My Twitter Feed

May 22, 2018

Farmer Joe and the Feds (Updated)

Maybe it’s the fact that he’s  Kansas born and bred, or maybe it was just the sweet smell of the great outdoors, barley, and a little extra folding money – whatever it was, senate candidate Joe Miller apparently decided after he came to Alaska, he’d try his hand at farming.

Farmer Joe bought himself a thousand acres near Fairbanks.  And what did he have a yen to grow on his arable land in the sleepy hollow of Delta Junction?  Barley, it would appear.

But life as a farmer/ivy league attorney is tough. Sometimes a feller could use a helping hand. Maybe something like a nice check from… the Federal government!  Joe’s misguided  intellectual and philosophical purity about how we shouldn’t rely on the federal government for anything did not keep him from making a little extra cash on the side thanks to you the taxpayer. That’s right, Mr. ‘Who Needs the Feds?’ may have collected more than $14,000 in federal farm subsidies between 1995 and 2003, including barley and conservation subsidies.

Joe reminds us all the time about all those bad things that the feds spend their money on – (like more than a third of the economy of the state he wants to represent in the United States Senate).  And before you go blaming two giant unnecessary wars and George W. Bush for our financial hardships, Mr. Miller is quick to give us a reality check on his website.

Much of the increase [in federal spending]was not military related, but was caused by a 36% increase in domestic spending levels, including the creation of new government entitlement programs.

Barley anyone?

The website which documents Miller’s subsidies describes the Direct Payment he received like this (my emphasis is added):

Direct Payments:
The 1996 Freedom to Farm Act envisioned a move away from subsidized farming and into a free-market system. As a transition, the 1996 farm bill established a direct payment program to wean farmers off the government dole. Payments are based on a formula involving the historic production on a given plot of land in 1986. This set payment goes to the current landowner or farm operator every year. The program has been maintained beyond its intended lifetime and now is a federal entitlement program for farmers that costs the government about $5 billion per year. These payments are usually included in land value estimate, driving up land prices and rents and making it harder for small farmers to expand and new farmers to enter the business.


And then there’s this:

Production Flexibility Contracts:
Farmers must use contract acreage for an agricultural or related activity.  Conservation uses, pasture, growing trees, and leaving the land fallow (if weeds are controlled) are all allowed.

Now, I’ve got nothing against Alaska farmers.  I love them dearly and support my local growers whenever possible.  And without farm subsidies, Alaska would be in a world of hurt.  I get it.  I simply point out that not only does Joe Miller NOT get it, but he’s perfectly happy to reap the rewards of a system he claims to detest, and then wants to get rid of it for everyone else.

Kind of like the fact that his parents live on Social Security and Medicare, but he wants to cut it off for the generations to come.  Or the fact that his kids are home schooled and he wants to abolish the Department of Education.

I wonder if Joe Miller’s neighbors in the barley basket of Delta Junction are going to vote for him, or whether they hate the government too…


The Alaska Dispatch followed up on this story and asked the Miller campaign for a statement:

In an e-mail Thursday evening, DeSota told Alaska Dispatch: “This is a manufactured story from a Democratic blog. Joe has owned land near Delta Junction since 1999, but the land is not under production, and he’s received no federal farm subsidies for it.”

Interesting. Is there another Joe Miller who owns agricultural land in Delta Junction?  Is there another Joseph W. Miller who (as reported in the same article) lives in Anchorage and collected payments from a property in Kansas?

Stay tuned for more details as they become available, and I’ll post them here.


Here’s the latest



No Responses to “Farmer Joe and the Feds (Updated)”
  1. apache says:

    Did he take advantage of cheap farm credit, using non-farm equipment as a farm write-off, use of no-tax farm fuel, payments for not growing crops, free advice from USDA Farm Advisors, and on and on. Farmers have the best fail safe, tax payer-funded welfare system anywhere, yet most of them are Tea Party types: just as long as they get their free lunch, they vote as a block to make sure no one else will….

  2. Eddie in Anchorage says:

    @Jaime: Last I read on Alaska Dispatch they were trying to get Farmer Joe to come out and deny it. So far, only his spokesman has denied it, which leaves Barley Miller an out if and when it appears he actually nosed into the subsidy trough. He can fire the spokesman the way he did the last campaign manager and pretend the guy was in error. It will give him time to explain the inconsistency between his grabbing subsidy cash when he was a well-off attorney who should not have needed it and his current distaste for all things pork.

