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December 19, 2014

An Open Letter to Lisa Murkowski

By Elstun Lauesen

Dear Senator Murkowski,

Congratulations. You made history. You persuaded 10s of thousands of Democrats and Independents who otherwise would have voted for Scott McAdams to write you in. We will see what the final count is, but it appears that your margin is substantial and may well carry you forward for another six-year term.

One of the persistent arguments that we heard from your supporters during the campaign was that you were going to be independent, because the Party leadership ‘threw you under the bus’ (though it is difficult to see how supporting the nominee of the primary election justifies the bus-tread cliché, but for the purpose of this letter, I will go with it).

In case you missed it, one of your supporters, pollster/pundit Ivan Moore put it better than I can in an open letter to you in last week’s Press:

“…it’s probably appropriate now to consider where your loyalties should lie for the next term.”

Moore argues that she certainly doesn’t ‘owe’ Mitch McConnell; nor does she owe the Right-Wing base of the Party who rejected her.

“No, I’ll tell you whom you owe your loyalty to. To people like my wife, a life-long, pro-choice liberal Democrat who had real heartburn voting for you, who agonized over it for weeks, but who went in and wrote in your name and filled in the bubble anyway… you owe your loyalty…to her and to countless other left-leaning and moderate voters…”

Well said.

During a press conference a few years ago, Don Young refused to answer questions related to investigations into his behavior in congress. A Daily News reporter challenged him by saying that he owed answers to his constituents. “You’re not a constituent of mine” Young exploded and then added: “Did you vote for me?” The reporters laughed and said “no” at which point Young said “well then your not a constituent.”

Obviously, unless you are Don Young, a constituent is anybody who lives in a constituency whether or not they vote for you. You will soon be the Senator for All Alaska, including me, a Scott McAdams supporter. I know you are leaving soon for Washington DC to hold a fundraiser to help pay for your legal costs of the write-in challenges. Here are some things to consider before you make commitments in exchange for support.

The 62% of Alaska that are not the Right-Wing political base will be looking for signs that you are a truly independent Senator. Here are five things you can do right now to establish your independence.

1. Pledge to work on Policy not Politics. As you know, Mitch McConnell put the defeat of President Obama as the top priority for Senate Republicans over the next two years. We want to know that that is not YOUR top legislative priority over the next two years.

2. Pledge to work on Campaign Finance Reform. Citizens United has opened the floodgates of anonymous corporate spending into the election process. It seems that the Supreme Court didn’t understand the impact of their decision. Remember during the State of the Union address when Justice Alito mouthed “Not True” to President Obama’s comment that Citizens United could open the domestic politics to the influence of foreign money? Well, 6 months later, the Chamber of Commerce was directing funds collected overseas to aggregators like Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS. The President was right; Justice Alito was wrong. It’s time for campaign finance reform.

3. Pledge to support Filibuster Reform. Incoming Republican Dan Coates of Indiana has committed to reforming the current rule that prevents legislation from coming to a vote unless there are 60 votes for cloture. This has been a tool for the horrible obstructionism of the last two years and it needs to be reformed;

4. Pledge to be part of the Bipartisan Working Group. Someone other than the Republican women from Maine has got to demonstrate an ability to collaborate on the most important issues of our time;

5. Get back to work on global warming. Remember during the debates when you said that you respected and worked with Senator Bingaman? That was when you were working on limiting carbon emissions. The oceans are rising; some villages are washing into the sea. You got their votes, now they deserve your support.
If you take actions like this, you will take some real steps toward addressing the skepticism and division your write-in left in its wake.

Respectfully,

Elstun Lauesen

Comments

comments

Comments
123 Responses to “An Open Letter to Lisa Murkowski”
  1. SBorbridge says:

    I used to kind of laugh at one of my aunts when she voted for someone who might not stand a good chance of winning. She did that because her candidate reflected or came the closest to reflecting her values and beliefs. And I would tell her she was wasting her vote because her candidate couldn’t win. Now those words come back to bite me. I’ll be 60 in less than a month and I’m done with holding my nose as I vote and I am finished with choosing to vote for “the lesser of two evils”. It was so easy to support and vote for Scott McAdams, which I did. I hope we will always take the opportunity to vote for someone in whom we believe.

  2. flex gunship palin says:

    lisa,”s jet will land in D.C. she will walk down the ramp to the ground face north and look to alaska and shout one word ” SUCKERS” . she will be in the senate for life like don and ted . and dems did it for her .

  3. Ice Gal says:

    What you get if you are a dem who voted for lisa. NOTHING! You should have voted for Scott. Because lisa is nothing but a joe miller with power!

  4. Kath the Scrappy says:

    From earthlink news this evening:

    GOP nominee sues in AK Senate race
    http://my.earthlink.net/article/pol?guid=20101109/fd7dc4ea-81df-4e48-8378-f8624de06106

    JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — GOP nominee Joe Miller is asking a federal judge to keep the state from using discretion in counting write-in ballots in Alaska’s hotly contested U.S. Senate race.

    The suit was filed Tuesday, the day before election officials planned to begin counting write-in ballots. ..snipped..

  5. North of the Range says:

    She’ll give her loyalty to whoever she calculates will support her in the next go-round. And that won’t be the Dems and moderates who voted for her this time. She got what she needed from them, a life preserver thrown to her in the sea of Tea, and is unlikely to need them next time, nor will she likely expect their support. She might make some motions in this direction initially but it will be back to the Republican big business Senator she knows how to be, pretty quickly. I’d like to be wrong, but…

    Lucy. Charlie Brown. Football.

