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Alaska senate race

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  • 1. The Alaskan Senate Race Republicans, Democrats, and Tea Parties, Oh My
  • 2. Joe Miller (R)
    • Tea Party Candidate
    • Grew up in Kansas, West Point and Yale Law before moved to Alaska
    • State Magistrate at Age 30, U.S. Magistrate Judge in Fairbanks
    • Ran for State Representative in 2004, where he got 48% of the vote
    • 2010 – runs for Senate and defeats incumbent Lisa Murkowski in the primary.
    • Endorsed by Sarah Palin, Tea Party Express PAC, Mike Huckabee, Right for Life PAC, Club for Growth
  • 3. Lisa Murkowski (R-Incumbent)
    • Incumbent Republican
    • Daughter of former Alaska Senator Frank Murkowski
    • Georgetown, Willamette University Law
    • Elected to Alaska House of Representatives in 1998
    • Appointed to U.S. Senate in 2003 by her father
    • Served as Ranking Member of Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
    • Narrowly lost 2010 Republican Primary to Miller, 51%-49%
    • Announced a write-in campaign
  • 4. Scott McAdams (D)
    • Born in Petersburg, Alaska
    • Graduated from Sheldon Jackson College
    • Worked on a commercial fishing vessel, and then as a high school football coach in Sitka
    • Served on Sitka School Board for 6 years
    • Elected Mayor of Sitka in 2008
    • Beat out Jacob Seth Kern and Frank Vondersaar to win the Democratic nomination in August
  • 5. Alaska
    • Entered the Union on January 3 rd , 1959 (49 th State)
    • Largest state in land area with 586,412 square miles (more than double the 2 nd largest state, Texas)
    • Population 698,473 – least densely populated state in U.S.
    • Largely rural, but half of population lives in Anchorage area
    • Biggest cities include Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, Sitka
    • Only one seat in U.S. House of Representatives
    • Major Industries include Oil/Petroleum, Commercial Fishing, and Tourism. Lots of natural resources!
    http://wwp.greenwichmeantime.com/images/usa/alaska.jpg
  • 6. Political History
    • Heavily Republican
    • Alaska entered the Union January 1959 and have since voted for Republicans throughou each presidential election (except for Lyndon Johnson in 1964)
    • Largely Republican b/c national Democrats favor locking up natural resources
    • 2004: Lisa Murkowski was appointed the Senate seat by her dad (Frank Murkowski), who was the senator at that time. Tony Knowles (D) was expected to win the race because it had been claimed by Knowles and his supporters that Murkowski (the incumbent) was only there because of neptoism. The race was still close, but Murkowski won 49%-46%.
    • There are several villages where the Natives live and they are mostly Democratic. However, the Natives only make up 16% of Alaska’s popultion. They are greatly outnumbered and outvoted on many issues.
    • Americans started to pay more attention to Alaskan politics when Sarah Palin ran for Vice President. She was the first woman elected Governor of Alaska and is currently backing Joe Miller.
  • 7. Voting Trends
    • Registered Voters:
      • 71,506 D (15.1%)
      • 118,008 R (24.9%)
      • 284,413 unaffiliated
      • minor parties (60.0%)
    • Key Elected Officials :
    • Gov: Frank Murkowski (R)
    • Sen: Ted Stevens (R)
    • Sen: Lisa Murkowski (R)
    • Representatives: Don Young (R)
  • 8. Key Issues
    • Abortion
      • Miller : pro-life
      • Murkowski : (one of the few pro-abortion Republicans in the senate) believes the decision is left up to the woman and her physician. However she supports an amendment to health care reform law which bans federal fending of elective abortions except in the case of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother.
      • McAdams : believe it is an Alaskan’s right to choose what they will do with their own body
    • Use of Alaska’s Resources
      • Question of whether or not they should they invest in Cap and Trade legislation….
        • a regulatory system that sets a government limit on overall emissions of pollutants like the heat-trapping gases scientists have linked to global warming -- the "cap." It then allows utilities, manufacturers and other emitters to "trade" pollution permits, or allowances, among themselves.
      • Murkowski : “I believe we must grow our production of oil and gas, both for the benefit of Alaska and the nation. But I also believe we should diversify our energy supply and find better, more affordable ways to heat our homes, fuel our vehicles and run our businesses.”
