In lieu of an AM digest, let’s set the stage for what should be yet another dramatic day in the Alaska Republican primary saga.
That will all change later today once the folks at the Alaska Division of Elections begin counting their first round of absentee ballots. According to The Hill, 7000 absentees are in the kitty, waiting to be counted today. Given that roughly 70% of the ballots cast on election day were in the Republican primary, we should see the needle move by around 5000 votes. The Anchorage Daily News, however, isn’t getting a straight figure from the DoE, while a Murkowski spokesbot claims that the number of votes counted today will be closer to 15,000 (out of over 25,000 currently uncounted). In any case, we’ll keep you updated as soon as the results are posted.
“I believe in our nation’s democratic process, it’s the envy of the world. I have complete faith in our system and I am astounded that Mr. Miller continues to make blatantly false accusations that there is something nefarious happening. Observers from both sides are at regional election offices to ensure that Alaskans get a fair vote count. For someone who wants to be Alaska’s Republican nominee for Senate, Mr. Miller is certainly afraid of Republicans,” Senator Murkowski said.
“But out of the gate, Joe, what do you start with? Healthcare?” said Asman.
“Oh, absolutely. Defund it. I mean a repeal would be perfect but obviously that would get vetoed. So defund everything. Get rid of the socialist aspects of government, not just in health care but the other entitlement areas that are driving us into insolvency,” Miller said.
Miller went on to say that Congress should have the “courage to shut down the government,” if necessary, to eliminate government programs.
On anyone’s list, the entitlement programs that could drive the nation to “insolvency” in the decades ahead are topped by Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, which make up about 40 percent of the federal budget. […]
Miller has said he wants an “orderly transition” away from Social Security, to “privatize” or “personalize” it, while not reducing benefits for anyone who is “currently dependent” on the program.
Referring to Social Security, he told the Anchorage Daily News that “I think in the long run the answer is to get the government out of it, to privatize it.”
Regarding Medicare, he also wants an “orderly transition” to get the government out of that program as well because “The government has broken everything that it’s had its finger in.”
That’s Joe Miller, Pension Killer to his friends.
Politico notes that Alaska Democrats had tried to lure former state legislator Walter Hensley into the race before McAdams jumped in just before the filing deadline, but couldn’t get Hensley to commit to a race against his “longtime friend and ally” Murkowski. There’s now some rumbling that Hensley would be interested in running against Miller, but that boat has clearly sailed. McAdams is standing firm, and the state party has lined up behind him. Begich sums it up:
“There’s no trade-in. There’s no swapping,” Begich said. “And part of the hesitation is that they don’t know Scott. But that’s what campaigns are all about. I didn’t know Joe Miller a few months ago.” […]
“This guy put his name on the line when nobody else would,” Begich said. “That takes a lot of guts and a lot of ability, in my view.”
Meanwhile, McAdams also secured the endorsement of national AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, who clearly liked what he had to see after Begich facilitated a meeting between the two. The Mudflats has the video.