The election plot thickens

  • Thursday, September 8, 2016 5:59pm
  • Opinion

Is there such a thing as a tea party Libertarian?

We’re about to find out.

Earlier this week, Joe Miller threw his hat in the ring for the U.S. Senate race — his third try for the seat and second run against U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Miller upset Murkowski in the 2010 Republican primary election, leading to Murkowski’s historic write-in victory in the general election. In 2014, he lost in the Republican primary to Dan Sullivan, who went on to defeat incumbent Mark Begich, a Democrat.

This time, however, Miller will be running as a Libertarian, replacing Cean Stevens on the ballot after she withdrew from the race. Miller said that if elected, he would caucus with Senate Republicans.

With a quick look at the Alaska Libertarian Party platform, it would appear to be a good fit with many of the values he has espoused in previous campaigns — smaller government, greater freedom. Indeed, during the 2014 primary race in which three candidates battled to see who could earn the title of “most conservative,” government overreach was a constant theme.

However, there is one area where Miller’s conservative views and the Libertarian platform diverge: personal liberty. According to their platform, the Libertarian Party view is that “all individuals have the right to exercise dominion over their own lives, and have the right to live in whatever manner they choose, so long as they do not forcibly interfere with the equal rights of others to live in whatever manner they choose.”

That’s a far cry from the conservative viewpoint on social issues such as same-sex marriage.

However, Alaska Libertarian Party Chairman Terrence Shanigan told The Associated Press that Miller would be a good fit for a party that believes in limited government.

“I think this race is less about party, but it’s so much about ideology and philosophy,” Shanigan said.

Meanwhile, Alaska Republican Party chairman Tuckerman Babcock said in a press release that after her primary win, the state GOP would be fully supporting Murkowski — who in the past has drawn the ire of some in the party for being too moderate, particularly on social issues.

Ideology and philosophy, indeed.

In a statement, Murkowski said she looks forward to “a spirited campaign on the issues that matter to Alaskans most.”

With Miller joining Murkowski, Democrat Ray Metcalfe and independent candidate Margaret Stock on the ballot, it’s safe to say that the debate leading up to the Nov. 8 general election will be spirited, to say the least.

More in Opinion

File
Opinion: Here’s what I expect of lawmakers in a post-Roe America

I urge lawmakers to codify abortion rights at the state and federal levels.

File
Opinion: Confusion over ranked choice voting persists

Voter confusion over ballot procedures will continue

Former Gov. Bill Walker, right, and his running mate former commissioner of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development Heidi Drygas, speak to Juneauites gathered for a fundraiser at a private home in Juneau on Tuesday, June 7, 2022. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Voices of the Peninsula: A vote for Walker/Drygas is a vote for Alaskans

It’s easy to forget some of the many lost lawsuits, devastating budget cuts and general incompetence that defines Mike Dunleavy’s term as governor

This photo shows a return envelop for 2022 special primary. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Voices of the Peninsula: Learn how to access your ballot

The recent special primary election was the first time the state conducted an all mail-in ballot election

The Storyknife Writers Retreat in the summer of 2021 in Homer, Alaska. (Photo provided)
Point of View: Storyknife: Invest in women writers, read the rewards

Storyknife is committed to providing opportunities to a diversity of writers

Residents line the Sterling Highway in front of Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s office to oppose Pebble Mine on Wednesday, June 26, 2019, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
Voices of the Peninsula: No more delays — finalize protections for Bristol Bay

How many times do we have to say NO to a bad project that would harm Alaskans?

Peter Asmus (Photo provided)
Why Alaska is leading the nation on energy innovation

Alaska is a unique vantage point upon which to review the world’s current energy conundrum

Gubernatorial candidate Bill Walker stands in the Peninsula Clarion office on Friday, May 6, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Opinion: On Alaska’s gasline, you can’t schedule opportunity

Alaska has the largest source of stranded conventional gas (no drilling required) in North America

Charlie Pierce stands in his home on Thursday, March 11, 2022, in Sterling, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Voices of the Peninsula: When politics get dirty

So, let me step out front and dispel the already debunked false narratives …

Most Read