  3. ibwilliamsi says:

    OK, I’m an outsider here so I’m may not be terribly well informed. But do people really grow barley in Alaska? Because I’m thinking I could plant a bunch of pineapple there and get the subsidy for it not working out if it’s all that easy.

  4. Jaime from Wasilla says:

    Just a heads up – the Miller campaign is denying that he took federal subsidies. Their defense? That there are 19 Joe Miller’s in Alaska, and two of them own land in Delta. It must be the other Joe Miller taking the subsidies, not the candidate.
    See the Alaska Dispatch article here:

    Can’t wait for this to blow back on them. Come on folks, give us the evidence to spank them down.

    • Might not happen, Jaime. I put up a post on this last night, based on this article. I’ve now taken mine down, based on the Alaska Dispatch article. Should the Joe Miller in question turn out to be the candidate, I’ll put mine back up.

  5. Pinwheel says:

    I love all the snipping and innuendo and poster perfect one liners. I acknowledge that Mudflats is a product of our outrage. AKM continues to provide us with scearing insight and humility(?).

    We must go on into all those things that are important to us as Alaskans. We can no longer be bogged down with all this crap. (Pictures say a 1,000 words about Bogs!!.)

    I’m working locally to support a worthy candidate for the US House of Representatives, Harry Crawford. Our current congressman, for all those who voted for him, needs to relax, retire. I believe its time we start building senority for an advancing America. If we are good students of political science, political activism, political will, this year is our chance.

    Repeal the Hyde Amendment: who knows what that means? Challenge your Congressman. STOP THE WAR! talk about a money drain! What have we gained? Dismantle the Military Industrial Complex. who knows what that means?

    I have compared the challenge for the OBama administration to an effort to bring to “no forward motion” of a super tanker. Five to twenty miles depending on set and drift, current and stage of the tide. We need to be aboard to throw the lines to the tugs If any of youu read the story in ADN about the glycol into Pioneers well. Read again that the:
    The Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission sent a letter to Pioneer in late August proposing a $10,000 fine.

    Read more:

    Isn’t this a classic case of whose in charge?

    Thanx, nem

  6. CanadianGuy25 says:

    Taste the delightfulness:

  7. Zyxomma says:

    AK, it’s *not* Miller time! It’s McAdams time!

  8. A Fan in CA says:

    Rachel did a good piece tonight and began the discussion that most of the baggers are just a new name for the Religious Right. The cults really got their people out to vote in low turn out areas.

    • Pinwheel says:

      Like Alaska. Many churches, many uterus police (credit to Shanny Moore). Too many anti-choice. I just watched the Rachel Maddow segment about no choice even in the event of rape or incest. Doesn’t that say alot?

  9. LoveMydogs says:

    Will someone please fill the rest of us in on the debates and the norwegians and whatever other secrets you are hiding from us?

  10. CanadianGuy25 says:

    I hate international farm subsidies as a free-market guy, but I love Miller’s hypocrasy. Delightful.

  11. Kat says:

    Sarah’s twin Michelle B’s “family farm” is also heavily subsidized by the Federal government. Doesn’t seem to matter to anyone but progressives. Why, why, why I cry.

  12. sam hall says:

    Great the picture as well.

  13. stef g. says:

    Delta is not in an organized borough.

  14. JUST A THOUGHT says:



    LIKE $ARAH – LISTEN TO MY WORDS! ($arah not paying taxes
    on her hidden property and cabins.) YOU BETCHA!

  15. AlaskaSundog says:

    It’s critical to get everything out starting ASAP with each item & not only state wide but on the national news since many tea people just watch tv. Maybe some of the more practical teaers will figure out such hypocrisy = a self-serving fraud. Then there’s the Republicans who really are conservatives who need to know Miller’s lies to them. Recent primary winners not only express some strange ideas but also that their own morality can be legislated on everyone & what’s incredible & scary is their own lack of ethics, jobs, knowledge & understanding of our nation. If people elect these frauds so much the worse for them but also for all of us. Whatever we can do now, we better do & time is flying. I think Scott McAdams is an honest guy who has the ability to handle himself in DC & to help Alaska. He has experience helping others. Miller just seems to have had experience using others & the system.

