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This Liberal GOP Senator Votes With Obama More Than Any Other up for Re-Election

Lisa Murkowski may not be a household name outside of her home state of Alaska, but she is known within the halls of the Senate for being among the most liberal lawmakers with an “R” by her name.

In 2010, she barely won re-election, taking a plurality of the votes in a three-way race, but Alaskan Republicans are watching with increasing angst, though some have given into resignation, as no viable conservative candidate has stepped forward to challenge her.

Roll Call reported that Murkowski in the last session of Congress was second only to Sen. Susan Collins of Maine among Republicans most likely to vote with President Obama, doing so 72 percent of the time.

Alaska’s senior senator scored below nearly all her Republican colleagues in the Heritage Action Scorecard of votes with 33 percent. The average for GOP senators was 59 percent, with Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio coming in at 100 and 90 percent, respectively. Murkowski also falls near the bottom of the American Conservative Union (the sponsor of CPAC) rating for all GOP senators (slightly above Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk), and was given an “F” grade by Conservative Review.

Yet Murkowski knows conservatism is still important to a significant percentage of the state’s Republican Party, so as in 2010, she is billing herself, incredulously, as “The Conservative Voice For Alaska.”

Make no mistake, there is a strong conservative base within the Last Frontier’s GOP, as evidenced in the presidential primary results earlier this spring. Cruz won the state in a upset, taking 36 percent of the vote, followed by Donald Trump with 33.5 percent, Rubio with 15 percent and Dr. Ben Carson with 11 percent. In other words, non-establishment Republicans accounted for at least 80 percent of the primary vote total in the state.

“People have been really grumbling about Murkowski,” since the 2010 race, said Bill Keller, who was the co-chairman of Cruz’s campaign in Alaska.

The Kenai Peninsula resident said the main thing that the senator has going for her, in the eyes of some Republican Party leaders in the state, is that she is the chairwoman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee; however, that carries little weight with Keller.

Keller finds it unacceptable the manner in which she flouts the state party platform, which is pro-life, pro-family and anti-big government.

Among the votes she has taken that anger pro-life Alaskans are to fund Planned Parenthood, to affirm Roe v. Wade as the “law of the land” (in a sense of the Senate resolution), and to strike down the Mexico City policy (first instituted under Ronald Reagan), which barred federal dollars from being used to fund abortions overseas.

For Dave Bronson, who serves on the board of the Alaska Family Council, it is not just Murkowski’s liberal votes on social issues that upset him, it his her support of “fixing Obamacare.” He pointed to a recent op-ed penned by the senator for the Alaska Dispatch, in which she wrote, “I will not ease up on my efforts to fix this unworkable law.”

“’We need to repair this thing and make it workable for Alaska.’ That’s a real insight into her thinking,” Bronson said. “She thinks Obamacare is workable and fixable. To a social conservative, libertarian like me, the whole notion of it is repugnant … because it compels people to do certain things. She thinks, tinker on the edges and all of the sudden magically Obamacare will work.”

Her 2010 Republican challenger, Joe Miller, hit Murkowski on this very issue, charging that the senator’s mindset was entirely in the wrong place regarding Obamacare. He pointed to a statement she made to a local news outlet that year shortly after the controversial law’s passage, indicating it was a work in progress. “Repealing this is not the answer, in my opinion,” she said.

In a 2009 town hall in the public debate leading up to the law’s passage, the senator also tipped her hand, when she told the audience she would not rule government run healthcare. “We have government-run healthcare now,” adding, “What we have to have is a government-run plan that actually works.”

Bronson said that Obamacare is in fact failing Alaskans. Like residents in many other states, the exchange offers residents few choices, and the costs keep going up. UnitedHealth Group announced it was leaving the market. Humana recently announced plans to pull out too.

Bronson stated that he would like Miller to challenge Murkowski again, seeing him as one of the few with the statewide name recognition and the moxie to do it.

After defeating the incumbent Murkowski in the GOP primary in perhaps the greatest upset in the 2010 election cycle, the newcomer candidate faltered in the general election, losing narrowly as the senator waged a write-in effort (as an independent) to hold on to the seat held by her family since the early 1980s.

Miller decided to give it another try in 2014, running for the senate seat occupied by Democrat Mark Begich. Miller beat expectations in the primary, finishing ahead of then-Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell, but losing to former Attorney General Dan Sullivan. The results were Sullivan 40 percent, Miller 32 percent and Treadwell 25 percent. Sullivan went on to topple Begich in the general election.

