According to the Washington Times, Real Clear Politics, and the Associated Press, David Haase (the current Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate in Alaska) will not withdraw to let Lisa Murkowski (incumbent U.S. Senator who lost the Republican primary) have the Libertarian Party ballot line. Haase was very clear that his decision was final in both articles.
“I will not be stepping down to allow Lisa Murkowski or anyone else to take my place as the Libertarian candidate for the U.S. Senate from Alaska.”
Murkowski had opted not to return to Washington, D.C. for the session beginning Monday (according to the Anchorage Daily News). Waiting in Alaska would make much more sense pursuing the Libertarian Party nomination (very time sensitive with a September 15 deadline) than pursuing a write-in bid (not time-sensitive). Apparently this was just a coincidence.
The articles clarify details about last Tuesday’s meeting between Murkowski and Haase, which was held at the request of the Alaska LP chair. Earlier news stories characterized the meeting as a bit of an ambush, with Murkowski not aware that Haase would be present. According to Haase, she never asked him to step aside.
“She made no request of me and she did not offer to change her position on anything.”
While there may have been an ideology mismatch, the main problem seemed to be protocol confusion. Haase repeatedly told the media he would only consider stepping aside if personally asked by Murkowski. In contrast, the implication by the meeting “ambush” and Murkowski’s lack of ever actually asking was that she only wanted to make the request if she was sure she could get the nomination, so that she wouldn’t be embarrassed by getting turned down. It is unclear why neither side enlisted the help of intermediaries familiar with protocol.
To bridge the ideology gap, Bradley Jansen posted a followup op-ed on Nolan Chart suggesting incremental libertarian policies he believes both Murkowski and Alaska Libertarians would embrace. The following general approach is applied to several specific issues in Jansen’s article, including the Federal Reserve, the deficit, and the war on drugs.
Murkowski’s record generally has been one of a concern to protect privacy and civil liberties as well as standing firm for government oversight and accountability. The current economic climate caused in large part by an over-reaching government and out of control spending should cause us to focus more strongly on rooting out waste, fraud and abuse in government programs. The principles of good government demand that programs that are not achieving their goals should be changed–or eliminated. The LP should hold her to that approach.
Other Independent Political Report articles
- Murkowski’s Libertarian Credentials
- You say yes, I say no, Murkowski and Alaska Libertarians say maybe
- Alaska Crossover Candidate Update
- Alaska Libertarians to Sen. Murkowski: No Thank You!
- Libertarians meet on Murkowski; keep their girlfriends in the dark…
- Murkowski As Libertarian Polls 34%
- Alaska: Will The Libertarian Party Sell Out Its Principles To Win A Senate Seat?
- Alaska Senate: Murkowski May Pursue Run as Third Party or Independent Candidate