Do you ever get the feeling that Tea Party Republicans see the phrase “Ignorance Is Bliss” as a Mission Statement?


Alaska's Joe Miller Has Some Splainin' To Do!

The Palin Pick!
Joe Miller calls news conference after media probes his employment history- Fairbanks Daily News Miner
by Rod Boyce /

FAIRBANKS — Republican U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller has scheduled a news conference for 11 a.m. today at his Anchorage campaign headquarters to discuss issues arising from his previous employment as an attorney with the Fairbanks North Star Borough. Oct. 13, 2010 Updates Included
His campaign has been beset by questions about the end of his employment and about whether he inappropriately used borough equipment for partisan political activity.

Several media outlets, including the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, have made multiple public records requests of the borough regarding Miller’s employment and his activities while working as a part-time attorney from 2002 to 2009. The borough has said it can only release a limited amount of material because Miller has declined to sign a broad release that would free the borough to disclose and discuss more material, including his personnel file.

Miller spokesman Randy DeSoto late Sunday declined to answer a general question about whether Miller had used borough equipment for partisan political activity. And he declined to answer a specific question about whether Miller used borough equipment in an attempt to unseat Randy Ruedrich as Republican Party chairman in 2008. Miller, a regional Republican Party chairman at the time, was a vocal leader in the effort to remove Ruedrich.

“The purpose of the press conference is to address his employment at the borough, including the records request,” DeSoto said. “You may anticipate that other issues will be covered as well.”

Miller, in an Oct. 4 meeting with the Daily News-Miner editorial board that touched primarily on his policy positions, did say that Alaskans should have information about him.

“… if I make a mistake, I’m going to admit it,” he said. “And I don’t care whether it’s on a position that I’ve taken or whether it’s a decision or an action that I took as a private citizen, I think that Alaskans are entitled to know. I think that Alaskans also are entitled to understand that I’m not perfect, I’m a smart guy but I’m also not a perfect guy.”

Some information about Miller’s activities can be gleaned from information the borough released in July in response to public records requests from the Daily News-Miner and others about Miller’s employment at the borough. The borough released 148 pages of documents and also provided a 16-page log that listed documents that could be released and those that could not — and why the borough believed they could not be released.

The timing of some items listed on the 16-page log have led to questions being asked of Miller and to more records requests of the borough.

On that list are several entries that coincide with dates just before and during the 2008 convention of the Republican Party of Alaska. The convention was held March 13-15, 2008, in Anchorage.

The borough’s July list of documents mentions statements from four unnamed employees — one statement from March 12 and the three others on March 13. The employees are referred to simply as “employee 1,” “employee 2,” “employee 3” and “employee 4.” The list also includes Internet activity reports for four employees — identified in the same manner — for the time period of 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. March 12, 2008, the day before the start of the GOP convention. The list does not indicate the contents of those employee statements or of the Internet activity reports. The Daily News-Miner is seeking access to that and other material in possession of the borough.

There is also a listing for “hand notes” by borough human resources director Sallie Stuvek regarding “web reports w/Steve,” who is identified elsewhere in the listing as Steve Smith, who was with the borough’s computer services division at the time.

Also listed in regard to Miller are three March 13 e-mails from Smith to both Stuvek and assistant borough attorney Jill Dolan and a March 12 e-mail exchange between Dolan and borough attorney Rene Broker, Miller’s supervisor. Other e-mails related to Miller are also listed in that time frame, as is a memo from Dolan to Miller.

The borough maintains that those and other documents cannot be made public without a release from Miller or a court order.

Miller and Ruedrich

Miller’s effort to oust Ruedrich ultimately failed. Then-Gov. Sarah Palin, who has endorsed Miller in his U.S. Senate campaign, also wanted Ruedrich removed as head of the party. She urged, during her convention speech, that delegates stand up if they wanted change. She said in interview during the convention that leaders need to “recognize voter dissatisfaction within the party and outside the party.”

Miller, upon the failure to remove Ruedrich, said at the time that the result would cause him to leave the Republican Party, which he did in April, switching his registration to “nonpartisan.” He reregistered as a Republican a year and a half later.

The effort to boot Ruedrich wasn’t secret.

On Friday, March 7 — six days before the opening of the party’s convention — Miller mailed fliers asking delegates to back a rules change that would elevate party Vice Chairman Cathy Giessel to the top spot. Miller, according to a news account of the time, said a two-thirds vote of those attending was needed in order for the rules to be suspended so Ruedrich could be ousted.

Miller, as a regional Republican chairman, was overseeing seven Interior districts.