“In ’14, [Miller] ran an absolutely excellent campaign. As far as I can tell, not one misstep,” said Bronson.

Keller would also like to see Miller run, saying but for Treadwell being in the race playing the spoiler, he believes the decorated combat veteran would have won, despite being outspent over 10-to-1.

Judy Eledge, who serves on the board of the Anchorage Republican Women’s Club and is a delegate to the national convention, thinks Miller could beat Murkowski again in a primary, and the senator knows it.

She said in some ways it is the “rematch that people have been waiting six years for.” Her only question is whether Miller could win in the general election. There, she is less sanguine, sensing Alaska is drifting left of center politically, based on recent state and local election results.

So far, the Democrats have not named a challenger to take on Murkowski. In Bronson’s estimation, they do not feel the need to, given the senator’s liberal voting record. Her 2010 plurality victory was fueled in fact by Democrat voters, who knew their candidate was not viable.

What does Miller himself himself think of taking on his old nemesis again? So far he has not ruled out the possibility. The filing deadline of June 1 is quickly approaching, with the election slated for Aug. 16. The West Point graduate defeated Murkowski the first time, announcing just four months from Election Day and starting with zero statewide name recognition. It is conceivable he could do it again with just short of three months, and an army of volunteers likely ready to stand up statewide.

Fairbanks Assemblyman Lance Roberts looks back at what Miller was able to accomplish in 2010 with a sense of wonder. “It is amazing to me that he did it in a short time, and he had not had a political office before,” he said. “He did a yeoman’s job.” However, Roberts also warned that this time around, Murkowski is doing everything she can to avoid a repeat of 2010.

If Miller decides to enter the race, it will be based on the principled belief that propelled him into the race in 2010: Politicians, regardless of family name or longstanding position, should not get a pass from answering to the voters for their record. And if anything in the case of Lisa Murkowski, that record in the ensuing six years has only become more liberal.

(For more from the author of “This Liberal GOP Senator Votes With Obama More Than Any Other up for Re-Election” please click HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.

Murk GOP

Frank Murkowski on Lisa: “Pay Tribute to Caesar”

Frank Murkowski on Lisa: “Pay Tribute to Caesar”:

And for your reading enjoyment, a few other articles on why Lisa Murkowski should embarrass any self-respecting Republican who supports her 2016 reelection bid:

Planned Parenthood’s Poster Child

The RINO-Traitors

RINO Waffling on Scalia’s Replacement

Murkowsky, Bringing Home the Bacon?

Joe Miller on Obama: “Bad for America”

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Lisa Murkowski and RINO Allies Pass Left-Wing Bill Adopting Solyndra Subsidies, Enron-Style Accounting to Fuel Federal Housing

48414424What happens when you mix green energy social engineering with the affordable housing agenda? You get the worst elements of venture socialism that led to our economic collapse. You also get a bill from your GOP Senate pushing this very left-wing ideal of central planning.

To begin with, the Republican-led Senate is pushing a dubious energy efficiency bill at a time when they should be focusing on bold and popular conservative legislation, especially pertaining to homeland and national security. The Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015 (S. 2012), sponsored by Lisa Murkowski (RINO-AK), uses the boot of government to promote “energy efficiency” and steer funds toward specific products and services offered by corporate cronies. It also provides subsidies and low interest loans for various forms of energy preferred by federal policy makers.

While this bill is being sold as a positive step forward because it also contains a provision expediting liquefied natural gas export applications, we are unlikely to actualize any benefit from that until we have a Republican president. In that case, we can pass an even better bill — minus the green energy social engineering.

To make matters worse, the Senate voted yesterday on an amendment sponsored by Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA), which will require the Federal Housing Administration to count the projected savings from “energy efficiency” in the home towards the income of the borrower for a prospective mortgage. This “increased income” will in turn allow the home buyer to qualify for a larger government-backed loan.

