Entries in Alaska (39)


Alaska Senator Says Palin Lacks 'Leadership Qualities' to Be President

Photo Courtesy - Murkowski [dot] Senate [dot] Gov(NEW YORK) -- On the heels of Sarah Palin’s attempt to oust her from the Senate, Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski had some harsh words for her former governor Monday night.

In an interview with CBS’ Katie Couric, Murkowski, who is on the verge of a historic upset in the Alaska Senate race, said Palin lacked the “intellectual curiosity” necessary to govern.

“I just do not think that she has those leadership qualities, that intellectual curiosity that allows for building good and great policies,” Murkowski said in the CBS interview.  “You know, she was my governor for two years, for just about two years there, and I don’t think that she enjoyed governing.  I don’t think she liked to get down into the policy.”

Murkowski reiterated that she would not support Palin if she decided to run for president in 2012.  “She has an ability to connect with people that is really quite remarkable, but she would not be my choice for president,” she told Couric.

“I want somebody that goes to bed at night and wakes up in the morning thinking about how we are going to deal with our national security issues, how we’re going to deal with our economy, how we’re going to deal with providing better education or peace in the Middle East and that’s what I’m looking for,” Murkowski added.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Alaska Senate Race Remains in Limbo

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(JUNEAU, Alaska) -- The Alaska Elections Division is now in its sixth day of counting write-in ballots, but there’s little clarity as to which candidate will emerge victorious in the high-profile race for the U.S. Senate seat.

As of Sunday night, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, had 89.3 percent of the votes, with eight percent of votes that were challenged and counted.

The results could come down to just a handful of votes, which means Republican candidate Joe Miller is fighting every vote that could be deemed questionable. The Tea Party-favored candidate currently has 87,517 votes while Murkowski has 78,697.

Miller, who has Sarah Palin’s support, has continued to assail the elections division for counting misspelled ballots that show voter intent, even though a judge last week struck down his attempts to stop the ballot counting.

"We need one standard for everyone,” Miller said in a statement. “It makes no sense to create all these new exceptions just for Lisa Murkowski. I have said from the beginning, I want a fair election and I want the law followed. I don't think that is too much to ask."

This week, the elections division will also start counting absentee ballots, estimated to be between 8,600 to 8,800.

Murkowski on Monday returned to Washington, D.C. even as the battle for her Senate seat raged on thousands of miles away.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio 


Judge Denies Joe Miller’s Request to Halt Write-In Ballot Counting

Photo Courtesy - Joe Miller for US Senate(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) -- A federal court judge denied late Wednesday Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller's appeal to stop the counting of write-in ballots that were misspelled or incorrectly written.  Instead, the judge asked both the elections division and Miller’s campaign to file a response by next week.

Miller had filed a lawsuit Tuesday to keep the Alaska Elections Division from counting ballots that may be misspelled but that the division said it would accept if it clearly represented voter intent.

Election officials say that Miller’s campaign observers have been questioning many legitimate ballots, a charge his aides deny, according to local reports.

"Watching the application of the newly invented ‘voter intent’ standard has been troubling,” said Miller’s attorney John Tiemessen, who has been monitoring the ballot count in Juneau.  “We have seen first hand ballots 'put on hold' because the state employee could not figure out voter intent, but thought if they looked at the same ballot tomorrow or the next day, the ballot might be easier to understand. This is precisely the problem with having a state bureaucrat guess what a voter supposedly meant.”

Incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski has garnered about 98 percent of the write-in votes that have been counted thus far, but the elections division has a long ways to go.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Alaska Senate Hopeful Joe Miller Sues Over Write-in Ballots 

Photo Courtesy - Joe Miller for US Senate(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) -- Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller filed a lawsuit Tuesday night to block the elections division from counting write-in ballots with misspelled or incomplete names.

There were more than 92,500 votes cast for write-in candidates, which include incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski.  Write-ins received 40.2 percent of the vote, while Miller got 35.3 percent.

The Alaska Division of Elections maintains that as long as a ballot represents "voter intent," it will be counted.

