Alaska Senate: Murkowski May Pursue Run as Third Party or Independent Candidate

From Shushannah Walshe at the Daily Beast

There’s a new wrinkle in Alaska’s hotly contested GOP Senate primary. With Senator Lisa Murkowski trailing Palin-endorsed insurgent Joe Miller, a source inside Murkowski’s campaign tells The Daily Beast the senator may abandon the GOP for a third-party run.

The alleged source for this story appears not to be entirely clear about what Murkowski’s options are, but the reporter notes she could pursue a write in campaign and mentions the possibility of utilizing the Alaska Independence Party’s ballot line.

29 thoughts on “Alaska Senate: Murkowski May Pursue Run as Third Party or Independent Candidate

  1. Dale Sheldon-Hess

    (Why is my post not going through? Third try; sorry if it multi-posts.)

    Deadline for independent candidates has passed.

    She could go for a write-in.

    Or she could convince another ballot-qualified party’s candidate to step-down (most likely Libertarian, almost certainly not AIP), and the party could conceivably pick her as a replacement.

  2. Richard Winger

    If the Libertarian Party candidate wanted to nominate her, and if the Libertarian US Senate candidate were willing to withdraw, the Libertarians could nominate her. The Alaskan Independence Party can’t because it didn’t enter a candidate in the US Senate race.

  3. Davi Rodrigues

    Kind of underscores what whores these politicians really are. Republicans becoming democrats; Democrats becoming independents..all to win; Not to follow any party doctrine

  4. Dale Sheldon-Hess

    You know, what? Screw “party doctrine”.

    I’d be ecstatic if there were 535 independently-minded people sitting in congress.

    The only reason we have a two-party system is because plurality voting sucks for picking between more than two choices. This artificially forces everyone towards one of two belief-sets; but there’s not logical reason that, for instance, everyone who’s against gay marriage to also be against estate taxes and deny man-made climate change and etc. etc. (or the exact inverse). And yet, you have to “buy” those views as part of a package; it’s news worthy when any elected official verbalizes the “wrong” view from their party.

    I mean, look at Mehlman. Dude couldn’t speak up about being gay, because it would have meant the end of his career. But he’s still totally on board for any tax-cut plan you can name.

    A saner voting system would allow for a greater mixing of views, especially on such unrelated issues. Isn’t that why so many Libertarians keep describing themselves as “socially liberal, fiscally conservative”? Well they’re screwed: because it’s still going to be a two-party system for as long as it’s plurality voting.

    Approval voting or score voting; and screw party doctrine.

  5. The Last Conservative

    Congratulations to Alaska Republicans for defeating the female Lisa Murkowski. Women don’t belong in politics; they belong back in the kitchen. It has sad that even the so-called conservative Constitution Party has betrayed this principle. But I’m sure the impudent bitch Murkowski will probably ignore her betters and run independent.Women belong in the kitchen, not in politics. Though even the Constitution Party has unfortunately betrayed this principle, it is great news that Alaska Republicans have defeated the female with a great red-blooded male Joe Miller. But i’m sure the impudent bitch Lisa Murkowski will run independent, ignoring her betters.

  6. Catholic Trotskyist

    Hopefully Lisa will run independent; either her victory or a Democrat victory would be a great step for Catholic Trotskyism in Alaska, and against the Naderite conspiracy in which Sarah Palin is involved, even though Dondero refuses to acknowledge that.

  7. Catholic Trotskyist

    Actually on the other hand I would rather have Miller than Murkowski because of Murk’s social liberalism in what is a socially conservative state. But I still hope she runs so she could give the election to the Democrat, Scott McAdams.
    Maybe she would be a viable PLAS candidate.

  8. Steve

    @ CT 8 – Dondero is probably already in Alaska lobbying the LP give up their ballot line to Murkowski. She is a Republican after all.

  9. Gene Berkman

    Steve @ 15 – Dondero probably supports Joe Miller, who was endorsed by Sarah Palin. I believe Rep Ron Paul also endorsed Joe Miller.

    Just wait, E.D. will be writing that the Alaska LP should drop their candidate and endorse Joe Miller. Only he will phrase it like “left wing libertarians are hiding the fact that a libertarian won a Republican primary for Senate in Alaska, because they don’t want to admit that libertarians are all Republicans after all.”