“My assessment, based on conversations and reports that districts have given me, is there is overwhelming support for his resignation, and if that doesn’t happen, then his forced removal,” Miller was quoted at the time as saying.

Miller said the party needed to be revitalized following the federal convictions of three former Republican lawmakers on corruption charges. He said the party needed to be led by someone who supported then-Gov. Sarah Palin, who had been at odds for some time with Ruedrich, who was elected chairman in 2000.

Palin had a previous high-profile run-in with Ruedrich when the two served on the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. Palin exposed unethical behavior by Ruedrich, who admitted to leaking a confidential memo to an energy company lobbyist and to conducting partisan political activity from his state office. Ruedrich was fined $12,000 for the ethics violations.

Miller needed to round up 270 votes — two-thirds of the convention delegates — in order to suspend the rules so a simple-majority vote could be taken to remove Ruedrich as party chairman. He fell far short.

Borough employment

Miller’s separation from borough employment also has been an issue. Media outlets, including the Daily News-Miner, filed records requests with the borough once Miller became a candidate for U.S. Senate. The requests sought information about Miller’s performance as an attorney and about the circumstances of the end of his employment in August 2009.

Miller, on July 15 of this year, just days before the borough was to release documents, made public a copy of the August 2009 resignation letter he sent to Broker, the borough attorney. In the letter, Miller said Broker twice asked him to take actions he believed were inappropriate and might have created a conflict of interest with another case on which he was working.

He also said he was displeased that Broker canceled his pre-approved leave for an elk hunting trip with his sons. And he added that he and Broker had “significant differences of opinion” regarding a taxation dispute involving North Haven Communities, a semi-private housing manager on Fort Wainwright.

Miller also released a 2004 letter from Broker to the Alaska Judicial Council Conference praising Miller’s work for the borough. Miller was seeking a job with the Alaska Superior Court.

The borough on July 19 released 148 pages of documents that contained material it determined was public and therefore releasable, but much other information on the documents was blacked out.

Miller did not sign a form allowing the borough to release the contents of his personnel file. Because of that, borough attorneys argue, the borough cannot disclose information about Miller’s eligibility to be rehired by the borough.

Miller has maintained that he cannot talk about his reasons for resigning from the borough until the borough releases him from attorney-client privilege. The borough last week sent a letter to Miller’s attorney asking Miller to retract statements that it is the borough that is holding up the release of his records.

Contact Rod Boyce at 459-7585.

Love these Questions by -Gryphen so had to add them-Mem

Well I certainly hope "other issues will be covered as well" because the voters of this state have a lot of questions.

Such as:

"Why did you only serve three years of active duty after leaving West Point when the requirement is five years of service?"

"You told Phil Munger that you were a seriously disabled veteran.  What is the nature of your disability and do you collect disability compensation from the military?"

"You have advocated cutting federal spending which includes having Alaska refuse federal dollars.  Since one third of our economy is based on those federal dollars how would you replace them?  And are you considering reinstituting state income taxes, which we currently do not pay, to cover that loss?"

"And finally how do you get your beard length to say halfway between pre-adolescent teenage boy and a real Alaskan man's facial hair?  Do you suffer from a hormonal imbalance perhaps?  Or is THAT the 'serious disability' that you told Phil about?"

So these are just a few of the question that I am hoping reporters will ask at this press conference. 

What do you think the chances are that they will get asked?

Yeah you are right, probably not very good.

Oh hell then I guess I am going!

Save me a seat butt-boy!

Get update and see video's here  Oct. 12, 2010

Oct. 13, 2010 Update:
Internal Emails Reveal Joe Miller Campaign Distancing Itself from Tea Party
The Mudflats