Sarah Palin-backed Miller has argued against counting names that are misspelled or written incorrectly, and claimed in the lawsuit that the elections division unconstitutionally overrode legislative standards.

"It is our view that the state improperly deviated from the text of the statute, and is substituting a subjective 'voter intent' standard and essentially repealing the legislative objective standard sub silentio," said Miller's attorney Thomas Van Flein.

Miller's campaign has requested a hearing Wednesday.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


'Bring It On': Election Fight Far From Over in Alaska

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(JUNEAU, Alaska) -- Newly elected senators have begun charting out their future strategies, but the contested Alaska Senate race remains in limbo as candidates prepare for the beginning of what could be complicated legal challenges. The Alaska Division of Elections will begin counting more than 83,000 write-in ballots manually Wednesday, an arduous process that is taking heat even before it begins.

Write-in candidates, which included Sen. Lisa Murkowski, received 41 percent of the vote last Tuesday, with Republican candidate Joe Miller behind at 34 percent. Democrat Scott McAdams had 23.6 percent of the vote and conceded last Tuesday.

If a name is misspelled or written incorrectly, it may still be counted. The elections division will assess each ballot on a case-by-case basis, and elections division Director Gail Fenumiai cited a provision in the charter that says as long as the name on the write-in ballot represents voter intent, it can be counted.

But Miller's campaign has already expressed a number of concerns about ballot counts, including the location and timing. Miller's campaign also challenged the decision that voter intent is ample reasoning to count a ballot that does not have the candidate's correct spelling.

Murkowski herself is preparing for an outcome that is likely to be embroiled in legal battles. The incumbent senator, who pulled out all the stops days before the election, said Friday that her campaign had established the Alaska Protection Legal Fund to help pay for legal costs, and the campaign has "assembled a top-notch legal team to defend every Alaskan vote in this process."

If she wins, Murkowski will be the first write-in candidate in Alaska to have waged a successful campaign and only the second in the United States.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Republicans Have Given Up on Alaska GOP Candidate, Source Says

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Party leaders have essentially given up on Alaska’s Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller, a high-level GOP source tells ABC News, and are now banking on a victory by write-in candidate Lisa Murkowski as the best bet for Republicans to keep the Alaska Senate seat.

Murkowski defied party leaders by running a write-in campaign after she lost the Republican primary last month.  But with Miller's campaign faltering, the source says that Republican leaders are now worried that Democrat Scott McAdams has a shot of winning and that Murkowski may be the only way to stop him.

Appearing on ABC’s This Week with Christiane Amanpour, Sen. John Cornyn, the head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, denied that party leaders had given up on Miller.

"We are supporting the nominee of our party, which is Mr. Miller,” he said. “I think that polls are very close now between Senator Murkowski and Joe Miller, and what we want to make sure of is that the Democrat doesn't win."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Can Sarah Palin's Support Boost Joe Miller to Victory?

Photo Courtesy - Spencer Platt/Getty Images(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) -- As Alaska Senate candidate Joe Miller plunges in the polls, Sarah Palin re-engages in the hard-fought race as she tries to revive the momentum that helped Miller, a Tea Party favorite, win an upset victory over Sen. Lisa Murkowski in the primary.

Republican heavy-hitters and television stars join Palin and husband Todd Thursday at a Miller "Change D.C." rally in Anchorage. The rally coincides with the release of a new poll by the Hays Research Group that shows Miller trailing Murkowski, who is running as a write-in candidate, and Democratic challenger Scott McAdams. The poll found write-in candidates, which presumably includes Murkowski, with 34 percent of the vote; McAdams with 29 percent; and Miller with 23 percent.

In addition to the Palins, the rally will include video testimonials from such conservatives as Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. Actress Janine Turner, best known for her role on the Alaska-inspired "Northern Exposure," is also slated to attend.

While Palin's support gave Miller a boost in the Republican primary, she has kept a relatively low profile in her home state race. Until now, that is. Palin re-emerged this week, taking to Twitter and Facebook to defend Miller's record and to drum up support for his campaign.

The 2008 vice presidential nominee came to Miller's defense Wednesday after the release of records in which he'd admitted he'd lied about improperly using government computers while working as a attorney with the local government.