    Maybe I saved Eric the trouble of thinking up what to write.

  10. Clay Shentrup

    I’m with Dale. We need Approval Voting. It’s the simplest sanest most strategy-resistant alternative to rut we’re stuck in with Plurality Voting.

  11. paulie

    A Third Party Play?: Murkowski says that it’s “premature” to discuss a third-party run before all the absentees come in, but her camp certainly is not ruling it out. One option is a write-in campaign, but the chances of success are pretty dim:
    According to the elections coordinator in the Alaska Department of Elections, Murkowski has until October 28 to file as a write-in, in which case write-in votes for her would be counted if the aggregate total of all write-ins is greater than the number of ballots cast for the first-place candidate, or within the range that would require a recount. In the coordinator’s 14 years, this has never happened in a state race.

    Another option would be to commandeer the line of a third-party… say, for instance, the Alaskan Independence Party. The first problem is that the AIP didn’t even bother to nominate a candidate for the general election in the first place, casting doubt on whether it’s legally possible for such a play to be engineered. (Remember, Wally Hickel was famously offered the AIP line after losing the GOP primary for the 1990 gubernatorial election, but he was taking over the ballot spot of a previously-nominated candidate.) In any event, the question is entirely academic, as the chair of the AIP has said that they would “absolutely not” let Murkowski join their ranks.

    The best option for Murkowski may be to go Libertarian — that party seems entirely willing to listen to any offer she might make:

    If Murkowski loses the primary, there is a possibility that she might able to run on the Libertarian ticket in the November general election. But that would require the Libertarian Senate candidate, David Haase, to agree to step aside, and for the Alaska Libertarian Party to agree to put Murkowski on the ballot.
    Alaska Libertarian Party chairman Scott Kohlaas said he was open to the idea and that party leaders were discussing it. “There’s a chance,” Kohlhaas said on Wednesday.

    Haase didn’t rule out the idea, saying he’d certainly listen if Murkowski wanted to step into his place.

    (See original for links).

  12. paulie

    Wes Benedict, executive director of the Libertarian National Committee, told The Daily Caller that Murkowski hardly fits the Libertarian Party mould. “As far as I’m concerned if Murkowski is for bringing our troops home and for ending the war on drugs and if she voted against the TARP bailout and she is for reducing spending then maybe she could earn a spot on the Libertarian ballot,” he said. “But my understanding is that she voted for the TARP bailout and that is just insanely un-Libertarian.”

    Scott Kohlhaas, state chairman for the Libertarian Party of Alaska, told TheDC that a number of things have to happen before any decision is made. “Rumors are flying but I really have no comment on them because, I mean, Lisa would have to decide to do it and then our candidate would have to decide to voluntarily step down [and] then our executive committee would have to vote on a decision.”

    Kohlhaas said he has no illusions about the fact that Murkowski is not a Libertarian, but says that having her run as one would be a way to get more publicity for the Party and possibly help the Party gain seats in state legislatures. “There are 7,000 state legislative seats out their and we don’t have one,” he said. “As far as getting the name out there, this episode is doing that much better than any one state legislative seat would. And in terms of morale for our Party a state [senator] would be a real gain for us.”

    Read more:

  13. '..... just look at the activists ' [Lake]

    The insider’s insider. Got to the United States Senate via HER FATHER’S nomination, after he vacated the post for the Governor’s chair! Post Palin, the family has held the DC seat for three decades. Hmmmmmmm window of opportunity for North Star Libs or political mind field?

  14. '..... just look at the activists ' [Lake]

    John Coffey, Citizens For A Better Veterans Home, and I got a crate of same and mailed them out in 2002. […… Including to current federal felon Randy Duke Cunningham, formerly of U of Misery, Top Gun aviation school, and House of Mysrepresentatives ……….]

    Hey Davi, you want a copy if I can dig one up!

    Parliament of Whores is an international best-selling political humor book by P. J. O’Rourke published by Atlantic Monthly Press in 1991.

    Entitled “A Lone Humorist Attempts to Explain the Entire US Government”, Parliament is a scathing critique of the American system of governance from a conservative libertarian perspective.