    What are the Mrs. Ivan Moores of the world not understanding?

  6. guest says:

    It worked in Joe’s interest as well. There are quite a few more Republicans in Alaska than registered Democrats. I’m sure there’s more than a few of them are sneaking around pretending to have voted for Lisa, but actually voted for Joe. For the hard-core Republicans that couldn’t vote off the ticket and didn’t want Lisa back in office, a vote for Joe, took one away from Lisa, right?

    Interesting how the numbers work out. Lisa and Scott each got about 64% of the registered voters affiliated with their respective parties. Joe got 54% of the Republican registered voters. Of course, that sums to more than 100%, not an even split of Republican votes between Joe and Lisa.
    Votes for Joe could represent all of the registered Alaska Independence Party and 55,000 more Republican voters (which would equate to 42%).

    Percent of registered voters:
    15% Democrat
    26% Republican
    3% Alaskan Independence Party
    53% Undeclared/Non-partisan
    3% All other parties combined

    A mathematical speculation:
    According to election records at this point (without absentee ballots?) less than half of the registered voters voted in this election (roughly 42%).
    Take 10% of the top for attrition, forgetfulness, hospitalization, arrest, etc. That would be 43,231 Democrat voters, 74,881 Republicans, and 234,802 U/N. That’s more than actually voted, but this is hypothetical, so play along.

    If all the Ds voted for Scott and Lisa and Joe split the Republican voters at the same percent (64/36), it would look like this: 43,231 Scott, 74,771 Lisa, 42,058 Joe.
    Then we take the U/Ns, give Scott 60% and let Lisa and Joe again split the rest at the same percent. We completely take the other 6% of voters out of the equation. This is obviously over-simplified with some serious license, and of course, assumes that everyone votes conscience. Or at least party.

    Here’s what that looks like:
    Scott McAdams 184,112
    Lisa Murkowski 134,880
    Joe Miller 75,869

    THIS is what Lisa Murkowski was afraid of. This was completely possible.
    THIS is what independent-minded courageous Alaskans might have done.
    And that, my friends, is why scaring people into voting against personal beliefs (for any reason) is effective bald-faced manipulation. Because it works. That’s why they did it.
    Lisa’s “grassroots” appeal – my constituents asked me to and I can’t let them down – was nothing more than professional marketing and showmanship worked out by very good professional political staff. They ran the numbers. They knew how to make it work. And they knew that it COULD work.

    • Fairbanks_Rick says:

      Guest,
      An interesting exercise, but I think it’s way, way unrealistic to suggest that 60% of the U/N would ever have voted for McAdams. Many people are registered U/N but in fact vote consistently partisan (e.g myself).

      I’d offer that the governors race this year is a reasonable approximation of “underlying” sympathies. No great drama, no overriding personalities, no polarizing issues for most Alaskans. What do we see: Dems 38%, Rep 59%, AI 2%. If Mukowski had not been running, presumably all the Dem votes would have gone to McAdams. Would enough Reps and U/N’s been unable to actually vote for Miller and voted for McAdams instead? Maybe, but I wouldn’t bet the farm on it.

      • Elstun W. Lauesen says:

        Fairbanks..

        Alternate Universe. August 25th-Lisa decides not to run write-in. The Rasmussen Poll shows Scott McAdams within the Margin of Error Joe Miller.The DSCC smells a potential pick up and within 2 days committs $250,000 to scott’s campaign. The rural 8(a)s, panicked about the threat to their status with Joe Miller, would quickly throw their support to Scott. A Republicans for McAdams group would be formed by Bonnie Jack. His first television goes out and people get to know, and like, Scott. Meanwhile Senator Murkowski, who is staying out of the race continues to refuse to endorse Joe Miller. Arliss Sturgelewski cut an ad for Scott. The next Rasmussen, 2 weeks later show Scott in the lead. The Club for Growth, Tea Party Express, Crossroads GPS and the US Chamber of Coimmerce all start attacking Scott Visciously, but the campaign pivotes and a slew of hard-hitting issue ads come out about federal cuts to Alaska under Joe and the big Mo is clearly in Scotts Direction. His biggest challenge is to keep from peaking too early. Eventually Scott wins the election decisively, 57-43. A clear, clean win and the State would have gained a gifted new, young Senator.

  7. fleshyfruits says:

    If you voted for a Republican candidate, you should expect Republican representation.

    End of story.

    What is this tripe from Ivan Moore?

  8. dreamgirl says:

    Bill Clinton lost his first run for office… then look what happened! (message: never give up)!

  9. Fairbanks_Rick says:

    I think that a lot of people were/are quite scared of Joe Miller and what he stands for. Several people with whom I work are of the “anybody but Miller” camp. I don’t think there was much or really any expectation that Lisa would be “different”. Fear is a big motivator.

    BTW, as of 342pm AST report from DOE, “Write-in” now leads Miller by 12,200 votes, which means Miller has closed the gap by about 1100 votes (so far) today

    • guest says:

      If that’s the case, that’s exactly the problem with The Princess Bride school of voting. You don’t know what the other guy is going to do and it can just as easily work for the candidate you don’t want.

  10. AKPetMom says:

    I would have never written her name in nor filled in the oval even if it meant a Miller win. As it stands, our fave, McAdams would not have won enough votes to pull it off. Perhaps he will in the next race, but I voted my conscience and I feel good about it. I’m just sad that some of the folks that have my same political leanings even let Miller get this close. I hope that lessons were learned regarding our voice in these tough political times. It is not a chess game it is politics. Vote your beliefs and your conscience always, do not try to play the system; it rarely works.

