You say yes, I say no, Murkowski and Alaska Libertarians say maybe

Even after the party previously denied sitting Senator Lisa Murkowski a place on their ballot this November, the Senator’s campaign is still talking with the Alaska Libertarian Party and the party’s chairman says that they’re “in discussions,” although the party’s decision “will not be reversed.”  Murkowski lost the Republican primary to challenger Joe Miller, but cannot run as an independent because of filing deadlines.  From Politico (H/T to Chris Cole):

“Yes, we’re in discussions with the Murkowski campaign. We’ve always said we’d be open to a sit-down with any Alaskan, especially a sitting U.S. senator,” Kohlhaas said. “Even though the talks are a good thing, we’re not going to flip-flop. We warned them, but they still want to talk.”

If Murkowski wants to stay in the race, she has two remaining options: Run as a write-in candidate, or attempt to take the place of the Libertarian Party nominee on the ballot.

Murkowski must overcome several hurdles to pursue the latter option. Not only would Haase have to remove himself from the ballot, but the state executive committee would have to approve Murkowski’s candidacy by Sept. 15. The Alaska Libertarian Party, however, already voted on Aug. 30 not to allow Murkowski on the ballot because of ideological differences — a vote that Kohlhaas said will not be reversed.

Still, Kohlhaas described the talks between the party and Murkowski’s campaign as “fruitful and constructive, frank and open.”

23 thoughts on “You say yes, I say no, Murkowski and Alaska Libertarians say maybe

  1. Green Party Conservative


    Thanks for post.

    It’s an interesting story. This is real politics, and make no mistake.

    Grown up politics, if the folks running the party are smart, capable, they will make this happen.

    It’s a good growth move for non ideologues…

  2. Catholic Trotskyist

    Non-ideolog? So you don’t actually care what happens in regards to policy and the way our country is run, you just want the name of the party in power to be changed?

  3. Be Rational

    Murkowski has NOT recanted her old ways and has NOT gotten up from the ground channeling the words of “For a New Liberty” through her newly found libertarian principles. She has lost a primary but was NOT knocked to the ground to receive her wake up call.

    No. Murkowski is still firmly mounted on her high horse.

    Just say NO, Alaska LP. Just say NO!

  4. Thomas L. Knapp

    A commenter over at The Other McCain (“Carl”) makes a good case for this being a bluff by Murkowski.

    If that’s the case, what she’s presumably angling for is for the Republican powers that be — Mitch McConnell, John Cornyn, et al — to find her a nice lobbyist or VP position at a defense contractor or something like that, on the threat that if they don’t, she’ll run third party or write-in, the likely result being a Democratic Senate pickup.

  5. Trent Hill


    Major problem with that–with Lisa in the race, polling shows the Democrat has even LESS of a chance. Not a better chance.

    I think Murkowski would have to make a pretty excellent promise–like promising to sponsor several libertarian pieces of legislation and supporting LP candidates for state legislature/statewide office or something. It’d have to be major promises.

  6. Thomas L. Knapp


    The polling I’ve seen has been a) small sample, b) sponsored by the guy encouraging an LP run by Murkowski, and c) without the actual wording of the question included in the articles talking about it.

    60 days is a long time in politics, period, but it’s an especially long time in this race.

  7. Robert Capozzi

    rational, wake-up calls can be helpful, surely, for the individual.

    Quoting FOR A NEW LIBERTY I’d say isn’t; it is the document, for ex., that MNR stated his support for abortion choice because fetuses are “parasites.” While I’m pro-choice, that sort of extreme absolutist thinking needs to be woken up from, possibly even more than mainstream Republicanism.

    We surely don’t know what’s going on in Murkowski’s head. I could imagine terms whereby the AKLP would let her run on their line, even though she’s not L.

    (I assume that the R or D candidates, or Murkowski, will win, and Haase will not.)

    With that assumption, and recognizing that the election law is already rigged, trading a slot one time for something else could make sense, at least in theory. Off the top, if Murkowski got the line with a joint statement that said something like:

    I am not a L, although I certainly agree that AK and the US sorely need to increase the liberties that the Dec of Ind and the Constitution so eloquently established by the Founders. I had previously not focused on how unjust the election laws in the country are. Putting people in one box labeled R or D surely does not capture the many strains of political thought in AK. Especially here in AK, independent thinking and freedom are highly valued.

