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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Thank you All who voted

Good news from Alaska, it seems it will indeed require a cold day to see Joe Miller to Washington D.C. and while we now have to wait and see if his lawyers can secure the election for him I doubt they will succeed in their task.

To all who voted, whoever they happened to vote for, thank you, our system only works by the grace of our citizens taking the time.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Miller is screwed Gott sei Dank

Well a new poll conducted Oct 26th shows that Miller has done what I'm sure most of us knew was possible, he screwed himself into 3rd place. Now to be fair the events that I believe have put Miller into 3rd all transpired before the primary but it was his reluctance to address those issues that allowed them to become the fatal flaw in his bid for Alaska's senate seat. Of course the issues to which I am referring are varied and many but most notably are his receipt of government hand-outs and his transgressions while an attorney for the Fairbanks Borough.

The poll in question now shows McAdams with 29% and Miller with 23%, an certain unnamed write-in candidate ranks first with 34% of the vote. Bravo Mr. Miller. Now I have no illusions that his loss will be laid at the feet of nasty negative ads and of course the vile liberal media working to destroy him, but in all fairness this kind of attitude is why Miller is in third. In this case, the media, liberal or not, did its job and did it well. The media dug hard and uncovered aspects of Miller's past that as we can see have most certainly effected the opinion held of him by voters. These were not engineered stories fabricated from half truths, these things happened and wish as he might they cannot be undone. I for one would not have had a problem voting for a candidate with his past, so long of course as that candidate represented my views, Miller does not.

Miller represents what I feel is a fair position, and I can agree with the Tea Party platform that things need to change in Washington and that the democrats and republicans are unlikely to be able to solve these issues to my satisfaction. However I do not feel that Miller represents the Tea Party movement in anything other than name, the kind of solutions to these issues start at the state and local level, not at the federal level. Until we have made the changes at home, in Anchorage, in Fairbanks, in Juneau, electing federal representatives is a moo point (kind of like a cow's opinion). Electing Joe Miller to the senate serves no purpose, there is still no control, there is still no responsibility, there is still nothing other than the word of a politician and a poor chance that it will be kept.

In other news, Tea Party supporters and pro-palin (? I guess they do still exist?) peoples have flocked in mass (~100? guess that counts) to the division of elections to sign up as write-in candidates hoping to make the list and confuse the hell out of Murkowski voters thus handing the victory firmly to McAdams. Frankly this is absurd and only shows that these folks really are delusional. People only want the list to confirm spelling most likely. I'm sure in the aftermath of this election the dems and gop will challenge any vote they can (hanging chad?). To think someone is going to punch Miller because finding Murkowski is to hard is laughable. For those signing up as an act of civil disobedience, well that's well and good, and a good half hour of your life you won't be getting back.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Court reverses ruling on providing lists of write-in candidates.

A higher court reversed the ruling thus allowing lists of write-in candidates to be provided to voters so long as the voter requests it.

Common sense: 1
Asshat political parties: -1

Monday, October 25, 2010

Is Providing a list of write-in cadidates illegal?

The big political news to kick off this week in Alaska politics is that both the Democrat and Republican parties will be sueing the state division of elections to try and block election workers from providing a list of write in cadidates if requested to do so by a voter. The director of the division of elections has determined that this service falls under providing voter assistance and is something that is only provided if it is requested. The two main parties feel its evidence of the government trying to influence the election. What a joke.

Although it is rare when democrats and republicans agree on issues of policy, its simple for me to see why they are in this case. Both parties are afraid of Lisa Murkowski. Even as a write in she is still perhaps the most electable candidate running. Believe it or not she IS the middle ground. More conservative than McAdams and more liberal than Miller. The democrats are afraid because she polls better than McAdams and the republicans are afraid because she polled most recently neck and neck with Miller.

So are we are the threshold of another election being effectively decided by the courts as it was in 2000? I hope not. Why should it be illegal to provide a list of candidates and instructions on write-in voting if so asked by a voter? We know from experience that the two parties will use even the slightest mistake to get someones vote thrown out thus robbing them of their right (hanging chad anyone?). In fact the parties have already requested lists of votes who may have been made with this assistance provided during early voting last week, I wonder if they are planning legal action to invalidate those votes as well. Election workers provide instrutions on how to fill out ballots all the time, when the integrity of someones vote can so easily be questioned and the vote discarded is it any wonder the responsible voter would request information on doing something most of us have never done? Perhaps even a list of candidates so that spelling will be correct?

I see this whole event as a desperate effort by the parties to disenfranchise as many voters as possible (as long as they aren't their voters). Frankly I find it disgusting and can't wait for the courts to strike it down. If they don't I plan on taking tuesday off and standing outside my polling place (at least 200ft) handing out write-in instructions with a list of write-in cadidates. My way of flipping the bird to the establishment.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Miller urged to answer questions about his past BY REPUBLICANS!

Well Joe Milelr may not realize that a press blackout about his background is a mistake but it seems the members of his own party have. It seems a group of about 40 high ranking Alaska republicans have written and signed a open letter to candidate Miller urging him to answer questions about his past.

Of course on this blog we have already covered the folly of such a stance as well as the hipocrisy of faulting Lisa on her past while refusing to disclose your own. Do I think Joe will bend on this matter? I doubt it. In the long list of people Joe doesn't trust, his own party is only a couple places under the media. As it is even though it would help his chances with the undecided voters I'm sure Joe is viewing this as some kind of trap despite the lack of Admiral Akbar being present.