Sorry, Tea Party Sugar Daddy. Looks like your sweetie really isn’t that in to you.  Now, don’t get me wrong, he doesn’t mind spending your money like a drunken sailor trying to stumble his way into the halls of the nation’s capitol, but to be seen with you in public? Well, frankly he thinks you’re just a little embarrassing.
There is no question that Alaska Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller has been treated like a king by the Tea Party Express.  Last June, he received their full endorsement.  He was a long shot back then.  He had never once been elected to public office, and nobody had ever heard of him.   But his personal friends Todd and Sarah Palin had given him an endorsement, and that alone made ‘Joe the Longshot’ worth a second look for the Tea Party.  And look they did.
The Tea Party Express said it’s willing to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to help Miller, a Fairbanks attorney and self-styled “constitutional conservative” who is making his first statewide run for public office.
Spokesman for the TPE, Levi Russell said that significant financial investment in Miller’s candidacy would help to level the playing field in the uphill battle against establishment incumbent Republican Lisa Murkowski, noting that many voters didn’t even know who Joe Miller was.
A poll by Ivan Moore Research done in mid-July showed that among likely Republican voters, Murkowski dominated the race 62% to 30% – more than two to one.  Almost immediately after the poll, the Tea Party money started to kick in. The group spent about $600,000 for Miller’s primary effort, with an unbelievable $314,000 coming in just the final week. Our Country Deserves Better PAC (Tea Party Express) also organized a nationwide money bomb, raising $156,000 just four days before the election.  Additional monetary support spurred on by entreaties from Sarah and Todd Palin sealed the financial deal.
[Chart from}
In a media market where a radio ad costs $10, and three spots on CNN are $100, Tea Party candidate Joe Miller owned the airwaves of radio and TV, and surged more than 25 points in just three weeks.
After a nail-biter of a race, and days of counting absentee and contested ballots, it became clear that Murkowski had no chance of victory and she conceded the race.  Amy Kremer, Chairman of the Tea Party Express announced, “Tonight Senator Lisa Murkowski conceded the race for U.S. Senate to Conservative Republican Joe Miller. We here at the Tea Party Express couldn’t be more excited.  We congratulate Joe Miller on winning the political shocker of the year."

~Joe Miller, Bernadette Wilson Campaign Manager for "Yes on 2," and campaign volunteers celebrate Primary night victory (photo by Zach Roberts)
So, how did this unknown candidate who has never held political office in his life end up knocking the Murkowski dynasty out of the primary race?  In addition to the presence of Ballot Proposition 2 regarding parental notification for abortion (which drew out masses of conservative voters), nobody will dispute that the victory had more than a little to do with the unexpected generosity of the Tea Party Express, brought to bear at the urging of Sarah Palin.
Last week, an internal email obtained by The Mudflats revealed that in exchange for Palin’s endorsement of Miller, a reciprocal nod was expected, and fireworks ensued when it didn’t come.  Miller, in a clear effort to distance himself from Palin, (whose approval rating in the state of Alaska are currently lower than Barack Obama’s) refused to state directly that he thought Sarah Palin was qualified to be President.  In return, Todd Palin blasted him with an angry email in which he said, “Joe, please explain how this endorsement stuff works, is it to be completely one-sided.” Todd Palin then told Miller that a fundraising post on Facebook that Sarah Palin had been working on would not be sent, in retribution for Miller’s less than enthusiastic support.
Following that story’s revelation, another internal email was also obtained by The Mudflats. Emails from this source reveal that Joe Miller’s campaign is not only distancing itself from Palin despite her support, but is attempting to distance itself, at least publicly, from the Tea Party Express itself.
The email exchange is between Miller’s campaign Fundraising Chairman, Seth Church and Campaign Manager, Robert Campbell.  In the email, dated September 18, 2010, Church asks Campbell for suggested edits for a piece written for the campaign.  Campbell returns the email telling Church, “We’re not the Tea Party candidate, so avoid that language…”
[.pdf of email]
This distancing, in which Miller’s Campaign Manager states specifically that he is “not the Tea Party candidate” and asks that Tea Party references not be used by the campaign, comes despite the staggering financial commitment, and clear positive effect that Tea Party money had for Miller’s candidacy. The support ultimately lead Miller from complete obscurity to primary victory over a tough incumbent opponent.
The Tea Party Express, as recently as October 4, sent a delegation to Alaska to hold a fund raising telethon on conservative station KBYR, described as a “rally over the airwaves” for Miller. The event, targeting the loser of the Republican primary Lisa Murkowski who has since launced a write-in campaign was titled “No Means No, Lisa” and raised $30,000 in two hours for Miller’s campaign. Group leaders said they were willing to do “whatever it takes” to see that Miller was elected.

Tea Party Express representatives come to AK to raise money for Joe Miller. (Photo by Rishi Maharaj, Acting Prog. Dir. KBYR radio)
Despite their continued support, the message from the very top of the Miller campaign seems to be clear.  Keep Miller’s name away from the Tea Party. Just as with Palin, the Miller campaign seems happy to take the money and the success it brings, but they shun the controversial association in public, undoubtedly fearing the “extremist” label.  Joe Miller loves being at the dance, but won’t save a waltz for the ones that brought him.  I wonder if the Tea Party Express will want their money back.

*Blogger has a glitch so if you use the FB share button it will bring up the wrong text for the post. Just double click on text, delete it and leave blank or copy and paste small snippet from article, click share. -Mem

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