Friday, August 20, 2010

Alaska U.S. Senate Candidates Joe Miller And Lisa Murkowski Square Off In Debate On KAKM Channel 7's "Running"

On August 20th 2010, Alaska U.S. Senate candidates Lisa Murkowski and Joe Miller squared off on the "Running" program normally presented by KAKM Channel 7 in Anchorage and broadcast statewide. While there were other debates, the confrontation between Murkowski and Miller was the marquee event. Accompanying media story from ADN's Alaska Politics blog.

If you missed it, here's the archive from the KSKA website:

Thanks to The Alaska Standard, we also have videos:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Of some interest was the opening statement of Lisa Murkowski, when she criticized the proliferation and growth of government. This is the first time I've ever heard her explicitly criticize the growth of government, so she's continuing to co-opt Joe Miller's positions incrementally and re-invent herself as a conservative.

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.

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. Murkowski also took the opportunity to explain her vote on the first TARP (Oct 2008) once again, saying that while it was not the best option, it was the only option they had at the time. She further justified her support by saying that Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK), who she admitted was more conservative than her, was among the 72 senators who voted for TARP. It appears Lisa Murkowski won this round a bit more handily.

While Joe Miller impressed me with his passion, Lisa Murkowski continues to impress me with her professionalism.

Other debates of interest from "Running":

Republican Gubernatorial Debate: Included Gerald Heikes, Merica Hlatcu, Sam Little, Sean Parnell, Ralph Samuels, and Bill Walker (yes, Sean Parnell did show up; no Amber Alert was necessary to find him).

Republican Lt. Gov. Debate: Included Eddie Burke, Bob Lupo, Jay Ramras, and Mead Treadwell.

Debates for other parties' candidates can be found on the KSKA website.


  1. I always respect your opinion but I have to disagree with you on this one. I was expecting Senator Murkowski to do much better. I thought she appeared stressed and rather flummoxed. She seemed kind of angry to be honest--I just didn't see the professionalism you did. I have seen her enough times to know that overall she is a very professional person but this performance surprised me.

  2. Interesting. I made my initial judgment based on the audio. I didn't find the videos until after I posted, then I embedded them and re-published. So perhaps she comes across worse on the video.