Skip to comments.Joe Miller Document Release is a Non-Scandal of Epic Proportions
Posted on 10/27/2010 10:02:37 AM PDT by Qbert
You have to hand it to Alaska politics. Nowhere else in the world can make such an issue out of online opinion polls or jackets...
After being an outside observer of this stuff for well over two years, I think I have a pretty good grasp on how this works. Conservative opposition (be they sponsored by the DNC or by VECO) use a willing media to hype up some supposed big scandal involving use of the court system to build said hype around, then release of targeted documents in order to build the perception of impropriety. Such was the case in the past with Democrat operatives abuse of the ethics system combined with their use of the media to attack Governor Palin. So it is somewhat disconcerting to see Lisa Murkowski employ those same tactics against Joe Miller in the lead up to the November 2nd election.
Due to a court order, Fairbanks North Star Borough released some of Joe Miller's personnel records after a suit was filed by the Alaskan media following the leaking of records by a former mayor of the Borough, Jim Whitaker. According to the Alaska Dispatch:
The records released by the borough Tuesday in response to a lawsuit filed by Alaska Dispatch and joined by other news organizations add weight to allegations that surfaced this fall about Miller having found himself in hot water while working for the borough.
The media hyped the release of these records to the extent that some Conservatives were getting a little nervous about their contents. Once Miller spoke to the press about what was to be released, that nervousness quickly turned into laughter. After reading all the documents myself, that laughter has turned into eye rolling. I'm sure Murkowski supporters are felling a little underwhelmed right now.
I do have to hand it to the McAdams campaign for trying to stay above this nonsensical mudslinging. Scott McAdams has said he wants to stay focused on the issues. The fact that he and Joe Miller differ on the issues should be what Alaskans are focused on at this time. However, the Queen of Entitlement robbed Alaskans of that opportunity first by entering this race as a write-in, now by distracting voters away from both her record and the important topics facing this nation.
So let's get to the content of the documents, but first a little background...
Joe Miller served in a part time position for the Fairbanks North Star Borough for seven years. He did resign his post, but it was NOT as a result of any wrongdoing on his part as has been suggested by the Murkowski campaign or their friends in the media. In a press conference on Tuesday, the Miller campaign stated that after serving the Borough for that duration, it was time to move on. Miller had planned to have knee surgery, which would have taken him out of of the office for an extended amount of time. Plus, there were ongoing policy issues at that time that he disagreed with. He cannot specify the details of those policy issues without Jim Whitaker agreeing to release documents regarding each matter.
The biggest piece of information the media is playing up from these records is the revelation that Joe Miller used government computers to take part in an online poll. Yes, that's all they got out of this entire ordeal. An online poll...
Miller was asked during the last debate about this matter and confessed that what he did was wrong. Shortly after the incident took place, Miller offered to resign and was subsequently turned down by the Borough. His actual resignation took place two years AFTER what I'll refer to as 'online poll-gate.' Miller admitted he made a mistake. He paid a price for that misstep and then he and the Borough moved on with the business of the day.
The Alaska Dispatch and other media outlets are trying to make a big deal out of the fact that the Miller campaign did not release these records earlier. One reason for that is that they did not want to compromise personal information belonging to others, such as private account numbers that were listed throughout certain pages. Joe Miller's political opponents have even gone so far as to accuse him of covering up the Borough job entirely. That is simply not the case as he has posted this position on his Facebook page and on his online, Linked In profile. Joe Miller is an open book. All of his military records are publicly available on his website, and the scrutiny he has come under during this election process has been thorough to say the least.
The Miller campaign stated during a press conference that there were certain inaccuracies and claims made in the records released on Tuesday that they did not agree with. They said that there was a form included in the documents that discussed an issue about an insufficient notice given for his resignation from the Borough post. Miller says he had never seen that document before the release of these records.
The Murkowski camp has also been smearing Joe Miller by implying that he purposely deleted emails that were public record in order to cover something up. First of all, emails on the Borough's server are backed up and can be retrieved at any time. The Borough IT professional verified this. Secondly, according to the Attorney General, not all emails are considered public. Thirdly, an individual who worked for the Borough wrote in one of the emails released in Tuesday's batch that Joe Miller "kept a clean inbox" dealing with his daily mail. It was common for him to delete emails once he was done reading them.
Now back to Mayor Whitaker...
Jim Whitaker, former mayor of the Fairbanks North Star Borough is the person responsible for leaking these personnel records in the first place. A complaint has been filed against him for releasing confidential records without permission. While Whitaker is a Republican, don't let that fool you. He endorsed Barack Obama in 2008 which led the then-mayor to a speaking role at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. At the time, he was touted as an example of Barack Obama's ability to "bring people together." We see all too clearly today what a farce that notion was.
In my opinion, this entire episode is political theater. As I stated in the beginning, well financed political operatives working with the media build these spectacles in Alaska on a regular basis. The build up of hype. The use of the court system. Then the actual findings, which usually prove that Conservative Alaskans are pretty squared away individuals. All of this is designed to grab headlines from a more than willing press, and distract the voters. As Joe Miller stated during the debate the other night, "the primary election was about the issues, and we won that race. The general has become about personal attacks."
That's what you call a shift in strategy. Lisa Murkowski has already run a race on the issues and she lost. So, she and her campaign made a conscious decision to change their tactics. From labeling the Tea Party as "extremists" to questioning Joe Miller's honor, everything the Murkowski has rested her fate on comes at the expense of completely trashing her opposition. Although she is considered a third party candidate, Lisa is well funded by those who need her to retain her position in DC to continue that cozy relationship with their congressional connection. I hope Alaskans see through Lisa Murkowski and the media spin in relation to the release of these documents. The issues facing this nation are too important to get tripped up by dirty political ploys.
