Sen. Lisa Murkowski drew nearly
100 people at the Kodiak Harbor
The Republican senator made
a campaign stop in Kodiak
spending all day campaigning
in the community.
Jacob Resneck/KMXT photo
U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski spent Thursday campaigning in Kodiak, drawing a large crowd to an open, town hall-style event at the Kodiak Harbor Convention Center. KMXT’s Jacob Resneck caught up with the senator as she makes a last push as a write-in candidate before Election Day.
— (murkowski pkg) 7:41 "Murkowski’s campaign … I’m Jacob Resneck."
Murkowski’s campaign has been divisive for Republicans across the state and Kodiak is no exception. That was illustrated when Bob Brodie, until recently Kodiak’s Republican party chairman, was the man to introduce the senator before she addressed the convention center crowd.
Earlier this month Brodie stepped down as local GOP chair so he could campaign for Murkowski over his party’s nominee, Tea Party favorite Joe Miller.
Murkowski acknowledged to the seated crowd that her write in has put many Republicans in a tough position.
The opening question was whether Murkowski would continue to support funding for continued wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and the frontier regions of Pakistan. Murkowski said Congress shouldn’t use its power over the purse strings to influence strategy.
Murkowski rarely invoked the name of her Republican rival Joe Miller. But she did seek to rebut a key theme in his campaign’s rhetoric: that issues trump character. Instead she appealed to voters to back her for her Alaska background, rather than her positions on specific issues.
The campaign between the two Republcians has been particularly pointed. Earlier that day Murkowski told KMXT that Miller’s record as an attorney for the Fairbanks North Star Borough is troubled. She pointed out to personnel records won through a court battle that show he had attempted to rig an internal Republican Party poll using borough computers and then tried to cover it up.
By contrast, Murkowski had kinder words for her Democratic rival Sitka Mayor Scott McAdams though she dismisses him as inexperienced.
Back at the convention center she was asked about her record for standing up to ballooning federal government. Murkowski pointed to her record of battling the EPA over its effort to regulate carbon emissions.
Murkowski’s efforts failed. But she warned that effects of climate change legislation would harm Kodiak’s economy.
At other times Murkowski appeared trying to win over Democrats and undecided voters. She often painted herself as independently minded and not tied to the Republican Party line. Here she is explaining her nuanced support for a woman’s right to abortion. (murk3)
Though during her interview with KMXT it’s clear she supports many aspects of the mainstream Republican platform. For example she criticizes new regulations on banks and finance, a popular move following the massive bank bailout And she also supports extending the Bush era tax cuts for even the wealthiest Americans. Here’s her rationale.
Murkowksi also voted against the Democrat’s landmark health care legislation which Tea Party activists now deride as Obamacare. But unlike Miller she stops short of calling for its repeal, saying there’s a lot in the bill worth saving.
A new poll suggests Murkowski may be leading in the race. Five hundred likely voters told Hays Research pollsters on Monday and Tuesday that 34 percent would support the write-in candidate, meaning Murkowski. Twenty nine percent supported Scott McAdams. Twenty three percent chose Joe Miller. Earlier polls had suggested a much closer race between the two Republicans.
But the real poll isn’t until Tuesday.
I’m Jacob Resneck.