    • Pinwheel says:

      Publically they are backtracking. In small group interaction with legitimate Democratic candidates all he says is “Obamacrats”. Mostly meaningless in Alaska since McCain carried the state. Where are we??

  16. Unless I missed something, Delta Junction is not in the Fairbanks North Star Borough.
    It likely IS candidate Miller since a profile piece in a Kansas paper made reference to his purchase of a 1,000 acre farm.
    One of these days I’ll have to tell the story of his visit to Bethel.

    Mark Springer

  17. Mudflatsfan says:

    Huffingtonpost must. Air time is full of Palin’s replacement. AKA (Coins Or Dollars) via her website.

    How do we get more Dem Women to run????

  18. Remember that parents of home schooled kids get refunded much of their expense for education from a government source.

    • That’s truly incredible…! I feel sorry for home-schooled kids….

      • Pinwheel says:

        As well we all should. Unfortunately these children have practically no socialization. Imagine not recognizing the significance of giving up your seat for an older person? Holding a door open for a woman? Chew food with ones mouth closed? Wash hands with hot water and soap after a visit to the bathroom.

  19. Chenagrrl says:

    Ah, the Ed Merdes gambit. Ed was a lawyer, too. His deal was methane production in Delta. There was something stinky about his dealings that didn’t have to do with the production of methane.

    What is Mr. Miller’s real deal with his military career?

  20. EatWildFish says:

    AKM: So has Miller done anything with the land or did he leave it fallow, ‘which is not allowed”?

    If so, does that mean he pocketed that subsidy money?

  21. JustSue says:

    Won’t someone please investigate his attempt at nepotism? Seems that our buddy Joe, when he moved to Fairbanks from Tok, tried to hire his wife as his secretary. That way, the family would pull in two federal salaries. That little problem of nepotism prevented him from hiring her, but he did try.

    Let’s also see his entire military career, for which he was educated at West Point. Some issues do exist there too.

    Please pull all the wood from the pile. Joe Miller is bad news for Alaska. At least McAdams seems to be hard working and honest. More on him would be useful too.

  22. M says:

    All this talk of Miller and barley is makin’ me thirsty!

  23. Wolf Pack says:

    Even if the guy was indicted, tried, and convicted of multiple felonies, he’d still have a good chance at becoming the next US Senator for Alaska.

    • Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

      Nah, I don’t agree! He has no history. But your comment made me wonder how many voters will write in Ted Stevens?

  24. gm says:

    Sure this is the same Joe Miller? I think there’s another older one with connection to Delta Junction. Somebody must have checked, right?

  25. Wolf Pack says:

    SOo what does that make him? A liar, a hypocrite, a tea bagger, Sowah’s twin, or all four?

  26. Laurainnocal says:

    Oh this is rich. Barley anyone? lol

  27. silverball says:

    no wonder he’s a republiCON (and teabagger)….it’s all about “do as i say, NOT as i do”…..plenty of advise for everyone ELSE…….

  28. Bretta says:

    I’m setting my timer to see how long before (or if) the mainstream media picks this up.

  29. trisha08 says:

    Wish this would make a difference, but it seems, a lot of people in Alaska don’t seem to care that their leaders are crooks, liars and hypocrites. Just look at Palin.

    They voted for Palin…..who quit on them….then they vote for “her” candidate. Huh?

    Nothing like following their leader off a cliff……a second time. Sheesh.

    • Doodlebug says:

      Only 25% or so of them…..and even less who actually voted for Joe Miller. Unfortunately even fewer voted for Lisa.

    • Pinwheel says:

      Trish, you are way to close to the truth. So many people won’t register to vote because they are still afraid to be called to Jury Duty. Also, and much more discouraging for Alaskans like me is that while most/many registered voters, business people, local proerty tax payers, hunters (fee payers), are excusing themselves because they are 100’s of miles from home, they enjoy the privilege of the hunting, fishing, business but can’t be bothered to excercise the most important right we enjoy.

      Alaskan have this sense of privilege when it comes to their “Dividend”. Many just figure that “someone” (i.e. a lobbiest of some sort) will protect this privilege. This season is the first time I have heard that in Alaska, PFD should be very directly related to voting. Think about the savings we would enjoy. No one could get a dividend unless he/she voted in each of the elections within the past year. Perhaps then we wouldn’t have people like the GOP candidate for the US Senate collecting dividends for 10. He might have to learn to live like many of the rest of us. In poverty.