That’s good news! I was a bit worried that maybe he had actually done something wrong. This seems like a non-issue and as you say, just looks bad for Murkowski and her statements. That is a good thing...heh.
Actually, a nice bit of “rope-a-dope” by the Miller campaign. Refuse to release your records until directed by a court, then let your opponent find the treasure trove is empty.
It’s reminiscent of Geraldo’s much-ballyhooed opening of the Al Capone vault.
Pretty good strategery..........
Hold out. Let them stew and boil till all of them get hyper...........
“Actually, a nice bit of rope-a-dope by the Miller campaign. Refuse to release your records until directed by a court, then let your opponent find the treasure trove is empty.
Its reminiscent of Geraldos much-ballyhooed opening of the Al Capone vault.”
—Interesting analogy. Agree.
As so many here have been saying Moocowski is scum. Then there the other guys who hate Miller.
Those long, cold winters in Alaska sure can make people find something to entertain themselves, eh?
Lisa is showing her true colors.
Here’s hoping Alaskan voters permanently retire her.
NOT a word about this on local media, BTW.
Thank you, Free Republic.
Just as I expected. A simple smear tactic with an epic FAIL!
Very interested. I think that is called “Hoist by their own petard”
You are all spin. You need to provide a link to the actual news articles and let folks decide on their own. The Anchorage Daily News and Fairbanks News-Miner post copies of the actual Fairbanks North Star Borough Joe Miller files. Joe Miller deleted files of 3 other attorneys to play is polling game. The FNSB is not certain they have been able to retrieve all of the official records he destroyed. Spin on dude but I would not let him near my computer let along send him to the Senate.”
What am I- you personal posting slave???
You want something up- post it. I’m not stopping you...
But riddle me this...if this was such a big deal, then why did his employer merely slap him on the wrist? When didn’t they can him for **voting on a meaningless online poll**? (I think I answered my own question...)
And apparently you would rather have a woman who failed the bar exam four times, and hasn’t been truthful herself about certain questions about her past...
If you read the file you will know why he was not fired. You will also note that the employer noted that he will not be re hired.”
—Sorry, but if you truly distrust an employee, you find some way to get rid of them. You don’t suspend them for three days.
Furthermore, you seem to assume- based apparently on the newspaper article alone, without a counter-response- that the reason he left was related to the online polls. That’s wrong.
As the ADN noted:
“The records also show that Miller left the borough amid a dispute over leave and whether work that he was doing for a private client conflicted with a case the borough wanted him to handle.”
Attorneys are subject to client-conflict rules under the rules of Professional Responsibility. If he had already started work on his private client’s case and the borough wanted him to do work on a case that would jeopardize his own client... then it was the borough that was clearly at fault, and he had a right to contest this. Any reasonable attorney would have left if they were put in that position- there are serious state bar repercussions involved in such cases. Without more information about what happened, you are wrong to jump to conclusions.
And finally, when are these venerable newspapers going to start asking those questions everybody wants to know about Lisa M.? Nobody wants this to be a one-sided attack now, right?...
“I will not be surprised if the state bar association does dis bar him. Destroying files on another attorneys computers is more then adequate grounds for removal. Then he blamed the other attorneys because they left their computers on in a secure room. Joe the victim, yeah, right.”
Your support for your claim??
Again, if the borough felt that it was a serious violation, it should have handled it at the time. Since they didn’t, not only does this absolve Miller from wrongdoing, but it also would also call into question the validity of the borough staff’s own ethics if they later claimed that this episode was a serious violation. How many other ‘ethics lapses’ have they allowed to pass by involving other attorneys? The supervisors would come under a lot of heat for that.
And as I said, if the borough tried to make him violate the ethics rules by putting his own client at risk, the borough supervising attorneys were clearly wrong, and Mr. Miller was correct in objecting to this- and this (unlike taking an online poll) is a very serious ethics problem.
And it disappoints me that you don’t seem to want the newspapers and all the little hack blogs to examine Murkowski’s past and her record. It almost feels like you want show trials for those who you don’t like, and want to cover up everything negative about those you support. Surely, you’re better than that...
You’ve answered none of my questions. Thus, I think we both can agree you have nothing...Unless the ADN and the lot feed you with your daily talking points, you are unable to think for yourself...
“Joe is not a conservative, he has lived the life of a liberal.”
—You are either supporting a Democrat in this race, or a woman who believes in a “living, breathing Constitution” (i.e. activist Liberal Supreme Court Justices), believes in retaining Obamacare, a woman who bargained on Cap and Trade, a woman who...I could go on and on, but what’s the point? You won’t listen anyways because you are guilty of what you accuse others of being: a liberal.
Actually, this winds up being a blessing in disguise. We now have a court precedent that running for a federal office entitles the voters to access normally confidential records about the candidate.
Hmmm... now just WHO could we apply this principle to? Someone who has gone through great lengths to hide his or her records, like birth certificates, school transcripts, medical records, etc.
Now who could that be? Nope, I’m coming up with nothing. Nada. ZERO.
Um, it’s “poll”, dopey- not “pole”. Learn how to spell.
And your little Hays/Mudflats poll has been thoroughly debunked by everyone with at least half a brain (ergo...). Even the NYT called b.s. on it.
...But thanks for playing.
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