Friday, October 8, 2010

The First Three-Candidate U.S. Senate Debate - On Alaska Native Issues

I. Thursday afternoon, the Alaska Native Professional Association presented the first three-candidate debate in the high-profile U.S. Senate race. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Sitka Mayor Scott McAdams and Fairbanks divorce attorney Joie Miller answered questions on subsistence, Alaska's rural economy, education for natives, the high rate of suicide in the Alaska bush, and the role of Alaska Native corporations in the Federal 8(a) program.

From looking at photographs of the event, and at KTUU TV's video, it appears that a few people made videos of the entire debate. News stories on the event have been filed by Kyle Hopkins of the Anchorage Daily News, Becky Bohrer of the Associated Press, and Rhonda McBride at KTUU TV. Here's the video of McBride's report:

Comments at the ADN story now number over 260. Like almost any prominent story at the ADN on Native issues, a startlingly high percentage of the comments are racist:

he [Scott McAdams] looks native to me, fat and diseased with ego


if you don't make enough money, move to town and get a better job. where do you suppose these "poor" people get their beans, rice, cereal,etc? that's right, the STORE. get over yourself

If you don't like OUR government then truly go back to living YOUR way of life, without jeans, snow machines, or Vodka.. Oh and did you just collect a PFD? "white man's" money does you no good in YOUR way of life


when and where will the white peoples forum be held to address our concerns?

to which the inevitable response was:

You missed the tea party gathering?

II. The Alaska Dispatch will be hosting another candidate forum, a week from Monday, at the Snow Goose, where they have a small theater room that seats about 140. Yesterday Scott Woodham wrote an op-ed about the interesting fact that the Dispatch has been after Miller to accept an invitation since right after the primary. Not only has Miller not yet accepted, he's getting evasive:

More recently, Alaska Dispatch's Amanda Coyne invited your candidate to our debate directly Sept. 29 when he called in to The Dan Fagan Radio Show on KFQD-750 AM. He seemed interested, but his campaign has still declined to provide a solid answer since then. We are concerned enough that Miller might have to decline Alaska Dispatch's debate invitation, but we're even more concerned about the lack of a clear answer. Planning any event is difficult, especially one that so many Alaskans -- we're expecting somewhere in the neighborhood of a few thousand -- will be watching in person and on the Internet.

Alaska Dispatch has gone to great lengths to offer accommodations to fit your candidate's schedule (if indeed there's a scheduling conflict, the outlet still doesn't know about it). The editors have proposed solutions, like a Skype call or a previously taped video interview that could be played before the audience at the event itself. No doubt those options aren't ideal, but Alaska Dispatch has made every effort to make sure your candidate and his views are represented. Its readers expect no less.

Miller is no doubt aware that the publisher of the Alaska Dispatch is multibillionaire Alice Rogoff, who has donated the maximum to Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Hopefully, though Miller will have as much courage to show up at what might not be a very friendly venue. After all, yesterday's debate was held at the very, very fundamentalist Changepoint Church, where the very, very fundamentalist Miller did show up.

I missed yesterday's debate. I hope to see all three candidates at the Dispatch's event on October 18th.


Keanu said...

Hey if Miller won't show up how about forwarding this video to him and request the bat sht crazy lady married to his campaign manager take on MURKOWSKI face to epic & a lot more fun over Miller's fugly beard on stage trying to find the sunlight.

clark said...

i'm guessing joe's a no-show on that one.

womanwithsardinecan said...

It's sad that there are so many idiots and racists in Alaska. I'm just about ready to write you guys off. If Miller gets elected, I will disown Alaska. You guys already had your big stupid Palin mistake. Makes me glad I don't live there anymore.

Anonymous said...

One might recall that Sarah Palin snubbed the opening of the Rogoff-backed Alaska House in New York City. (I think Todd put in a brief appearance, could be wrong.)

If Miller shows up at anything Rogoff-Murkowski related, I figure he best plan to butter his toast on the non-Palin side from here on out.


Philip Munger said...


you're correct. If you google "images of alice rogoff and todd palin," there are a few from the event. sarah was not there.

Anonymous said...

Am watching the whole debate here:
(loved the comment to ignore idiotic ads and enjoy the show)

Am absolutely disgusted with so many of the comments at the ADN story- to stay purposefully ignorant of the law in relation to Alaska natives and demean, deny, and ignore issues of race, culture, and class seems to be the order of the day for a vocal segment of Alaskans.
Here's hoping we can drown them out and move on to better understandings and activities.
Mr Miller sure missed the boat with his "punch the time clock " part of his family and jobs message...
wonder if he realizes that...?

Anonymous said...

Miller is a Divorce Lawyer and a Fundamentalist?Somewhat Hypocritical isn't it? Or do they endorse Divorce?

Anonymous said...

I'm for McAdams, but how does one explain the photo that makes him look like Friar Tuck?