"Who's the real Joe Miller? Media obviously ignores GOP nominee's winning record, message & plan for AK to favor their Leftwinger chosen one," Palin posted on Twitter.

Following an Alaska Senate debate, Palin took to Facebook Monday to defend Miller's military record and attack the "gall" of Murkowski.

Palin accused Murkowski of contesting "the will of the people" by running as a write-in candidate after Miller's surprise primary victory.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Senator Murkowkski Gets Boost From Alaska Court Decision

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) -- In a significant victory for Sen. Lisa Murkowski, the Alaska Supreme Court decided Wednesday that voters can look at list of certified write-in candidates when they go to the polls.

Murkowski had campaigned hard to keep the lists in voting sites. After all, the incumbent senator’s name isn’t the easiest to spell, and the Division of Elections is divided on whether a misspelled name will actually count.

The state’s Democratic and Republican parties joined efforts to oppose the move. The Alaska Republican party had called it “inappropriate” and charged that it was “inherently unfair” to change the rules.

The ruling allows voters who need help remembering names of write-in candidates view a list before they vote. The list, however, does not include the candidate’s party affiliation. 

The issue erupted during early voting and gained even more momentum after a list of write-in candidates was posted at a voting location in Homer.

Murkowski and Republican candidate Joe Miller are in a tight race, and both campaigns are pulling out all stops just days before the election to boost their chances.

Thursday, Sarah Palin and her family will campaign for Miller in Anchorage, which will also feature – via video -- former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., and Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Palin Rally to Offer 'Northern Exposure' for Joe Miller

Photo Courtesy - Spencer Platt/Getty Images(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) -- Sarah Palin and her husband, Todd, are scheduled to headline an all-star rally in Anchorage Thursday for Senate hopeful and Tea Party favorite Joe Miller. On Wednesday, the former Alaska governor announced she will be joined by actress Janine Turner, best known for her role on the Alaska-inspired program “Northern Exposure.”

“Who's the real Joe Miller? Janine Turner & I provide Northern Exposure tomorrow night @ Anchorage rally 2 expose truth & ‘refudiate’ the bull,” Palin posted on twitter.

The “Change D.C.” rally will also include video testimonials from other conservative heavy hitters, including Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.

Although Palin’s support gave Miller a boost in the primary, she has recently kept a low profile in the Alaska Senate race. That changed on Monday, however, when Palin took to Facebook to defend Miller and attack the “gall” of his opponent, Senator Lisa Murkowski. Palin claimed Murkowski unfairly attacked Miller’s military record and accused Murkowski of contesting “the will of the people” by running as a write-in candidate after Miller’s surprise primary victory.

“I’ve seen some pretty ugly campaigning, and what they’re throwing at Joe right now is nasty. Joe’s opponents can’t run on the issues because they’re wrong on them – whether it’s repealing and de-funding Obamacare, fighting against cap-and-tax, protecting our borders, or pushing hard for responsible resource development. They can’t win in a fair fight on the issues, so they sling mud,” Palin wrote on Facebook.

Miller is also up against Democratic challenger Scott McAdams.

The 2008 vice-presidential candidate has been ramping up her public appearances in the countdown to next week’s midterm elections. Last week Palin joined the Tea Party Express in Phoenix and headlined an RNC fundraising rally in Orlando on Saturday.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Washington, California Senate Seats Now Toss-Ups

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- New polls out this week show Senate races in California and Washington tightening.  In Washington, a recent survey showed 18-year incumbent Democratic Sen. Patty Murray ahead of Republican Dino Rossi by just one point, 48 to 47 percent.  While two new polls in California show Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer, also elected in 1992, only slightly ahead and well under 50 percent.

Meanwhile, the race for the open Alaska senate seat is looking more unsettled.  New polling by CNN showed Republican Tea Party favorite Joe Miller tied with the woman he beat in the primary, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, at 37 percent.  Democrat Scott McAdams is at 23 percent.

Democrats now have 11 seats in serious jeopardy, either in a toss-up or leaning Republican, while Republicans have just one seat -- Kentucky -- in a toss-up, and none that lean Democratic.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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