    • Millie says:

      I hear from outside friends often and they think we look like idiots. Palin has not helped us in any way, shape or form. It makes me literally sick to my stomach.

      Murkowski as a write in? She’ll split the Republican vote and hopefully McAdams will win. She lost – ran a horrible campaign and believed the polls. Time for her to move on!

  30. Lacy Lady says:

    I heard on the evening news that the Quitter is coming to Iowa soon. $100.00 a plate if you plan to attend!!!! She is backing Bransted for Gov of Iowa. The same that has been Gov in the past and “cooked the books”.

    • Baker's Dozen says:

      I can think of a lot of great places to eat for $100 a plate. None of them include Sarah.

    • johnny says:

      That’s the race where she jumped in to endorse him (Bransted) about 2.5 minutes before the election, when it was clear he was winning big on his own. All the blogs noticed it, because of him being from Iowa, and Iowa being so important. IIRC when he heard about the sudden “endorsement” from Palin, he was asked if he wanted her to come and campaign for him and he just laughed.

  31. tallimat says:

    Let me guess, Jo(k)e gets a ag land tax credit. That is why he got the $$$$ from the federal gov….

    Seems like the guy has been living off the gov all his life.

  32. ks sunflower says:

    I join with others here to urge you to get this post on HuffPo. Once again, you’ve nailed one of the essential problems with the Joe Miller candidacy. What is so exciting about your premise and findings is that it is applicable to almost every Republican/Tea Party wacko out there.

    Note: Chris Matthews needs to swamped with emails or phone calls (or both) because he was discussing Joe Miller tonight. He called him smart and sophisticated, someone who understands . . . barf, barf, and barf again. I am no Matthews fan, but he does have a wide following amongst Independents and some progressives. Personally, I believe the man simply loves to hear himself talk and drool over blond female guests, but even for those who like him, we should not let him get away using throwaway complements to someone such as Joe Miller, should we?

    • Chris Matthews is an ass-kisser, and I think they were told to start acting tougher and grilling more like Fox does—–disgusting! Chris needs to retire, the one married to our former fed. needs to retire, as well.

    • Mudflatsfan says:

      I agree with Chris Matthews. The rhetoric that they are tossing around is generic. Why do you think the Repubs are now supporting Palin’s clone? There is no mystery here, even though their strategy is horrible (unless they really want Palin to be their chosen candidate in 2012). I think Matthews can see the writing on the wall. This pandering is getting the Republican base excited to get out and vote. This comes with a major risk and a major backlash with horrible consequences. I am not in Alaska and I can surely understand getting out the background on a bad candidate. However, as radical as he seems, he knows one thing. And that is to act Palin enough. If these perceived radicals get into office they will change their tunes quickly. Or quickly learn that they wont shut down the government. Chris is a tab bit over zealous with pretty politicians. I couldn’t image that he would know how to act if they were super intelligent and pretty.

  33. Grewingk says:

    From looking at the Farm Subsidy Database, it appears that Farmer Joe gave up farming five years ago after finding out that it’s hard work.

  34. Mudflatsfan says:

    The thing I find funny…

    This is not a dumb man!!! What bothers me is when educated individuals act uninformed (Gingrich). He knows exactly what to say to get elected. Everyone is taking a page out of the crazy train Alaska disaster Palin manual of the last two years. The reality is that they are not going to do what they are claiming unless they live in an alternate universe. They promise the moon and can only deliver a very small morsel.

    Hence, why Palin will not run for President, even though she is playing candidate want-a-be. She simply wants to hand things on a silver platter to the Republican party so that she can be delusional and run in 2016 and have the cash to do it. Not to mention, a chest of (you owe me- you betchas). Once she realizes that she will lose her popularity, she will quit. Take the cash and run Grizz.

    They all play on the fact that a lot of people will buy their act and not be smart enough to do their own research and have some sense of reality that they are blowing steam up their “ashes.” People need to simply call their “Millerarky” and start asking real questions. Come on media/bloggers, there is simply too much riding on these upcoming elections. Can we stop the political reality/give me the ratings/ and hit shows?