  11. Simple Mind says:

    Lisa inherited two things from her father – her Senate seat and being tone-deaf. Like most folks here, I don’t hold out much hope that Murkowski will actually listen to the moderates who voted her in. She’s spent years as a loyal bag carrier for Mitch McConnell and the Party of No. She ran a ridiculous primary campaign pretending to be a Tea Bagger, portraying herself as one of the “common folk” and promising to fight “them thar Warshington beeyuuocrats who hate yer freedom.” Even Frank had enough sense not to play that game. She looked like Eva Gabor back on the old “Green Acres” sitcom. After the Tea Baggers slammed the door in her face, Lisa ran a run-in campaign without any substantive policy positions at all. Her entire campaign was “Despite what I said before, I’m not Joe Miller, and McAdams can’t win.” Are we to hope that she will suddenly become the voice of moderation when just last month she was promising to repeal health care reform? Well, its time to roll up the sleeves and go back to work. In politics, there is always another day.

  12. dreamgirl says:

    I was thinking about this the other day. I might just write Lisa an old fashioned letter to congratulate her senate seat and ask her to understand the great societal responsibility that job entails. Not only for Alaskans but all Americans–red and blue states…( all of us). Hopefully she recognizes we, All Americans– not just the corporate profitieers and puppet-masters, need good work done… and that entails compromise and real ethics to help the people and get true work accomplished.

  13. fishingmamma says:

    Michael Carey’s column in ADN today says about the same thing. It’s worth a read:

    http://www.adn.com/2010/11/08/1543819/so-where-do-candidates-go-from.html

  14. kaycelou says:

    A frog and a scorpion were together on the banks of a river.
    The scorpion wanted to get to the other side, but had missed the last ferry.
    The frog was headed that way and concerned about helping the scorpion because of the possibility of personal harm.
    The scorpion assured the frog that it would do no harm to the frog, if the frog chose to help, so off they went.
    As they were reaching the other side, the scorpion stung the little frog and hoped off its back to the safety of the shore. Surprised and dying, the frog exclaimed, “you promised you wouldn’t hurt me,” as he slowly sank into the water.
    “I had no choice, it’s what I do” came back the reply.

  15. AK Raven says:

    The Democratic women- and all democrats who voted for Murkowski will be disappointed.

    • guest says:

      Well yeah. Undeclared and Nonpartisan as well. Everyone’s going to be disappointed.
      She’s not in a position to do much for anyone, Republican or progressive.
      But I’ll be keeping a sharp eye out for what the real agenda is for the Native Corporations. The one thing I know with certainty is that it has absolutely nothing to do with 8a contracts. Obviously there’s something else more important coming up in play in Washington, D.C. I look forward to finding out!

      • MonaLisa (inCT) says:

        @ guest: I hope, if you spot something we miss re: the Native corporations, you’ll keep us in the loop. Even though I’m on the other side of the continent, I think it’s important to shed as much light as possible on the subject (and I hope you’ll decide to pick a name other than ‘guest’, because I’m already thinking of you as ‘Beau G(u)este’.)

        :)

    • Moose Pucky says:

      Disappointed in themselves, in a parallel universe.

  16. ak Chris says:

    Elstun,
    Like history repeating itself, the queers are the first thrown under the Progressive bus.

  17. irina says:

    This letter spells it out so clearly.

    I was one of the ones who really thought about writing in Lisa, but just couldn’t bring myself to do it.
    Voted Monday morning (early voting option, it’s great, no lines) for McAdams, then went to Lisa’s
    last minute Q & A at UAF’s Great Hall. Perhaps 100 people there. I had no agenda, having already
    voted, so could listen quite dispassionately. What I heard was a career politician fighting for the seat which she had always assumed was hers in perpetuity. Telling statement : She referenced Strom Thurmond as the last successful Senate write-in candidate, then added — “but after he won, he was in until he was almost 100 !” Clearly that is her plan as well, she is not in favor of term
    limits.

    When asked why she went back on her word about supporting the republican nominee, she said
    it was to ‘give people a choice’. Guess they didn’t have a choice between McAdams and Miller.
    And she blamed Miller’s win on ‘last minute advertising money from Outside’. Well, if she had run
    a strong primary then that advertising would have been water down the drain. Didn’t take a rocket
    scientist to realize that Prop. 2 would bring out the fundies in droves, and they would vote for Miller.
    How could you be a fundy and resist voting for someone with that many kids ?

    And also, too, Lisa’s talk doesn’t match her walk.
    She is power hungry, and power hungry women scare me.

    • Elstun W. Lauesen says:

      If you recall, Lisa spend a million dollars during the primary assaulting Barack Obama and the Democratic Congress and attacking Health Care and the Stimulus. She didn’t even mention Joe Miller. She was clearly listening to her sycophantic advisers like Dave Dittman who said she was a shoo-in and running early in the general campaign. She was being too cute by half. But the Right didn’t buy her posturing and they voted for the candidate who best represented their ‘values’. Lisa lost. So then she wanted to give Alaskans a ‘choice’? Lisa will never recover from this; it is a Pyrrhic victory.

      • Moose Pucky says:

        Yes, best case scenario–whoever wins, it is by the slimmest of margins and the least possible mandate–not that the winner will care at all.

        Talk about entitlements–elected officials have the most entitlement mentality of all.