      • Miller : “The science supporting manmade climate change is inconclusive. Should we take drastic measures to combat something that may not even exist, burdening our already struggling economy with billions in new taxes and regulations?”
      • McAdams : “{I} will work across party lines to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas development. {I} will fight for an Alaska Energy Policy that includes building an Alaska natural gas pipeline and also developing Alaska’s enormous renewable energy-hydro, tidal, geothermal and wind.”
  • 9. Key Issues cont’d
    • Economy
      • McAdams wants to create more jobs by launching a new energy economy for Alaska; thinks that foundation of Alaska’s economy is the private sector.
      • Miller wants to work to limit government spending and “return our federal gov’t to the limits prescribed by our constituion.”
      • Murkowski believes the government needs to do less. “We need the gov’t to get out of the way and let the private sector create jobs.”
    • Health Care
      • Miller supports the repeal of ObamaCare stating that there is no Constitutional authority for it and that it will do nothing to control costs.
      • McAdams : “With about 20% of Alaskans living on the edge with no health insurance {I} believe there are still too many gaps or Alaska families to fall through. The 14-month health care debate in Congress exposed the partisan bickering and special interests that {I} will work against.”
      • Murkowski : “I oppose the Democratic version of health care reform that was passed by the Senate because it will not lower health care costs and insurance premiums, making it even more difficult for Alaskans to obtain access to health care and affordable health care insurance.”
  • 10. Media Coverage
    • Ever since Lisa Murkowski decided to mount a write-in campaign the local and national coverage of the Alaskan Senate race has centered on a play-by-play type analysis.
    • He said vs. She Said.
    • Passive/Resigned meeting seeminly unwilling to investigate between the petty fighting and attack ads.
    • Allowing the candidates, and national figures (Mitch McConnell and Sarah Palin) to set the tone of the coverage.
    • The Republican’s State to lose.
  • 11. Major Prevailing Storylines
    • 1) Republican vs. Republican: Fight for the Elephant.
    • Murkowski Says Miller Flip Flops. The Murkowski camp continues to function as if Murkowski won the primary and is citing Joe Miller’s poor record as a sign of his poor judgement. They note he has registerd as a Republican and Independent, claiming he chooses his ability based on current political environment. Anchorage Daily News
    • Murkowski is a spoiled Princess and Sore Loser. A new Conservative Ad attacks Murkowski and her inability to accept the public decision made in the primary. Huffington Post  
    • Murkowski Defies the GOP and Mounts a write-in campaign. Despite requests from the GOP, Murkowski has struck out on her own and hopes to retain her seat through a write-in campaign. This almost cost her the seat she holds on a congressional committee. NPR
    • Murkowski Says the GOP turned their Back on Her. She claimed that by allowing this conservative candidate to represent the party nothing will be accomplished because Washington is already far too partisan. Anchorage Daily News
  • 12. Major Prevailing Storylines (cont.)
    • 2) The Tea Party vs. The Republican Party
    • Tea Party Express Coming Back to Alaska to back Miller. The national organization that already spent 550,000 in the primaries has vowed to do whatever it takes to stop Murkowski’s write-in campaign. The Anchorage Daily News
    • “ The Tea Party is Nothing to be Feared” The Tea Party is nothing more than a sign of the current political polarization that is taking place in the United States. The Republican Party has a very similar ideology and will survived much longer than this temporary movement will. Juneau Empire
  • 13. Minor Prevailing Storylines
    • 3) What does Sarah Think?
    • Ties between Sarah and Lisa are strained: Sarah did more than endorse Joe Miller; she was key in facilitating his win and continues to advance his cause. Politico
    • 4) The Forgotten Donkey.
    • Democrats see opportunity as a result of Murkowski’s defeat and subsequent write-in campaign. Scott McAdams would have simply been a sacrificial lamb. Roll Call
    • A basic search on news sites or in google for “Alaska Senate Race” pops up dozens of articles about Miller and Murkowski, you have to dig to find information on McAdams.
    • Is sticking with the popular anti-establishment role. His first ad emphasizes the fact that he is not your typical political candidate and has plans to get things done in congress for Alaska in ways an ordinary politician couldn’t. ABC News