Saturday, September 18, 2010

Prominent Alaskans React To Lisa Murkowski's Decision To Go Write-In; Murkowski Dumps John Bitney As Campaign Manager

Now that 24 hours have passed since Senator Lisa Murkowski announced her intention to continue her U.S. Senate campaign as a write-in candidate, it's a good time to identify and catalogue the reaction by Alaska politicians and punditry to the decision. Since the announcement, Murkowski has dumped John Bitney as her campaign manager. Murkowski's campaign announcement, discussed in this previous post, is now available as an AP story on YouTube:

First up is Republican opponent Joe Miller. Miller first granted an interview to Fox News' Greta Van Susteren to assure BOTH statewide and national publicity. During the Fox News interview, Miller criticized Murkowski for not accepting the outcome of her defeat in the primary, for hiding behind Ted Stevens and misrepresenting his recent political hopes for the Republican party, for being self-serving in her unwillingness to resign her power, for taking Outside money, and for not being a true Republican. Here's a video of his local press conference in Anchorage, where Miller accused Murkowski of straying from the Constitution by disregarding the will of "we the people." His campaign strategy would remain on course and undeterred:

Next up is Democratic opponent Scott McAdams, who issued a press release saying that this race isn't about his opponents, but about Alaska's future and the vision for building Alaska's economy, supporting our seniors, and creating jobs for Alaska families. McAdams said a write-in campaign is a pretty high hurdle, and still believes the fundamental race is between himself and Joe Miller. KTUU Channel 2 interview with McAdams embedded below:


KTUU interviews with pollsters Dave Dittman and Jean Craciun also available.

The Alaska Republican Party issued this press release in which they reiterated their intent to stand behind Joe Miller, and they also bluntly state that they will treat Murkowski's candidacy as an opposition candidacy:

Patti Higgins, Chair of the Alaska Democratic Party, provided the official Democratic response. Higgins cautioned Alaskans against gambling with Alaska's future on a hopeless quest by a defeated politician. She said Alaskans need to rally around Scott McAdams who has won elections on the strength of his merits and has a track record of public service we can be proud of.

Mike Dunton, District 8 chairman, Republican Party of Alaska, wrote in part: "Alaskans have known for years that with Lisa Murkowski you get something on par with a 21 course fancy dinner, in which you like only five of the dishes served, but have to put up with the remainder that you dislike. Now it appears that Senator Murkowski has not gotten the message that voters gave her in August. Instead of being chastened by the results and taking them to heart, she now wants war with her own party. We respectfully ask our senator to look at the results of other recent races and consider the message voters are giving to candidates. She risks receiving a second defeat by her arrogance to thwart the will of the people and their desire for a vision that champions the restoration of our country."

On Twitter, Sarah Palin wrote "Primary voters spoke. Listen to the people, respect their will; w/a 40-pt incumbent lead & $2.8 million war chest, voters chose Joe instead"

On The Alaska Standard, Dan Fagan suggests we look closely at Lisa Murkowski's most prominent supporters. They represent establishment Republicans desperately trying to hold onto our country’s big government, special interest ways. Fagan says the folks standing behind Murkowski cannot seem to grasp the immorality of leaving our children with a debt so heavy, big, and overwhelming it will surely mean a quality of life much inferior to the one we live today.

And finally, in a rather scorching commentary provocatively entitled "The Two Faces of Lisa Murkowski - Liar and Liar" on RedCounty, Thomas Lamb said Murkowski has decided to throw her political future away, and advised Murkowski supporters not to come back complaining when their candidate loses. Lamb condemns Murkowski for using her supporters as a scapegoat for backing out on her pledge made to the public.

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