  18. GoI3ig says:

    Great letter that demonstrates the problem we just had. People were so fearful of Joe Miller, that they voted for Lisa over their values. Things will be no different with Lisa, than they would have been with Joe.

    Her ad campaign of fear worked I guess. It just didn’t work on me. Shame on every one of you democrats and progressive who wrote in Lisa’s name. I guess the cliche’ is true. We get the government we deserve.

    • And those of us who do vote thoughtfully and based on information get stuck with the results when the majority fail to vote their conscience or fail to do even a little research into a candidates views and background.

      I find politics interesting and sometimes fascinating. But there are two times in my life when I have just been disgusted and disheartened. The first was when I watched the Watergate hearings – almost all of them. We were living in a very small town for the summer, I didn’t know anyone and watched TV to pass the time. The second was when Bush stole the election and then got re-elected. Our democracy is a pretty good system if we could just keep the politicians from screwing it up.

    • ks sunflower says:

      Yeah, we keep saying politicians can be bought and sold —- well, it appears clear that Lisa bought votes through slick ads trading on fears and false promises.

  19. Mo says:

    Alaskan Democrats who voted for Murkowski instead of Adams should just fess up and be honest enought to re-register as Republicants.

  20. Hope says:

    Sounds like it came down to “cut off nose to spite face.” Or is this a cut off the Dem to spite something else? I think it had more to do with a horse race. Who were the two individuals that were close to finish? Many places that had early voting displayed alarming results. I think it came down to worse or worst in some cases.

    I don’t think this is a Republican are better election and think they are jumping on an unstable pedestal. It is a (get out because your not doing what you said you would do) and the “we didn’t like you when you got voted in the first place.” Politics is like the wind. If this last election taught us anything, it might be that people want results fast and it is (put up or shut up) kind of voting crowd. The President got slammed by his base and his critics. Is accountability a good thing in politics?

    • leenie17 says:

      Voters certainly are fickle, aren’t they?

      The ballots are barely counted and scores of Republicans are already backing away from the campaign promises that got them elected. Some of them no doubt knew from the start that what they promised was unattainable and had no intention of ever fulfilling those promises, but others are quickly beginning to grasp the reality of governing vs campaigning. The former is so much more difficult and complicated than the latter!

      By 2012, many of the voters who put the same yahoos that caused the mess we’re in BACK in office will have buyers remorse and be just as frustrated as they were on November 2nd. Then the pendulum will swing back to the left again…I hope!

  21. mag the mick says:

    With all due respect, if anyone thinks that Lisa is going to change because Democrats voted for her, or because someone sends her a sincere letter, I feel very sorry for them. Look, it’s human nature to try and make the best of a bad situation by saying “oh, it’s not that bad”, or “maybe things will change.” Sometimes when we don’t want to face the nasty reality, we make up all kinds of fairy stories. Ms. Murkowski belongs heart and soul to the big corporations, and she isn’t going to change her ways for anyone or anything else.

  22. lrh says:

    She won’t bother. She made history! Sorry for you Alaska and sorry for the USA.

  23. bubbles says:

    “No, I’ll tell you whom you owe your loyalty to. To people like my wife, a life-long, pro-choice liberal Democrat who had real heartburn voting for you, who agonized over it for weeks, but who went in and wrote in your name and filled in the bubble anyway… you owe your loyalty…to her and to countless other left-leaning and moderate voters…
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Lisa Murkowski doesn’t owe this woman or any other so-called liberal democrat anything for writing her name and filling in the bubble. certainly not loyalty for the feckless pro-choice, independent crowd. not loyalty for disloyalty. she is going to give you what you deserve. nothing.
    Alaska had a decent man in the running but some had to agonize before voting and then they voted against him. your agony is just beginning and nobody deserves it more.

    • ks sunflower says:

      Well said, bubbles, well said.

    • dreamgirl says:

      Rationalizing a cowardly vote speaks for itself.

    • Elstun W. Lauesen says:

      Bubbles, you are clear and shimmering truth (even if a bit soapy)

    • Moose Pucky says:

      Ivan Moore is a pollster who never gave McAdams a fighting chance. Mouthed off to all kinds of reporters across the country about how the race was between two Republicans, period. His wife agonized over her vote??? Hard to believe. Ivan Moore was part of the problem. His little wife too.

      They both had a chance to make a big difference for Alaska. And lots of other folks also. They didn’t seize our day. And the opportunity to make a real difference for Alaska and the nation–just slip-slided away.

      Kudos to Sitka, Juneau, Haines, Skagway, Tenakee, Homer and all the other communities who voted their values!!!

  24. Moose Pucky says:

    Campaign finance reform? She who is likely to win because the corporations paid her way?

    • guest says:

      She didn’t win because corporations paid for her. She won because we VOTED for her.

      • Hope says:

        As an out of state viewer, I was hoping for the Dem. However, it will be interesting to see what all the new Repubs will do in office. They have big jobs ahead.

        We must not forget that some people voted out Dems who did not meet their ideas. I don’t see this is a Republican revival and will not be surprised if more parties come out against Repub ideas. Some states displayed many votes on both sides.

        Everyone loves a winner, but the winner better keep on winning in the eyes of those who vote for them. Negative media reviews, blogs, ect. Wow. I would not want to be a politician.

      • Elstun W. Lauesen says:

        AMEN!

      • Moose Pucky says:

        Right. Those millions from the corporations that financed her campaign were merely incidental.

