Did Lisa Murkowski Finally Go Too Far?

An interview with Alaska conservative and former Murkowski challenger Joe Miller.

In this Feb. 15, 2018, file photo, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, left, are shown during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington. The Senate battle over Donald Trump's new Supreme Court nominee is off to a fiery start - even before the president makes his choice. Republican and Democratic leaders traded accusations and barbed comments Thursday on the new vacancy, abortion and the debate to come. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

By John Zmirak Published on October 11, 2018

In light of Senator Lisa Murkowski’s (R-Alaska) refusal to support Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court, The Stream decided to interview an Alaskan conservative leader. Joe Miller is a radio host and businessman, who defeated Murkowski in the 2010 Republican primary. She subsequently won election anyway in a write-in campaign.


Were you surprised by Lisa Murkowski’s decision to vote with the Democrats?

Sen. Murkowski’s vote against Brett Kavanaugh didn’t surprise me at all. The reason I decided to challenge her in 2010 is because she sided with Senate Democrats more than any Republican up for re-election.

On key issues — including the right to life and the need to repeal Obamacare — it was clear to me she did not stand with the GOP party platform. Her Senate votes since then have borne that out. Now, she could not even offer her consent to a fairly mainstream jurist nominated by a GOP president. A man who garnered support from the vast majority of Republicans. I know Alaskans are very disappointed with and embarrassed by her decision.

What do you think of her stated reasons — Kavanaugh’s so-called “temperament”? Murkowski pointed to his anger evidenced when defending himself from ludicrous charges of being a serial gang rapist in high school.

That’s ridiculous. On the one hand, Murkowski stated that the judge “is a good man,” but on the other she strongly implied moral failings. But consistency is not one of her strong suits. Nor has she ever been known for her eloquence or logic.


Joe Miller, GOP nominee for US Senate from Alaska, 2010

Remind us how Murkowski got into the Senate, please.

Her father, Frank Murkowski, appointed her to his seat once he was elected governor of Alaska. He once introduced her to voters with: “Pay tribute to Caesar!”

A Snowy White RINO

How out of step are her positions with those of the rest of the GOP? With Alaskans? On which issues is she most out of step?

Murkowski does not represent average Alaskans, although she does represent some very powerful interests in the state. Her big-spending, pro-abortion, and internationalist positions are not consistent with what most Alaskans expect from their senator. For more, check out some of these YouTube videos documenting this fact.

How is it that a state as apparently conservative as Alaska keeps re-electing her?

Fraud is a major issue in Alaska. We still use one of the Diebold electronic voting machines that has been banned in several lower 48 states. Ballots can easily be manipulated at the precinct level, as they were across the state in 2010. We proved an unprecedented level of fraud in that election, and had strong circumstantial evidence of it in 2016. Even with the fraud-laced voting system in Alaska, Murkowski has never been elected by a majority of the vote.

I know Alaskans are very disappointed and embarrassed.


Democratic leaders and donors are promising to punish their own candidates if they support Kavanaugh. Should the GOP do that to Murkowski, given how crucial this vote is?

Murkowski is owned by the Establishment. My guess is she had “permission” to cast her vote as she did. But even if she didn’t, Murkowski will never be significantly penalized for breaking the rules. For example, when she lost the GOP primary, then broke her word and ran against me in the 2010 general, the only GOP senator in 2010 who voted to strip her of leadership was Jim DeMint.

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It’s four years before Murkowski needs to run for re-election. What are the chances of a conservative Republican emerging to challenge her in the primaries? Sarah Palin has Tweeted about it. Would that be plausible to you? Anyone else?

I do not believe any mainstream Republican will emerge to challenge Murkowski — except, perhaps, in an attempt to split the primary vote so as to assure her victory. Nor have I heard from any conservative, including my friend Sarah Palin, that he or she is planning on challenging Murkowski.


Are you considering running again?

I have been asked by numerous individuals to run again. Surprisingly, quite a few past Murkowski voters have contacted me, also asking me to run and offering their unequivocal support for 2022. (See some of their comments here.) However, with eight children, six grandkids (and another due this week!), as well as a busy law practice and other active businesses, a run is not an attractive proposition to me at this time. Given my past candidacies, I recognize the real cost to family and finances. But I also will not turn away if called to do it. Kathleen and I continue to pray about next steps and ask that your readers do the same.

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  • Jfolk

    It is disturbing that Joe Miller believes no one will challenge Lisa Murkowski. I cannot think of a better reason for term limits.

    • Chip Crawford

      Once the GOP powers up, they can just blow past old Lily livered Lisa; she won’t matter any more – de trop. Maybe her state and the local hopefuls will notice.

  • Brien

    Fyi, AL is Alabama, AK is Alaska. Should correct the first line of the story. Thanks for your good work, John!

  • Chip Crawford

    You know, these wishy-washy Repubs or Rinos, I guess is the designation — they remind me of the scripture about being hot or cold, but if one is lukewarm, well, they get spewed … Even if the Senate stayed close with its bare majority, the quality of the ones coming in – positive speak here – will make the difference. Rather than hear whining from Flake and then Corker’s hand wringing every time anything is said or almost happens — how about a robust Rick Scott and spunky Marsha Blackburn for starters. Certainly, by now, who is not sick of Murkowski’s hesitations and uncertainties and hedged bets every single time. The same could be said for Susan Collins, though she did redeem herself temporarily at least with the speech (which is imperfect by the way, with her giving moderate interpretation to then Judge Kanavaugh’s rulings). Though far less worthy than scripture, an apt saying comes to mind about all these wet noodles: “Lead, follow or get out of the way.” Make way for your heartier brothers and sisters. who have been eating their Wheaties and working out. But I think we’ll get quality AND quantity. Come on in Rick and Marsha, on-fire newbies. Come on in! Bring your zeal and your kick boxing too. Then, just think a flash right now, but about the house cleaning likely to be done around the Justice Dept. especially. HEY! Let’s get this team strong, on its feet and in place, and then finally, move on past that Dimcrud JV team that’s daunting them all now.

  • Willam Nat

    Her father appointed her to his seat!!!
    The fact that she agreed to this is a great reason NEVER EVER to vote for her.

  • I well remember her write in vote scam. As I recall, write ins have to spell the name correctly, which they didn’t, but were counted anyway. The fix was in.
    I do so hope she will be challenged by a strong conservative. She has hurt the entire nation with her voting record and will continuw to do so.

    • Baronsamedi1925

      I don’t see that as a problem because they could appoint another conservative candidate for the court.And since when is being politically independent a bad thing. I would rather have a candidate who thinks for themselves than have someone who is a party puppet

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