    Politicians need to stop acting like crazed people from the past and leave the intentional drama to Glenn Beck and his gold ads (it is blatantly obvious that he is about “show me the money.”) Only if elected candidates could just work like they don’t need to be re-elected!!! What a concept???

    And then we wonder why we are in the predicament that we are in.

    • Doodlebug says:

      And Glenn Beck is now telling the Tea Partiers what not to wear now and not to have posters. Boy, those people really do love their freedom don’t they? Is there any way to hear or read the debate that was in Juneau today between McAdams and Miller? I am anxious to hear them debating.

  35. Writing from Alaska says:

    It seems likely that he purchased the land specifically in order to qualify for the subsidy –

  36. I See Villages From My House says:

    Typical. Help themselves, help their friends out (bastions of Free-Market failure – Healy Coal Plant, the MatMaid Dairy plant in its evolving forms) but cut off the subsidized pursuit of happiness, opportunity and prosperity for others. Michele Bachmann is guilty of the very same thing right? Family gained farm subsidies?

    Thank you so much for bringing this to light, it isn’t as if I needed anymore convincing, but his supporters should be given food for thought and the ones on the fence should fall decidedly on ‘anyone but Joe.’

  37. Valley_Independent says:

    Remember the rule. It’s not pork/socialism if it benefits you. It is pork/socialism if it benefits others. Could we please stop throwing labels around and talk about what we are and are not willing to pay for, and why in honest and specific terms?

    • Seagull Junker Palin says:

      The poor. They don’t like the poor.

      • lilybart says:

        Because someone might be getting food stamps who could be working another job, but they LOST 9 billion dollars in Iraq. LOST it. Time to see just how high on the hog Bremmer is living right now.

        • jojobo1 says:

          Ya know i know people working jobs that may need food stamps at times to make it thru but I really get a (kick) out of focus on family because they say work more jobs,but who watches the children so they don’t run wild,who keeps them on track if you work two jobs and no one is home to watch what they are up to. I would bet that never crossed their minds.

  38. Blooper says:

    Joe Miller: Brewed with federally subsidized barley.

  39. Jen says:

    Oop! I should have looked closely at the $14,000 – that os for the years 1995-2003! Sorry!

  40. Jen says:

    My relatives grow oranges in California and have/do complain continuously about Big Government. There is never a bad crop year as they are paid no matter what occurs. Very hypocritical. Joe MIller should be shamed for this as he obviously has gamed the system. And remember his enormously sized family receives money from the state govt. to homeschool (I think about $2,000 per kid) and each receives a permanent fund. So that wonderful year when the PFD and Palin Bucks payed out $3,269 the MIller family received $32,690, $16,000 for homeschooling and $14,000 for his “Farm” WTF???? The guy is so on the game! $62,690! Holy CRAP!!!

    • Holy crap, I guess…..!

    • It makes me cringe when I think of people like Joe Miller home-schooling his children (or his wife doing it, as she’s likely influenced by him). One of the great things about public education is that children have a chance to be around people who aren’t just like them. They have teachers who don’t all think like their parents or like each other. And being around all those different people shows them how diverse the world is, without beating them over the head with it. Even private schools can offer some of the same lessons, though it’s harder to find people who think differently than you when it’s a Christian school that’s tied to the church you attend.

    • jojobo1 says:

      I know I read that before without the home schooling anount and thats more than Two of us working our buns off make in a year and he just rakes it in.

  41. Women Who Run With The Wolves says:

    Martha Unalaska Yard Sign…..You might want to give me call….”Farmer” joe is pissing of the Norwegians at the Southeast Conference. Some are calling it extremely rude and inappropriate, and he purposly sabotaged Scott McAdams….call me later today, heading out hiking in this beautiful weather.

  42. seattlefan says:

    Lolz at that picture!!

    I sure hope this guy loses big. What a hypocritical hack! Hope this shows up on Huffpo.

  43. Leota2 says:

    Joe is a typical hypocrite. I don’t know—I guess I was expecting him to be an atypical one . . . .

  44. zyggy says:

    maybe he’ll hand back the money real quick? Nah, he’ll keep all those federal monies. Are you posting this on Huff Post?