Joe is quickly working to destroy his own momentum anyway possible. Laying blame at the feet of the media and party establishment makes for great talk radio and often gets the head nod from the furthest right among us. Unfortunately, it has a rather poor record of drawing undecided and independent voters in, which as well are often reminded, are the real ones that decide elections.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Joe Miller staying quiet about his past, is this move smart or suspecious?

So as of Friday senate candidate Joe Miller will no longer be answering any questions about his or his family's past. Now, people can still ask about it, he just won't be answering. Miller is taking this position under the guise of keeping the election about the issues, not about a persons personal past. Unfortunately for Mr. Miller, his past is not only an integral part of who he is, but it is also perhaps the only thing we have to judge him on aside from what he says he supports or will support if elected.

Personnally I place more weight on a person history than I do their speech, ESPECIALLY when that person is a politican. How often are we reminded of a politician that says one thing (especially during an election) only to do another afterward. I think Mr. Miller's history is perhaps more important and speaks more about him than he could ever say himself. As Aristotle once said "We are what we repeatedly do." Is one of the great philosophers of human history wrong when it comes to Mr. Miller?

Perhaps it is just me, but it feels more as if Mr. Miller is attempting to hide his past than to focus on the issues. Lisa Murkowski's past is certainlty available for scrutiny and has been the focus of many of the ads against her re-election. Lisa's past is often used to provide evidence that she believes this or doesn't believe that, that she will push this agenda and ignore another. Are we as voters not entitled to have the same history on Joe Miller so we can draw similar conclusions?

I think it is time that Mr. Miller faced up and accepted that as a public figure his private life is essentially over. It is important that the details of his past be revealed so that the voters can make informed decisions on who they would like to represent them in Washington D.C. Mr. Miller has said that 'he is not perfect, no one is perfect' and I agree and accept that. However, the information still needs to be available so that voters can make their own determination.

Perhaps I am being unfair, perhaps the media is really 'out to get' Mr. Miller. Or, perhaps his lack of disclosure only adds fuel to the fire and blood in the water, even if nothing is there it still encourages people to dig deeper, just in case.

P.S. This brings me back to a though about repealing the 17th admendment and giving selection of senators back to the state governement. It Mr. Miller did supress his past and win the election, then afterwards something immoral, unethical, etc. was uncovered, how would we bring him back? The voting public would have very little recourse, we have almost no protection from something like this.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Finally! Something I can support Joe Miller on!

I was reading in the usually news sources that I frequent many times a day and ran across an interview with Alaska Senate candidate Joe Miller where he supported repeal of the 17th amendment. While I don't think he will win my vote based on this issue alone I do think it would be worth discussing why I think this amendment was a mistake and why I support his opinion that it should be repealed.

For those who are not familar with the 17th amendent, the 17th amendment was introduced in 1912 and ratified in 1913, it modified the constituion with regards to the election of state senators and filling of vacancies in the senate. Essentially the 17th amendment changed the method of electing Senators from a function of the state legislature to a fuction of popular election. It also gave the Governor of the state the responsibility of filling any senate vacancies.

Maybe with any luck we can return to a time where the interests of the states were represented in the senate, where the merits of a person were debated instead of advertised, and where the daily schedule of the senate did not revolve around fund raising.

Popular election? Whats wrong with that? Well let's get started.

First popular elections are expensive and time consuming undertakings, the require alot of preparation and support to make happen where as the state legislature is already formed and need only add it to their current list of business.

Second, because the senators are choosen by the state legislature they are in this case indirectly elected by the people, assuming that the legislators are following their constituents.

Third, the senators have experience in politics and have ample opportunity to debate their choice for senate where as most popular elections are consumed with advertising and mud slinging.

Fourth, (and I like this one alot) should it be necessary the legislature can recall a senator at the snap of a finger, all it takes is a vote. There is no long drawn out petition process and then waiting for an election cycle for the public to vote on it. With the current system the public has almost no recourse against a Senator who is not properly representing the people other than threatening not to re-elect them or starting the lengthy recall process.

The current system has turned being a U.S. Senator into a perpetual fund raiser. You need to money to out advertise your opponent and win the vote of the public. Rarely is an election about the issues as it is about the public's perception of the candidate. The biggest donors get the most time and since states rarely donate to candidates the states themselves are at the back of line for their own Senator's time. Who's at the front? The special interest groups and corporations that give the most money. State Governments have no lobbyist of PACs.

Sadly, I find it hard to believe that Senators elected via a popular vote would choose to change that system. It would be akin to slashing their own throats which is basically what the states did in ratifying the 17th amendment in the first place. The 17th amendment is in direct conflict with the balance between state and federal government and until this power is given back to the states, the people will forever be at the mercy of the federal government and most their senators will forever be the pawns of those who paid for their elections.

EDIT: In response to comment #1, politicians have the reputation of being liars and untrustworthy, saying whatever is necessary to be elected even though their loyalty seems to remain with whomever finances their campaign. In its most basic form a repeal of 17 would eliminate most of this at least in regards to senate seats. It would no longer be necessary to 'sell' oneself to the public by promising this and that and the other and then having no accountability after the fact.

In addition I think that politicans at the state level are far more reliable, trustworthy, easier to contact, and easier to hold accountable. In addition because of the smaller size of house and senate districts, it is much easier and less expensive to run for state government than a larger office. Even if 17 were repealed it would not fix the system immedeatly but would be a certain step in the right direction.

Thanks for the comment