    The hard cover version was a #1 New York Times bestseller, sold over 150,000 copies in its first two months of release, and earned over $1 million in revenue in the same time period.[1]

    Parliament reached the top 5 on Canadian best seller lists.[2] The paperback release in 1992 was a similar commercial success.

    The book received an overwhelmingly positive critical reception. Time Magazine called it “a riotously funny and perceptive indictment of America’s political system.”[3]

    The New York Times called it “a funnily savage attack on the political authorities of the United States.”[4] In a piece about its 1992 paperback release, USA Today described it as “the anthem of this political year.”

    1. ^ The Atlantic Monthly Press Is Sold to One of Its Editors. The New York Times. Roger Cohen. August 30, 1991.

    2. ^ “Best Sellers.” The Gazette (Montreal, Quebec). July 6 1991.

  15. Michael H. Wilson

    I haven’t seen this comment anywhere yet. Hope I’m not duplicating someone.

    “A spokesman for Miller’s campaign said a staffer had written the message, but the reference to prostitution was aimed at the Libertarian Party and not Murkowski.”

  16. paulie

    “A spokesman for Miller’s campaign said a staffer had written the message, but the reference to prostitution was aimed at the Libertarian Party and not Murkowski.”

    True, Murkowski may be willing to switch party labels, but I doubt she will change what she believes or how she votes on bills to any great extent, if at all. So she is not the one selling out, although the LP might.

  17. paulie

    Will The Libertarian Party Sell Out Its Principles To Win A Senate Seat?

    In a stunning upset, Tea Party activist and Sarah Palin-endorsee Joe Miller appears to have upset incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) in Tuesday’s Republican primary election. Though there are still around ten thousand absentee ballots yet to be counted, analysts agree it is unlikely Murkowski will be able to close her 1,668 vote deficit.

    However, in a move reminiscent of Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Gov. Charlie Crist (I-FL), Murkowski now appears to be considering a third-party run on the Libertarian Party ballot in the general election. Indeed, such a move could already be in the works; RedState’s Erick Erickson tweeted last night that “Lisa Murkowski has already gone to the Alaska Libertarian Party promising money in exchange for their spot on the general election ballot.”

    Murkowski could only run on the Libertarian line if the current nominee, David Haase, were to step aside. In the meantime, the question remains: Will the Libertarian Party sell out its principles in order to win a seat in the United States Senate?

    Here is a sample of issues highlighting the stark differences between Murkowski’s beliefs and the Libertarian Party platform:

    Gay Marriage: Libertarians argue for repealing “any state or federal laws denying same-sex partners rights enjoyed by others,” and they “oppose any new laws or Constitutional amendments defining terms for personal, private relationships.” Sen. Murkowski voted for the Federal Marriage Amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage.

    Civil Liberties: Libertarians oppose the PATRIOT Act and the REAL ID Act. Sen. Murkowski voted to reauthorize the PATRIOT Act and voted for the REAL ID Act.

    Drugs: Libertarians argue we should repeal “all laws establishing criminal or civil penalties for the use of drugs” and “stop prosecuting accused non-violent drug offenders, and pardon those previously convicted.” Sen. Murkowski voted to reauthorize the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

    Corporations: Libertarians believe we ought to repeal “all anti-trust laws.” In addition, all “federal agencies whose primary function is to make or guarantee corporate loans must be abolished or privatized.” Sen. Murkowski voted for TARP and the Foreclosure Prevention Act that saved Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

    Foreign Policy: Libertarians believe that we “should return to the historic libertarian tradition of avoiding entangling alliances” and abstain “totally from foreign quarrels and imperialist adventures.” Sen. Murkowski voted for the US-India nuclear treaty and voted against on redeploying non-essential American troops out of Iraq.

    Trade: Libertarians believe in “the right to unrestricted trade.” Sen Murkowski voted against the US-Chile Free Trade Agreement.

    Welfare: Libertarians oppose “government-enforced charity such as welfare programs and subsidies.” Sen. Murkowski voted to extend unemployment benefits to those out of work.

    The Libertarian Party, which also opposes police checkpoints for drunk drivers, has never held a seat in Congress, much less the Senate. Without a doubt, this Alaska race is the best chance they’ve ever had to win a Senate seat. Will the prospect of a sitting Libertarian senator be enough for the party to abandon the principles it stands for?

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