The damage Joe Miller is doing by dragging out the fight
Almost a month after election day, and a week after the very last vote was counted, Alaska senatorial candidate Joe Miller is still pushing his case in the courts and still trying to win. This despite the fact that even if his contested votes were counted, he still wouldn't overtake his opponent. So why won't he give up the fight?
Some of his ardent supporters argue that he's a principled leader trying to defend the electoral system, which they allege has been compromised. (Mind you, the Republican party in Alaska has called it a "free and fair election" and state election officials have called Miller's claims "baseless.") But they seem to be missing the point that, in the process, Miller is breaching more leadership principles instead.
First, the fight creates added work for election workers and state officials that could be directed elsewhere. That would be understandable if the numbers weren't reportedly so clear (according to this story, Murkowski holds a 10,328-vote lead over Miller, even including the 8,159 "problematic" ballots). But since the chance of a Miller win now appears to be so slim, his fight risks looking more like a self-interested stand on principle than the best use of state resources.
There stands at least a possibility, too, that his efforts could jeopardize the interests of Alaskans. Murkowski's campaign said last week that if the race isn't certified soon, she could lose her seniority and committee positions if she isn't officially declared the winner and sworn in before Jan. 3, when the Senate selects chairmen and ranking members.The potential, at least, for Miller's fight to sacrifice more power for a representative of Alaska runs the risk of making Miller appear to be putting his own interests ahead of his constituents.
In addition, Miller's strict interpretation of state election laws appears to be baffling. According to Murkowski's attorneys, Miller's lawyers are arguing that the state should not count a vote that reads "L. Murkowski," for example, because it was not written as just her last name or does not read exactly as it appears on a declaration of candidacy. This sort of overly severe reading of the election rule risks making Miller appear unable to make common-sense interpretations, a top quality in any leader.
Miller's quixotic effort could soon reach the point of being more than detrimental to his own reputation--even tea party activists have said he risks damaging his own future political prospects--but could also be detrimental to the people he hoped to call his constituents. And when it comes to principles, none matters more than putting the greater good first.
November 29, 2010; 7:39 AM ET |
Save & Share:
Previous: Corporate profits hit highest record, so why aren't business leaders creating jobs? | Next: The federal pay freeze: Will a brain drain follow?
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: lindalovejones | December 1, 2010 1:00 PM
Posted by: FredinVicksburg | December 1, 2010 12:49 PM
Posted by: lindalovejones | December 1, 2010 12:48 PM
Posted by: jobro1 | December 1, 2010 12:24 PM
Posted by: Hazmat77 | December 1, 2010 12:19 PM
Posted by: cllr | December 1, 2010 12:09 PM
Posted by: snowyphile | December 1, 2010 11:08 AM
Posted by: fairness3 | December 1, 2010 10:09 AM
Posted by: Whispers | December 1, 2010 9:46 AM
Posted by: jaxas70 | December 1, 2010 9:43 AM
Posted by: sassafrasnewport | December 1, 2010 9:13 AM
Posted by: rusty6 | December 1, 2010 8:25 AM
Posted by: puzzelbear | December 1, 2010 7:53 AM
Posted by: chicolini1 | December 1, 2010 3:30 AM
Posted by: papafritz571 | November 30, 2010 11:56 PM
Posted by: gottabeanon1 | November 30, 2010 11:16 PM
Posted by: momof20yo | November 30, 2010 6:55 PM
Posted by: Freethotlib | November 30, 2010 6:38 PM
Posted by: Lamentations | November 30, 2010 5:54 PM
Posted by: flyfisher2 | November 30, 2010 4:39 PM
Posted by: aunkmaa | November 30, 2010 4:08 PM
Posted by: steveinva | November 30, 2010 3:41 PM
Posted by: REBEL-1 | November 30, 2010 3:29 PM
Posted by: perryrants | November 30, 2010 2:30 PM