        • guest says:

          The corporations did not cast ballots. WE DID IT.
          The corporations bought a bunch of advertising and marketing. How much impact we allowed that marketing to have on us, is strictly our responsibility.

          • Moose Pucky says:

            True. But who do you think she’s going to give (has already given) her allegiance to?
            The same folks that called the shots and paid for the ads and influenced the voters–right out of corporate headquarters.

          • Alaska Pi says:

            Absoulutely, completely, and all kinds of other total agreement
            WE DID IT.

            Not me specifically, I dang near wore the oval out next to Mr McAdams’ name but collectively we did it.

            We wienied out… happens way too often.

            Makes me madder than could be about the Alaskans StandingTogether thingy and so on but in the end voters went into those lil booths and cast their own ballots.
            Flip Wilson’s old routine about the “devil made me do it” was funny.
            This kind of voting is not funny.

  25. Anonymous Alaskan says:

    Writing letters to the republicans you so called Democratic party backers voted for because you are too weak in your convictions may make you feel better. It does not make you any less shameful for what you have done. The Democrat should have won and would have if you would not have buckled when it came to voting for a democratic senatorial candidate. This women will always be a republican.

    • I think the letter writer did vote for McAdams – he said his wife voted for Lisa.

      But I agree with your point that it does no good to vote for someone like Lisa with the expectation that she will do things any differently. I was sort of horrified to see her standing resolutely behind McConnell at all the press conferences by the republicans for the last two years.

      • ibwilliamsi says:

        It’s hard to say whether she will or won’t do things differently. But seriously, WTF happened to Joe Leiberman after he pulled his campaign out of the toilet as an “Independent”? HE Caucuses with the Democrats? They should have kicked his butt out years ago. I’m not taking any bets either way as to who LM will think of as her Constituents.

    • Elstun W. Lauesen says:

      my eyebrows are singed. Thank you.

  26. skunkcabbage says:

    After numerous letters written to her, over almost a decade, I can say to you now. Don’t hold your breath.

    Murkowski has already made steps to work against global warming by stating yet again that she wants “EPA out of the decision making process, that it is for Congress to do.” (paraphrasing).

    She has already pledged to caucus with the Republicans.

    And while those Democrats and Independents who voted for her may believe that she owes you, she does not. She only owes those corporations and PACs which gave her such financial support during the election. THAT’s who Lisa Murkowski considers a “constituent”.

    So my only hope is that 6 years from now those who crossed over to support a Republican will remember this and vote their values, and not their fears.

  27. blue_in_AK says:

    Great letter, but I’m not going to hold my breath.

  28. Valley_Independent says:

    Guest, you make some good, specific points, and I hope you feel better now that you have vented. Don’t be too hard on pro-choice liberal Democrats that voted for Lisa, though. As a non-partisan with fiscally conservative, socially liberal (libertarian) leanings, I voted for McAdams and felt good about voting for the decent working guy with no ethical baggage who ran a positive campaign based on the issues. He means it when he says it’s about Alaska, and he would have made a fine senator. However, the specter of Miller is extremely frightening, and I would much rather have the intelligent and rational Murkowski than the dishonest, unethical, paranoid, ill-informed goober who thinks he gets to pick-and-choose the parts of the Constitution he likes and that our Constitutional right to vote for our senators should be taken away from us. I know some of the people that would never have voted for McAdams because he is a Democrat (sadly, we have people on both sides who can’t get past the letter after the name), and I respect the choice of those who voted for Lisa because they were afraid to risk the chance that neither McAdams or Murkowski would have enough votes to keep Miller from being elected.

    • guest says:

      I don’t mean this rudely, but you make my point for me.
      I do not respect any voter that voted for Lisa, if they felt that McAdams was a better person for the job. If they voted for Lisa because they’re satisfied with the job she did representing Alaska, I can respect that.

      • loki says:

        That’s exactly what I’ve been saying. I respect more the person who voted for someone who reflected their values, than the person who voted out of fear against a candidate.

    • Elstun W. Lauesen says:

      I like the chant at the final McAdams rally. He delivered a stem-winder to the crowd about voting values and not fears and ended each point with the line: “when Lisa votes ‘No’, she’s just like Joe”

      I must confess that I would rather have Joe Miller in there for 6 years, than Lisa forever. Joe Miller’s damage would be limited. He’s like the big dog that belonged to our neighbors had a bad habit of chewing rocks and lost most of his teeth by the time he was 10. He barked loudly and looked mean, though. “We keep him around to keep people of our property” the neighbor said one day as he was feeding the dog his gruel. “But I have no idea what he would do if he ever got into a fight; probably learn a lot about the difference between barking and biting”

      Joe’s bad behavior is matched by Lisa and her ANCSA supporters. Bullying and intimidation may have been worse with Lisa. I don’t know of any instance when a Miller supporter told his employees to vote for Miller or lose your job.

      • Moose Pucky says:

        Right with you on ths, Elston.

        • guest says:

          That’s how I feel as well. I wasn’t a bit worried that Joe Miller might win. Frankly, I didn’t think he would, but if he did, what’s the worst that could happen? A bunch of conservative Republican and Democrat senators are going to go along with some Joe Miller-from-Alaska agenda? Naw.

          Here’s the other reason I didn’t care what happened with Joe Miller. He’s got a few chores to take care of aside from the senate race. I believe this guy is facing disbarment and would have been if he’d won the election.
          I also firmly believe in recall, ‘no-confidence’, removing from office, impeachment process.

