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August 22, 2010

Joe Miller for Senate

Desert Storm veteran, judge, conservative. And he has the endorsements of a lot of people, including Sarah Palin, Mark Levin, Laura Ingraham.

In 2004, Miller stepped down from the bench to run for State Representative. He overwhelmingly won the contested Republican primary and nearly pulled off an upset in the general election receiving over 48% of the vote against the Democratic incumbent in a traditionally Democratic district: the closest re-election campaign the officeholder has ever faced. Joe returned to the successful full time practice of law at his own firm. He has represented clients (including local government as both a part-time employee and on contract) in a wide variety of cases, a number of which have gone all the way to the Alaska Supreme Court.

Prior to becoming an attorney and a judge, Miller served as an officer in the United States Army. He was awarded the Bronze Star for his leadership in combat during the First Gulf War. He received his commission from West Point, where he graduated with honors. Joe is also a graduate of Yale Law School and holds a master’s degree in economics from the University of Alaska.

Joe currently lives with his family in Fairbanks where he practices law. His wife of 18 years, Kathleen, is a teacher and serves on the Alaska Judicial Council, a commission that makes recommendations to the Governor concerning Alaska judicial nominees.

He seeks donations here; and the Tea Party Express is also raising money for him.

He's running against Lisa Murkowski, who while not really a RINO, has a low-ish score of 70 from the ACU. (Actually, that does make her a RINO, and in previous years she's stunk the joint up with scores as low as 57, which is Snowe/Collins territory.)

That's the sort of score I'd forgive in a Scott Brown, holding a tenuous seat in deep-blue Massachusetts. For red Alaska, we can do better, and there's none of the usual questioning about "But can the more conservative candidate win in the general?" Absolutely the more conservative candidate can win in the general; he'd probably actually do better.

The primary is on August 24th -- they're trying to get a moneybomb going right before the election.

More: Miller also holds a masters in economics from the U. of Anchorage. His law degree's from Yale.

Here's some debate footage, which was important to me to see if this guy came off well or was just a good-on-paper candidate. He does come off pretty well.

Here's some of that blogger's coverage:

The big argument was about Obamacare. Joe Miller renewed his charges that Murkowski's votes to repeal Obamacrare were merely procedural votes and didn't really count, while Murkowski responded by showing how each vote was specifically worded to call for the repeal of Obamacare. Miller did nail down the precise difference between himself and Lisa on health care; while Lisa wants to find a government health care plan that works, Miller believes government should have NO ROLE in health care. Nevertheless, it still appears Lisa won this round with her logic.

I'd say more conservatives are inclined in Miller's favor. Even if you don't agree with his position, stated that baldly, you still want a guy pulling the wagon in that direction.

And then...

A secondary argument about the Constitution broke out. Miller asked Murkowski if she had ever voted for an unconstitutional bill, a question which I thought was a bit silly. Lisa responded that every bill she voted for, in her opinion, was constitutional, and rejected a strict interpretation of the Constitution, implying that it is a "living" document. Miller renewed his contention that judges are persistently exceeding their constitutional limits, like when the Alaska Supreme Court invalidated our parental consent law in 2007.


Finally, look, I am agnostic at this point on TARP, but there is no doubt that I was convinced at the time, and agitated in favor of it.

But: the politics of it are awful.

Joe Miller is against it, Lisa Murkowski voted for it. That alone makes him a stronger general-election candidate. He doesn't have that heavy baggage.

Liberal, conservative, independent: Everyone hates TARP. In the entire country much just me, spongeworthy, JackStraw, and Larry Kudlow have anything good to say about it. And I don't say anything about it. I have memory-holed it. It's an unfact.

Blue State Republicans

Let's elect them only from actual blue states, huh?

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posted by Ace at 03:47 PM

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