Joe Miller's On-The-Job Political Chicanery Detailed

Joe Miller

U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller of Alaska. Chris Miller/AP Photo hide caption

itoggle caption Chris Miller/AP Photo

Now that details are emerging about what Republican U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller from Alaska did when he worked in the legal department of an Alaska municipality, it's obvious why he didn't want them made public.

At a minimum, they're embarrassing. At worst, they could help lose him the election.

What's still a mystery, however, is why someone with such damaging information in his recent background would run for high public office in the first place.

Miller, who has the backing of the Tea Party and former Gov. Sarah Palin, has recently said he was naive to believe that his personal life could remain private as he ran for office. That's probably putting it mildly.

Among the details the Anchorage Daily News is reporting is that once he was caught in 2008 misusing his co-workers' computers to vote in an on-line political poll, he lied repeatedly about what he had done. The ADN reports Miller eventually owned up to the lies in an email to the attorney for the Fairbanks North Star Borough.

An excerpt from the story:

"I lied about accessing all of the computers. I then admitted about accessing the computers, but lied about what I was doing. Finally, I admitted what I did," Miller wrote in a March 17, 2008, e-mail to Fairbanks North Star Borough Attorney Rene Broker.

Miller's admission and a disciplinary letter were among his employee records released by the Fairbanks North Star Borough on Tuesday as a result of a lawsuit by media organizations. Miller initially fought release of the documents, but state Superior Court Judge Winston Burbank ordered most of the records sought to be released, and Miller decided not to appeal to the Alaska Supreme Court.

As the ADN further reports, Miller's use of different government computers to vote in the on-line poll was his attempt to unseat the chair of the state's Republican Party, a plain act of politicking with tax-payer funded equipment.

The latest polls show Miller essentially tied with fellow Republican, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who he beat in the GOP primary to earn the rignt to represent the party against Democrat Scott McAdams, the mayor of Sitka.

Murkowski is running as a write-in candidate which seemed like a quixotic venture until a series of missteps by Miller and the information about his personnel problems somewhat deflated his candidacy. Just how much air was let out we'll only know for sure next Tuesday.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.