          • leenie17 says:

            That’s what would concern me most about a Miller win if I lived in Alaska. Doesn’t the governor get to appoint a replacement if one of the Senators is removed from office for any reason?

            I don’t have to wonder too long just WHO Governor Cream of Wheat would pick to fill that seat…

  29. guest says:

    We Alaskans take our tradition of loyalty to name-recognition way too far. Historically, it meant loyalty to observable quality. Now, it means simply that we get what we asked for.
    Term limits, anyone? A cheap easy way to opt out of responsibility and save us from ourselves.

    I can’t bear the drama – “a life-long, pro-choice liberal Democrat who had real heartburn voting for you, who agonized over it for weeks…” Baloney.
    How does ANY life-long pro-choice liberal Democrat anywhere, in any community, in any industry, rationalize this choice? Based on what? We KNOW what her priorities are. We KNOW what her power base in Washington is. We KNOW what to expect. We KNOW what HER loyalties are. What message, exactly, did we collectively send here?
    I’ll tell you what – that contrary to our own meme and our reputation, we are not actually a bunch of forward-thinking independent frontier souls; but instead a collective of grown-ups who act like high schoolers voting for homecoming court, aligning ourselves with the cool kids to get approval even though we know they’re gonna reject us again when prom week is over. A group hypnosis or collective Stockholm Syndrome.
    Any reasonably intelligent, thoughtful, educated voter could see the value of a solid Democratic ticket in Washington in a Democrat-led Senate, under a Democrat administration. The strategic value of an Inouye endorsement. The competency and skill set that McAdams would bring to the job. The obvious statesmanship shown during the campaign. Most important to me: the absence of baggage and going into the job with a fresh slate and unencumbered.
    If you were hiring for a position in your own company, which applicant would you pick?

    So what did we do here? We let the national Republicans and Tea Party take over our state election and turn it into a school yard brawl for domination. Absent that third candidate in any configuration, how would Alaska have voted?

    My old dad voted. 80 years old. This is a man who voted for Clark Gruening, Nick Begich, Mike Gravel, Wally Hickel, Jay Hammond, Ted Stevens. He voted a straight Democratic ticket and Don Young, his one concession to old Alaska politics.
    My huge extended family of multigeneration Alaskans all voted for Lisa. Because she best represents their interests, financially and personally? Oh heck no. We’re not wealthy. We’re not the Anchorage ‘IN’ crowd. Not in the oil industry, not Girdwood property owners. In fact, not a one of us own a recreational property or an RV. Collectively, our interests are commercial fishing, social services, Pebble Mine, making life work paycheck to paycheck. We are so middle class.
    They all voted for Lisa, not because they respect and admire her work, but because they were afraid not to.
    Congratulations, Republicans. You really showed us, huh? You successfully dominate that 60% of Alaskans that are “undeclared and non-partisan”. In effect, Lisa and Joe, you have taken your constituents hostage.

    But now that campaigning is over, Senator Murkowski, there’s some issues important to Alaska that have been left simmering since June. A little attention, maybe? How about that Saltonstall-Kennedy program that used to deliver investment grants to Alaska fishing communities? Remember that? One of the hugely beneficial programs delivered by Senator Stevens back in the day? Think you could get that back for us? Come on, you’re gonna caucus, right?
    And how about that work you and Lesil McGuire were gonna do on making sure that Alaska’s athletes could have Permanent Fund Dividends, even though they spend a huge chunk of time absent from the state training and competing. Apparently, no one’s figured it out yet that at the Olympic and World Cup level, there’s no competition IN Alaska? Or training either. Are you aware that Alaska’s 2010 Olympic athletes didn’t qualify for Permanent Funds? Kinda left over business from 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008, don’t you think? I thought you were going to fix that?
    Lesil had a spectacular time representing Alaska at the Vancouver Olympics, staying in $900/night hotels, going to all the cool parties, riding around in limos, meeting all the athletes. On state money and state time. But you’re gonna be stingy with the athletes? Let’s make this fair – let’s disqualify all students who attend school and training programs out of state, when there’s a program of study available in Alaska.

    I’ve never lived anywhere else and thought that I would live here forever, but I am genuinely considering where else to be and looking for work in Europe and Canada.
    It’s sadly clear that if all the manipulation goes just right, it’s likely that Sarah Palin will indeed be our next president.

    • Simple Mind says:

      To reduce it as far as we can – Lisa Murkowski was not elected on the basis of any position she took, politics she holds, philosophy she projects. Lisa Murkowski was elected because she is not Joe Miller. Not that she didn’t try to be Joe Miller. Murkowski’s primary campaign was all “me-too” Miller – full of spots showing a down vested LIsa pledging to fight those Washington bureaucrats and get rid of things like health care for poor Americans. You can see where that got her. Despite a 70+% approval rating going into the primary and a 10-to-1 money campaign fund advantage, she lost to Miller and not by alittle. Fast forward to the main election. Murkowski never took a single position, never made a single policy statement. Her entire campaign was “I’m not Miller, and McAdams can’t win.” – and she won. What does that tell you, Lisa? Your entire base is made up of Alaskans who are tired of wingnuts like Miller and Palin flying around in private jets and appearing on Fox television yabbering about the birthplace of the President and how Thomas Jefferson will rise from the grave to water a spruce tree with the blood of a Washington census worker. We want you to walk up to a Senate Democrat, shake hands and ask how we get the government moving again, get people back to work, have sick Americans cared for, clean up our environment, and generally start acting like adults again.

      • Elstun W. Lauesen says:

        Great rant.

      • Moose Pucky says:

        Scott McAdams was not Joe Miller and he was not Lisa Murkowski. Ding!

        If you wanted McAdams’ values, you should’ve voted McAdams’ values.

        Alaska’s going to get what Alaska asked for.

        Only 60% of Alaska didn’t ask for it. They leaned away, one way or another, from the status quo.

    • AKPetMom says:

      I agree with you as in the undeclared and independent voters in this state may as well just wear the R proudly and stop pretending to be Dems. There are way too many on the fence here and their ministrations in the primary were a reminder to everyone that perhaps we should commit to our beliefs and not try to turn our elections into a chess game. There are people posting all over the place now, who are dyed in the wool democrats thinking about changing parties in order to get Palin on the ballot in 2012. Well, we still don’t know if we will have Miller for 6 years and some folks are still willing to get a moronic Palin on the ballot in 2012, for the highest office in the land! Reap what you sow, is all I can say, stop playing games with our elections people. We were all up in arms when the Supreme Court proclaimed GW our next President in 2004 due to election mismanagement. Keep it clean and sane and stop playing games.

  30. Tom the Bunny says:

    Anne Applebaum has a very fitting column in today’s Washington Post on our habit of paying lip service to Republican “ideas” and how they conflict with reality. Check it out.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/08/AR2010110804485.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

  31. ks sunflower says:

    OT, but worth exploring. The banner headline on HuffPo is about a WSJ reporter setting Sarah Palin straight on her criticism of an article and her own monetary analysis. So worth reading that I thought it important enough to distract for a few moments from the discussion on the excellent post here at mudflats.

    BTW, I forgot to add earlier that I join with everyone here in commending Elstun Lauesen’s letter. I hope it gets larger play and that it touches Lisa enough to make her pause and consider the wisdom of Elstun’s words.

    Now – back to Sarah being set straight:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/09/sarah-palin-federal-reserve_n_780833.html

  32. Excellent letter. While much of it is specific to Lisa, many of the points could apply to everyone headed for Washington DC.

  33. scout says:

    I’ll give the Murkster and/or her staff credit for consistently responding to constituent concerns. It has been my experience that she will politely thank Mr. Lauesen for contacting her office, and then cite GotP hyperbole to dismiss his concerns. This should not dissuade us from continuing our efforts to show her the light. After all, unlike the quitty, Lease-a is not an idiot. We can pray (and write to her using spell-check and legitimate sourcing) that Lisa proves herself trainable in the near future.

    Thank you, Mr. Lauesen, your example inspires me.

    To epiphanies and enlightenment, Dear Mudpups & Hushpups.

  34. ks sunflower says:

    It must take a tremendous toll on Republican Senators and Representatives to give up their authentic selves, to know that whatever individual goals or dreams they had have to suppressed in favor of what a few Party bosses want. It must eat at them in private moments when their consciences awake, away from the photographers and microphones, the glare of the spotlights and meetings. I wonder what happens to their sense of self-respect when they become rubber stamps.

    How cruel it must feel for those who dare venture off the path only to be smitten down and put back in their place. How difficult to look in the mirror and gradually see the spirit that was once there gradually dim and fade until you look like all the others. How beyond imagining it must be to hear your own voice betray the principles of a lifetime when you have to parrot the Party line.

    I wonder if a cushy bank account help cushion the deadened heart. I wonder if the secure retirement and lush speech fees help cradle their heads more comfortably once they leave office or if they ever have nightmares about selling out, ruining lives or worse yet – ignoring the needs of the people they betrayed just so they could get a sense of power and self-importance.

    Maybe one day Lisa Murkowski will be able to tells us, if the lines in her face caused by guilt don’t deepen so far she takes to the shadows, if the doubts in her heart don’t make her ashamed to face those who trusted her, and if there is anything left of the good that some people once believed they saw in her. Maybe one day . . . .

  35. Zyxomma says:

    Great letter. Do I believe she’ll read it? No. Do I believe a staffer will read it? Maybe. Lease-A-Murkowski was in this race for her own benefit and that of her corporate overlords, not for Alaska. I hope (if she wins) that she’ll prove me wrong.

    • Dagian says:

      Want her to get the message? Write a letter just like this one, sign it and mail it. By the bushel basket. One or more of her staffers will read it and believe me, it WILL be brought up. Over and over again.

      E-mail is easily ignored. Real mail is taken very seriously.

      Ask any of the Brentwood postal employees.

  36. BahstinBoyo says:

    With Elstuns permission…

    Copy… paste… add comment… email to Lisa’s office…
    Copy… paste… add comment… print… fax to Lisa’s office…
    Call Lisa’s office and ask if she’s read the letter yet…
    …and if she hasn’t read it yet, ask her ‘Why not?’.

    As I’ve posted on HuffPost a few times, she has an opportunity
    here to do great things, for all her constituents, not just the
    Republican ones. It’s not as if only Democrats are on the dole,
    or unable to afford family medical coverage, or have lost their homes.
    Hard times knows no political party.

    If she prevails, one needs to ask her the same question one should be
    asking the Republicans who control the House…

    ‘Now that you’ve attained that position, what do you plan to do with it?’

  37. Megaera says:

    I, too, am curious if this thoughtful letter will receive a real response or the same one I did a few years ago; a canned email that had nothing to do with the content of my letter.

  38. net-buoy says:

    Unfortunately, in the “American” system a substantial share of the fault in this election is owned by the Democratic Party. How is it that while the rabid ignorant past Mayor of a glorified commercial strip carried the state as did her hand picked successor, McAdams pulled some 20 points less than Berkowitz, whose performance was simply an embarrassment to our state?

