so far. Counting resumes this morning and is expected to continue through the weekend.
The Murkowski campaign said “it couldn’t be going any better” and that the Miller campaign has resorted to challenging perfectly spelled ballots.
“It’s an act of desperation,” said Anchorage ad executive John Tracy, part of the Murkowski campaign’s ballot-count-monitoring team. “Really the only thing that seems clear is that they’re trying to pump up their challenged ballot numbers.”
Examples were not hard to find of Miller observers challenging Murkowski ballots that were spelled accurately and looked to be filled out properly. More often, the challenged ballots had a letter misspelled in Murkowski’s last name or the word “Republican” written on the ballot next to it.
- Murkowski Confident as Write-in Tally Grows (politicalwire.com)
- AK-Sen: Vote counting continues, Murkowski’s tally grows (dailykos.com)
- Murkowski Camp Cries Foul in Ballot Count (foxnews.com)
- Alaska Senate Race: Lisa Murkowski Slams Delay Of Game Tactics In Write-In Ballot Count Saga (capitolhillblue.com)
- Lisa Murkowski REJECTS Joe Miller’s Vote Fraud Claims (huffingtonpost.com)
Now this is the kind of news I like to hear! I don’t think Sarah Palin’s rally for Joe Miller will be much of a success after this devastating news. Palin’s reputation for being mean and devisive may even make Miller’s numbers sink even more.
A new poll conducted by Hays Research confirms what we already intuitively know. Alaska U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller’s candidacy is in big trouble.
The percentage of Alaskans who feel either “somewhat negative” or “very negative” about Miller has skyrocketed in recent weeks to an astronomical 68 percent. Only 8 percent feel “somewhat negative” and the remainder, a jaw-dropping 60 percent, feel “very negative” about Miller as a candidate.
A series of gaffes, inconsistencies, and controversial statements to the press, in addition to the arrest of a journalist by Miller security guards have come one on top of another, causing a trend that can only be described as a campaign death spiral. Miller’s hardcore supporters who view him “very favorably” have held in there, showing a decrease of only 3 percent since Oct. 6, but his “somewhat favorable” rating went from 20 percent to 9 percent in that time. Miller’s “somewhat unfavorable” rating dipped from 13 percent to 8 percent, underscoring the voter stampede toward “very unfavorable” which skyrocketed from 38 percent to 60 percent in less than three weeks.
If there could be even worse news for the Miller camp it’s that this devastating poll occurred before the headline “Miller’s employee records reveal numerous lies” appeared on newsstands on the front page of today’s Anchorage Daily News, which quotes a damning email in which Miller admits he repeatedly lied about his misuse of Borough computers for political purposes while he was a part-time lawyer for the Borough in 2008.