Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Senator Lisa Murkowski Reportedly Engaging In Direct Talks With Libertarian U.S. Senate Candidate David Haase, Unlikely To Bear Fruit

Despite the fact that the executive committee of the Alaska Libertarian Party previously voted 5-0 not to accept Lisa Murkowski as their candidate for U.S. Senate, this story stubbornly refuses to die. And that's primarily because of their own candidate David Haase, who, according to the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, personally met with Senator Murkowski on September 7th, 2010. In this Anchorage Daily News story, Murkowski confirms she met with Haase after friends of hers -- without her direction -- approached his party, asking if they would consider a Murkowski candidacy. She said she had an interesting discussion with Haase but made clear she's not interested in changing her "political stripes."

Haase has been more sympathetic towards the idea of stepping aside in favor of Murkowski than his fellow libertarians. Haase's reported price is for Murkowski to embrace his positions regarding the Federal Reserve. Haase has previously been quoted as saying, "Let's take the Federal Reserve, nationalize it and take that income earning capacity and turn it over to the people to finance Social Security and Medicare".

Also prolonging the libertarian story are the results of two recent polls which show that a Murkowski third-party candidacy would be competitive. An August 27-28 Public Policy Polling survey shows Joe Miller leading, but with only 38 percent of the vote to 34 percent for Murkowski and 22 percent for Democrat Scott McAdams (crosstabs HERE). And an Aug. 28-Sep. 1 Dittman poll commissioned by Andrew Halcro shows Murkowski actually leading a three-way with 37 percent vs. Miller with 31 percent and McAdams with 19 percent (crosstabs HERE).

Interestingly enough, the common denominator of the two polls is that not only does Scott McAdams finish third, but a DISTANT third. This implies that many of Murkowski's supporters are sufficiently unhappy with Joe Miller's primary victory that they are turning to McAdams simply out of sheer frustration. In a straight-up contest with Joe Miller, McAdams only trails by single digits.

Alaska Republican pundits are clearly split over the prospect of a Murkowski third-party candidacy. While Paul Jenkins of the Anchorage Daily Planet rejoices at the prospect, saying that Miller is "too easily is painted a far-right tea party whack-job and a Sarah Palin clone who channels Joe Vogler and tilts at windmills", Alec Gimarc reminds us that Murkowski lost because she was perceived as too liberal for the conservative voters of her party, and came across as proud of her liberal ideas. He believes her stubbornness did her in. He suggests that had Murkowski merely embrace Ballet Measure Two, the parental notification abortion initiative that passed by a narrow margin, that would have been enough for her to pull out a narrow victory over Miller.

As for the Alaska Libertarian Party, its chairman, Scott Kohlhaas, acknowledges that discussions with the Murkowski camp have largely included conversations about the Libertarian Party’s future and philosophical common grounds they have with Murkowski. He said it’s remarkable how much both Murkowski and Miller have touted their libertarian credentials. However, he views the continuing discussion as a distraction which isn't necessarily doing anything to benefit the Libertarian Party. He said the party’s priorities are on maintaining its ballot status and electing one of its three candidates to the Legislature. Kohlhaas himself is running for the House District 20 seat in Anchorage against a career Democrat, and with no Republican opposition, has a chance to make serious inroads. Lisa Murkowski's addition to the Libertarian lineup remains unlikely at this point.

1 comment:

  1. I fail to see how one can even consider oneself a conservative if opposed to the parental notification abortion initiative. Letting parents guide their own children doesn't even warrant discussion to me. So, while a republican, Lisa Murkowski can hardly call herself a conservative.

    Personally, I'm mainly a libertarian, but I figure babies need more protection from unwilling mothers than mothers need assistance from the state to kill their children.