  45. jwa says:

    Here in Nebraska, it is very common for corn farmers to be among the vocal opponents of “Socialism” and “Big Gummint” while at the same time cashing tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual crop subsidies. God forbid we should provide health care for those who have none, but keep your hands off my farm program check!

    • I think in some cases they have been getting those subsidy checks so long that they don’t think about who is sending it to them. I grew up in southwest Kansas, and farming, as I understand it, has changed significantly in the last 50 years. The small farmer or the person trying to hold onto their family farm barely has a chance. But if it weren’t for the subsidies, they’d be even worse off than they are.

      • jojobo1 says:

        From what I have heard the big money farmers are getting the subsidies before the small farm owners and that is why the small family owned farms are failing.I see It all around in my Midwestern state that used to be the best milk producing state around,now California is taking the lead.

    • lilybart says:

      If they can’t make money growing corn, why should WE pay them anyway? What happened to the FREE MARKETS?!! Don’t they all love the FREE MARKETS?!

      NO money for healthcare but plenty for illegal wars.

  46. Marilyn says:

    Yes, this needs to go nationwide, and particularly ALASKA wide, and SOON!!

  47. nswfm says:

    Hope you get wider distribution on this in AK and elsewhere in the media.

    • Krubozumo Nyankoye says:

      Here is a way to transform hope into action. Simply go to all the AK websites you can stomach and post comments or replies to comments with a link to this article included.

      If you use the list of AK sites provided here that will be a very good start. That is how things go viral on the Internet. I think it will only matter big time in AK but that is no reason to limit yourself if you have the time and energy. Moreover, posting similarly to a lot of ‘outside’ sites will cause a kind of persistence of memory because many of such sites will not care enough to censor your post. Some might be more inclined to.

      Also be sure to use key words effectively, make up a short list. “joe miller” “tea party” “alaska senate”. Be creative but keep them simple.

      For those of you who don’t know, the primary criterion for ranking in google search results after commercial buying is the number of links to a specific URL.

      Also bear in mind that this technique should not be limited to a single posting or a single issue.

      I know this is not an open thread, but for those of you who might have ethical pangs over using this technique I would like to relate the following anecdote.

      Back in 2005 when I was obtaining the first drill core results from our exploration here in Mato Grosso, I wanted to send off a few pieces of core from the granodiorites and diorites hosting the mineralization for age dating because that parameter would be critical to correctly interpreting the metallogenesis. When I did various searches on terms like ‘radiometric age dating’, ‘K/Ar dating’, ‘Ar/Ar dating’, and several other key word combinations, invariably the results returned hundreds if not thousands of creationist web sites – all of which offered no services whatsoever, only insipid claims that all scientific age dating is wrong. That may still be the case.

      Needless to say I use an excellent world wide analytical lab headquarted in Reno, NV, that provides a wide range of age dating methodologies. I won’t describe the struggle it was to find a set of search terms that gave me a fairly purified list of actual laboratories.

      • Zyxomma says:

        The mineral wealth of Brasil is amazing. When I visited Oro Preto (a UN declared national monument), I also went next door to Mariana (a national monument), and took a trip into the only gold mine in the world open for tourism. I was the only tourist at the time. I asked how long the mine had been operating, and got the answer, “since the founders,” in other words, over 400 years. That mine produces iron and gold. After over 400 years of operation, it was still producing about a kilo and a half of gold weekly (over 3 pounds).

        Enough digression. Glad you figured out the search terms to find actual laboratories, instead of creationist fantasists.

      • nswfm says:

        Great idea. Progressive Alaska’s blog has a lot of links to AK blogs in addition to the ones in the missing links section. Also, in the Mudflats Forum, there was a HamletsMill link to the media outlets and elected officials.

      • Jill says:

        This is important for not just getting the word out in Alaska, but making it a national story as well. The reason for this is that we’ve seen already in the last four days a decided 180-degree turn in the way the media are treating Christine O’Donnell. She’s gone from horrendously unqualified liar and idiot to fresh young face in less than 100 hours. The media are hedging their bets for access in case she’s elected. The same goes for Joe Miller. Let it get out that he’s just another wingnut giving lip service to small government while pocketing government cash himself.

  48. Dagian says:

    Remember, barley is often used in the manufacture of beer. Betcha he collected even more money once he tried his luck at home brewing.

Leave A Comment

%d bloggers like this: