Monday, candidate Miller released a batch of documents showing he had left his Fairbanks City Attorney job under less of a cloud than had been suspected by many. This comes as the Tea Party Express has sent chairwoman Amy Kremer to Alaska to seriously put the upset of Murkowski onto the front burner here in Alaska, and nationwide:
Kremer and other Tea Party Express leaders were in Anchorage to talk about their support for Miller's Republican primary campaign against U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski. The California-based group said the Miller-Murkowski race would be its "singular focus" between now and the Aug. 24 primary, and that it will do whatever it takes for him to win.
"You're going to see several hundred thousand dollars spent on this race in television, in radio, in get-out-the-vote efforts," said Bryan Shroyer, the political director for the Tea Party Express.
"Though the media has tried to portray some sort of feud or bad blood between Lisa and myself, such is not the case," Palin wrote. "I've always wished her well, but it is my firm belief that we need a bold reformer who is not afraid to stand up to special interests and take on the tough challenges of our time."
A Palin aide said that the former Alaska governor may do an event for Miller down the line, although nothing is currently planned.
While Palin sought to downplay the idea of any ill will between the two families, it is extremely uncommon for a governor (or former governor) to endorse against an incumbent in a primary fight -- unless that incumbent is scandal-plagued or unelectable. Murkowski is neither.
This episode also fits neatly into a running storyline about the feud between the two families.
Palin defeated Murkowki's father, then-Gov. Frank Murkowski (R), in the 2006 gubernatorial primary; she also backed Lisa Murkowski's 2004 primary challenger, Mike Miller.
The Tea Party Express has made a $100,000.00 Miller ad buy, which will go a long way in Alaska's radio-TV market, with very few outlets.
Palin has a lot of local prestige riding on whether her pick wins in her home state. A loss of her buddy Miller could become a very big national story. Additionally, the local media has been covering Tea Party Express racism. Yesterday, in her Miller support appearance, Kremer was asked about Tea Party Express luminary Mark Williams' racist blog posts:
Tea Party Express chairwoman Amy Kremer, in Anchorage Monday to support Joe Miller's campaign for U.S. Senate, would not condemn her group's spokesman, Mark Williams, after his "controversial blog post about what he called "Colored People." Kremer said the post was wrong but the Tea Party Express isn't dumping him.
Hopefully, more attention will begin to come Scott McAdams' way. I've had two detailed talks with Scott in the past month. He is a fully pragmatic progressive. He is quickly transforming Sitka, one of the most beautiful little cities in Alaska, into a blue island in the Southeast Alaska political archipelago. Should Joe Miller win the GOP primary, McAdams will be attractive to the plurality of Alaskans who are registered as non-partisan or independent.
McAdams gives a dynamic stump speech that resonates powerfully in Alaska's coastal communities. He was inspired to run, back in late May, when Murkowski jumped to defend BP, and attempted to stop legislation raising the cap on spill liability from $75 million to a more realistic amount. Then Lisa attacked the EPA and its authority over clean air and clean water.
The most detailed interview with Scott yet, was by the blog The Mudflats, on June 2nd. It is certainly worth a read, and after digesting Scott's grasp of detail, you might consider donating to his campaign at ActBlue.
Here's Scott, writing about the spill liability cap in a context that looks at the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska's rural lifestyles and cultures, all in one sweep:
I don’t think $75 million dollars as far as a liability cap even pays to commemorate a spill with a memorial, let alone mitigate a spill. So, obviously I think that a $10 billion cap, if there’s $20 billion in damage that is done, then the liability needs to be covered. You can’t go in and do a contracting job, you can’t go in and build a building without a certain amount of bonding ability to be able to cover the liability. This business of keeping the cap low so that smaller oil producers can go in and explore is a very dangerous way of looking at the world, because if we’re going to allow people to come in and wildcat in our back yard and they don’t have the means to even begin to pay for a mistake…. Would you allow a contractor into your house to retile your bathroom if you didn’t think if that person cracks six of the tiles that they couldn’t afford to replace them? Of course you wouldn’t.
So why would we open up our subsistence way of life to that? What’s the value of the Inupiat culture? What’s the value of the Chu’pik the Yup’ik, the Siberian Yup’ik cultures? What’s the monetary value of the Alutiiq and others who are still facing the devastation of the Exxon Valdez oil spill? Is there a liability cap? This is critically important. This is one of the reasons I’m in this race, because I am from coastal Alaska. I learned to read, write, reason and work in a town where 85 cents on the dollar comes from commercial fishing. So, when I see a billion dollar commercial fishery, and a $750 million charter industry in Louisiana, facing peril… When I see the city of New Orleans with one of the biggest sectors in their economy being tourism, and their tourism ties right back into their cuisine and their culture as a sea port, $10 billion can’t even begin to pay down the loss. $75 million is an insult.
McAdams is an excellent public speaker. His physical presence - Scott is about 6'5" tall - is almost overwhelming, especially as he so outwardly projects a sense of curiosity, intelligence and goodwill.
Palin can't afford to lose to Lisa Murkowski. With your help, Scott McAdams can't fail to beat Joe Miller in November.