    Lisa’s most moderate comments of her political career were crafted for Maddow, and those were far from reassuring. Those voting for Lisa voted from fear and elected a person with a track record that explains her rising leadership position in the nightmare that has been the GOP since Ike left office.

    Elstun, as I wait for my vote to be counted, a vote Ivan Moore’s wife arguably rendered moot, one can’t escape the conclusion that it is the Progressive leadership that has failed in Alaska and continues to fail. Blaming ignorant people for making foolish decisions is not appropriate progressive policy.

    One battle cry from the far right fringe is “we want our country back!”, and while those screaming such slogans are deluded, I am not; I want my state back, as do tens of thousands of others. Yet the arguable focal point for any such effort leaves Alaskans cold, and so nervous they would rather miller lite than do anything about the problem.

    Once upon a time Alaska was a progressive place to live. It can be so again. But not as long as Dems refuse to fight it out in the streets.

  39. aeroentropy says:

    A welll thought letter. We can still hope — and stay in touch with her as best we can. If we don’t, we descend into self-fulfilling negativity and inaction.

    • CO almost native says:

      I agree. My hope is there are enough Senators and Representatives from both sides of the aisle who, through their own convictions and/or pressure from constituents, decide to work on accomplishments rather than obstructions.

      Matter of fact, get rid of the dividing aisle- sit in alphabetical order. It worked in elementary school, so why not in the hallowed halls of Congress.

    • Valley_Independent says:

      Agreed. Thanks for the reminder to do our part.

    • Moose Pucky says:

      Anybody get any effective reaction to their concerns, letters, and messages to Lisa during the last six years??

      • AKMuckraker says:

        I got a bunch of “Thank you for sharing your opinion. I listened, and then did the opposite. But I really value your input” letters. And they even printed her name in blue ink so it would look more like a realistic faked signature that she might have signed herself, even though she didn’t.

        Made me all warm and fuzzy.

  40. 24owls says:

    Nice letter but I doubt she will read it or understand its importance because it makes good sense. Two years ago things changed in a direction that we were happy, this year the opposit happened and in two years the circus will start all over again. The campaign money will not stop flowing because the republicans plan of fear and dumbing down of the general public won. Their candidates won on bumper sticker slogans and there is no way they will do anything to curb the flow of money as long as their candidates win. Honest candidate such as McAdams will lose. This is capitalism at its worst because the greater good for the country will suffer for the greedy few that will just keep making the money and keeping the power in their hands. Lisa has been bought and sold by the oil interests and as long as they have the power she will continue to do what is best for them, not for the greater good of Alaska and its residents or its environment. Change will happen, for better or worse, and unless the power of the masses somehow over rides the money for the few this country will continue to lag behind. The world is changing and we had better adjust and move forward or we are going to be left at the station wondering where the train is.

  41. calaz says:

    Truly wonderful letter.

  42. Gerard Ames says:

    I don’t think Lisa Murkowski owes anything to Democrats. Nor do I think she owes anything to Independents, Nor to Republicans. Nor to Libertarians, Nor to the Tea Party, Green Party, or you name it Party… The only people Lisa Murkowski owes ANYTHING to is to ALASKANS… In fact, she owes EVERYTHING to them… Democrats voted for Lisa Murkowski for the same reason that “true” Tea Party believers voted for her… They wanted to ensure a bona fide liar and grifter who could have truly done damage to Alaska did NOT win the election. They realized that Democrat pundits who touted Scott McAdams as the only viable candidate who could defeat Joe Miller were simply wrong. Alaska’s politicians should support programs that are good for Alaska and Alaskans, not agenda’s that are perceived “paybacks”… When they ask for re-election, they should be held accountable for how well they accomplished this goal… I voted for Lisa Murkowski and she owes “me” nothing…

    • Village Reader says:

      I believe that Scott McAdams would have beat Joe Miller if Lisa Murkowski hadn’t thrown her hat into the ring after losing the Republican nomination. I know that it was her right as a citizen to run, but it still screwed up the election process.

      So YES I do believe Lisa Murkowski does OWE the rest of us an answer on HOW she will behave herself back in office.

      Will she play Republican sidekick like she has been doing the past year and a half by voting ‘no’ on practically everything President Obama introduces just because Republicans had ‘an agenda’ of stopping the President? Or will she actually think about All Alaskans and not just party lines but what is right for our state? No politician should vote party lines, once they do… they need to be kicked out.

  43. ks sunflower says:

    I hope no one is holding their breath on whether she changes or not. Would hate to hear about people passing out from turning blue.

  44. WakeUpAmerica says:

    Great letter. Any chance she will actually read it?

    • John says:

      No, but we can all write her Sentate office and remind her who saved her butt.

    • Marnie says:

      Or Heed it?

    • Concerned Too says:

      OR if each of us printed it off and physically sent it to her. At least she see in a very BIG way what those who put her in office feel!!

    • Randy Causey says:

      She’ll read it! I did. And I’m in Fairfax County, VA (8th congressional – DC suburbs just about 30 minutes away from the Hart Senate Building – with NO TRAFFIC), and not even a political insider – just politically aware. I was just checking on the final of the concession, etc. You are her constituents; she’ll read it (her staff will definately read it). Keep your conversation going, your congressmen do keep an eye on sites such as yours (especially when they are at such a distance!). Just keep writing well and avoid the flameing, they’ll read!

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