    My promise to the AKLP, the AK and all US citizens is to fight for election law reform. More voices need to be heard, not controlled….

    Just a flavor, just a thought…

  8. Steven wilson

    The party of principle?

    Talking although we will not change our stance?

    If mark hinkle doesn’t start acting like a chair, then the LP will be nothing but a used condom.

    Salty and no pride

  9. AroundtheblockAFT

    This could be the 51st seat allowing the GOP to be the majority. Has Hinkle sent an emissary to Sen. McConnell to discuss quid pro quo? If the LP is a political party, and if it wants to use whatever small leverage has been tossed in its lap, then “what do we want” and “what will you give us?”

  10. paulie

    @11 Hinkle has no say in this, it’s a state matter. Some supermajority of the LNC (2/3? 3/4?) may be able to vote to disaffiliate Alaska and charter a new LP in that state, but even if they did, the state government may decide otherwise.

    As I said on previous threads, the LP should not run Murkowski, and my opinion has not changed. However, if they can use the threat of doing so for publicity and/or leverage, that’s all good…as long as they don’t get carried away and actually do it.

  11. Robert Capozzi

    sw: …LP will be nothing but a used condom.

    me: Vs. what? A “clean” condom still in its wrapper? It may be unused, and it may even be principled, but is remaining on the mountaintop contemplating our navel all that satisfying?

  12. Steve

    I think (maybe I just hope) that the AKLP is stringing this along to maximize their own exposure. If that’s the case, kudos to them for keeping themselves relevant in the media.

    The problem with cutting deals with the GOP leadership, if such a thing could be done, is that as nice as it sounds, those people have their heads so far up their fifth point of contact that they believe they are the libertarians because their only frame of reference is us vs. the Democrats. To GOP leaders, Libertarians are nothing but unruly Republicans who need to get back in line. That’s not to say we can’t deal with some of them at the local or sometimes even state level, but not at the Mitch McConnell level.

  13. Robert Capozzi

    Steve, why on earth should we care WHAT the GOP leadership thinks?

    Now, I’d agree that ANY deal’d need to be enforceable, and that’d certainly be challenging.

    AKLP has thus far played this one quite nicely. I trust they’ll continue to do so.

  14. Be Rational

    @10 RC,

    Quoting from “For A New Liberty” was meant as a reference as to some indicator that the candidate in question has changed. There could be many other similar indicators that would show that the statist had changed his or her stripes and had become a libertarian.

    Such a sudden conversion would require greater evidence than for someone who had gone through a more gradual change that allowed some time pass and could show some history of have articulated or acted upon their new views.

  15. Steve

    @ 10 RC – apparently some would “care what the GOP leadership thinks” if they are talking about striking some kind of deal. In this case, I wouldn’t because I wouldn’t trust them to uphold their end of any bargain that could be struck. If the LP tried, the GOP would likely do a William Weld and screw us. I think the AKLP is doing the right thing by both rejecting Murkowski and by flirting with it enough to keep their names in the news.

  16. Robert Capozzi

    steve, my point is that when negotiating with another party, it’s my practice to not care about the other party’s opinion of me…that’d be neurotic and therefore contra-indicated.

    Yes, of course, care should be taken in this matter.

    I was also displeased by the outcome of the Weld incident. But the NYLP got a lot of coverage out of the affair, generally positive coverage, as it did with the Howard Stern episode.

    AKLP is handling this situation well, I’d agree. I trust they’ll continue to do their best, which is all we can ever do.

  17. Sean Scallon

    The more she tries to scheme her way on to the ballot, the more she condemns herself to the ashcan of history.

  18. Dan Reale

    Meaningful negotiation requires at least two elements –

    1) That the other side is committed to following through (or you have some reason to believe it will)
    2) The other side will actually do something that will serves your purpose more than work against it.

    The AKLP has neither in this exercise.

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