Sunday, October 3, 2010

Joe the Teabagger's Worst Week Yet - Some Thoughts

No matter whether one believes Alaskans are even pollable, or deems me a "hack" for giving one pollster more creds than another, when none have ever figured this place out, Joe's numbers are not looking good.

Nor are Scott McAdams'. Nor are Lisa Murkowski's, except hers do appear to be going up. But not enough for her to keep from going very negative in October.

More attention needs to be given to Murkowski's failings.

She was a better U.S. Senator than her father the minute she took her coat off in his old office, but that simply hasn't been good enough in too many areas. Her attempt to block the raising of the liability cap on offshore oil drillers from $75 million to a higher figure this spring, in the wake of the BP Gulf of Mexico disaster was a move so pathetic, it spurred Scott McAdams to sign on to the vacant race.

I had earlier attempted to get Shannyn Moore to enter it.

The scrutiny of Miller is just beginning, but the amount of stuff coming out this past week has been enough to keep a lot of investigative reporters very busy. It isn't so much that Miller is corrupt like politicians who have had power come to be. It is more that a guy who purports to be the solution to fixing the problems in government, and claims to want to reduce its size, is increasingly being shown to be unfit for such a daunting task.

Morally, ethically and emotionally.

Let's take them in reverse order:

The Tweets: He blames them on a staffer, but I don't believe him. Do you? A lot of other people don't too, so we aren't alone.

But even if he didn't tweet as he was wrecking three cars in Fairbanks, during his morning of excitement over beating Lisa; or didn't tweet as he probably had a few too many in DC, after being told again and again, "See you in three months, Joe!" by powerful DC lobbyists, there are emotional problems:

For the second time, he is blaming obnoxious tweets on a campaign volunteer. Which is worse, if Miller actually did the cocky tweeting himself, or if after the first Twitter fiasco he again entrusted his Twitter account to a volunteer?

Could his emotional problems have something to do with his yet unreleased DD-214?

His ethical problems are escalating rapidly. His website claims:

Miller was appointed an Acting State District Court Judge and, shortly thereafter, U.S. Magistrate Judge in Fairbanks. Again, he had the distinction of being the youngest then serving in that federal position, not only in the state, but also in the entire nation. He was also the only judge in the United States, at that time, serving at both the federal and state levels simultaneously.

Whether or not he can actually claim he was a "judge" in a sense worthy of the title hasn't been lost on Alaskans who have lived in towns the size of Tok, where his work wasn't exactly praised. I called my magistrate in Whittier "Jackie." She would have bridled at having been called a judge, never used it in her later resumes. The same with other small town magistrates I've known.

And none of them hired their wife or husband to work for them, and then had to let their spouse go, for which Miller's wife went on to collect state unemployment insurance.

The ethical questions begging to be answered from what has to be an intentional non-filing of his personal finance disclosure in April, his fudging the line or blatant breaking of the law in the hunting permit and house financing issues, are ethical problems of the highest order when it comes to candidates seeking office at the state level.

He is failing. He will be flailing by the middle of October.

Morally, the Joe Miller package is reminiscent of the John Lindauer fiasco in some ways, different in others. Lindauer went down mostly because of one huge, illegal loan from his wife. There were other issues, but he flamed quite rapidly, and earlier in the race.

Miller's campaign financing isn't the moral issue, though. His connection to the same people who sought to elevate Lindauer is, though. Lindauer was, and Joe Miller is, like Fairbanks Rep. David Guttenberg's characterization of Joe:

He clearly cares nothing about the lives of Alaskans just about this constitutional double talk. If I was a Tea Party supporter, I would worry about this guy being my champion. I believe he is a career wanna-be big high mucky muck, who wants to be in charge of your life.

I predict that when Joe loses, he will soon leave Alaska, as did Lindauer. Should Lisa lose, her greatest income potential is probably out-of-state, and I predict that a loss would send her down below, into a legal firm on K Street.

Win or lose, though, Scott is here to stay - for you, for me, for his family, and for Alaskans.


Anonymous said...

Hey Phil, did you catch Medred's latest piece about Newslebrity ?

Do you think he had you and the gang (shannon, devon, zaki, et al) in mind when he wrote it ?

Watch those fingers !

Anonymous said...

Phil, you are dead on about the DD214. The only reason to hide it is because of the type of discharge received. I suspect it was a mental health discharge, or otherwise reflects that our Mr. Miller was "not fit for service". Keep pushing this issue...the voters have a right to know.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Phil, for keeping up the accurate and thoughtful analysis. Alaskans need to know. Our future very much depends on it. McAdams is the one person in the senate race that is clearly in it for all the right reasons. He did a good job in the Begich/McAdams telephonic town hall meeting tonight.

Anonymous said...

Vote McAdams. Murky is a princess, not a senator.

Anonymous said...

Good info. I knew he had hired his wife but didn't know she collected unemployment which he has railed against. Then there's the missing disclosure & the DD214 and they ARE connected. He is not going to release it till the last day, I bet so I guess I'll speculate & have him prove it ain't so! I'll try letters to the ed ADN. Thanks again for the good info. AlaskaSundog

Philip Munger said...

anon @ 8:03 pm -

Craig takes a dig at Jeanne Devon, but the staff at the Dispatch has been doing that in several articles now. It IS getting a bit cheap, though.

Overall, it is an interesting article. It seems he's lamenting his own situation at last as much as he's complaining about the work or hasty work of others. At the ADN, and now at the Dispatch, Craig has always generated more column inches than anyone else on staff. That's part of why the Dispatch jumped at hiring him when the sugar mommy showed up.

Although Craig has obviously relished the opportunity to escape from the sports-outdoors-soft environmental issue niche he had at the ADN, he still continually harps back to some of his old memes, like irrational distrust of the Cordova-based fishing fleet, or their exponents such as Riki Ott and Rick Steiner, for instance.

Mostly, his article strikes me as an appeal to his new employer to let him do more of the work he respects in others - deeper reporting with less time constraints for a finished product. Craig needs to realize that he will never be a Richard Mauer, Tom Kizzia, Charles Wohlforth or George Bryson, though.

I suspect he agreed to diss Jeannie in return for being allowed more time to do a big project. I doubt Amanda will let him get around to it until after the November election, though.

KaJo said...

I was so impressed with your summary of Joe the Miller, Phil, that I Tweeted this today:

KaJo503 Karen J
Progressive Alaska: @JoeWMiller the Teabagger's Worst Week Yet - Some Thoughts… Best write-up yet - by AK's Phil Munger
38 minutes ago

I have to admit (also admittedly an Outsider's POV), the Alaska Dispatch can be a bit schizophrenic, sometimes.

(ha, ha, my Word Verification is "urrateem")