Folks, you can’t make this stuff up. This is a mix of Solyndra, Freddie Mac, and Enron accounting all in one. Republican lawmakers are now doubling down on the same failed affordable housing social engineering agenda and are using notional and intangible green energy savings as income in order to encourage riskier loans on the taxpayer’s dime. This proposition will further distort the private market and force housing appraisers and underwriters to ascertain the voodoo-value of energy savings in the house. Overall, this amendment passed 66-31, with the help of the following 21 Republicans:

Alexander (TN)
Ayotte (NH)
Blunt (MO)
Burr (NC)
Capito (WV)
Cassidy (LA)
Cochran (MS)
Collins (ME)
Cornyn (TX)
Graham (SC)
Hatch (UT)
Heller (NV)
Hoeven (ND)
Isakson (GA)
Johnson (WI)
Kirk (IL)
Murkowski (AK)
Portman (OH)
Rounds (SD)
Sullivan (AK)
Tillis (NC)

This is a quintessential example of the problem with the Republican Party. They accuse conservatives have harboring unrealistic expectations in terms of how much government they have the ability to cut. The problem is, far from cutting any government intervention, almost every piece of legislation they pass expands government involvement in the private sector. This bill combines two of the worst federal policies — green energy social engineering and the federal housing scheme — and doubles down on the very impetus for our economic failure. (For more from the author of “Lisa Murkowski and RINO Allies Pass Left-Wing Bill Adopting Solyndra Subsidies, Enron-Style Accounting to Fuel Federal Housing” please click HERE)

Watch a recent interview with the author below:

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.

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Lisa Murkowski – the Most Liberal GOP Senator Seeking Reelection – Called out for Waffling on Scalia Replacement

As the fight to replace Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia heats up, the conservative grassroots are holding potentially waffling Republican senators’ feet to the fire. . .

Fourteen Republicans would have to join with the 46 Democrats in the Senate in order to approve an Obama nominee to the court. So far, 31 of the GOP senators have ruled out voting for a replacement for Scalia this year, leaving 23 who have not ruled out casting the vote, the New York Times reported.

Murkowski, who is the most liberal Republican seeking re-election in 2016, initially told reporters in Alaska last Wednesday that “I do believe that the nominee should get a hearing,” adding, “That doesn’t necessarily mean that that ends up in a vote. The purpose of the hearing is to determine whether or not this individual, based on their record … should be named to the highest court in the land.”

After receiving blowback from Hewitt and others, the senator appeared to walk back her statement the next day, posting on Facebook: “While the President has the Constitutional prerogative to send a nominee to the Senate for consent, it is left to the Senate to determine how to proceed after that. Given the timing of this vacancy, in the middle of our Presidential election, the American people will clearly be weighing in on the direction of the Supreme Court.”

She went on to urge President Barack Obama to follow precedent and allow his successor to appoint a replacement for Justice Scalia, and acknowledged the Senate does have the right to deny the nominee an up or down vote.

Hewitt accused Murkowski of waffling, implying she may not be reliable in the effort to block an Obama nominee.

(Read more from “Lisa Murkowski – the Most Liberal GOP Senator Seeking Reelection – Called out for Waffling on Scalia Replacement” HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.

Lisa Murkowski: Planned Parenthood’s Poster Child

Last night the news broke that the US House AND Senate had voted to defund Planned Parenthood. This came as part of the Reconciliation Act and really only defers *some* funding to Planned Parenthood for one year (it leaves funding in place to kill rape conceived babies), redirecting those funds to legitimate health-care organizations. That is if, by some miracle, President Obama doesn’t use his veto power to override the law.

While we celebrate what seems to be an apparent victory, we are outraged that one of Alaska’s own delegation was part of an effort to strip even no-brainer language from the legislation. Senator Murkowski joined two other Republican Senators to add an amendment to the Reconciliation Act that would protect Planned Parenthood funds.

Though this has come as no surprise to us (after all, Murkowski has pledged her allegiance to Planned Parenthood on multiple occasions), we are still her constituents and we still have an obligation to hold her accountable.

Senator Murkowski continues to show her true colors on the issues that matter most. Her support for Planned Parenthood is something that absolutely cannot be overlooked in the next election. Here’s hoping (and praying!) that a god-fearing person would rise up to take her place in the US Senate.

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.

Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski Votes with 100% of Democrats to Continue Government-Mandated Project Labor Agreements

LM[This past week], for the first time ever, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution containing language banning government-mandated project labor agreements (PLAs).

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) offered amendment 665 to the Senate Budget (pdf) (S.Con.Res. 11) establishing a spending-neutral reserve fund relating to prohibiting the awarding of construction contracts based on awardees entering or not entering into agreements with labor organizations.

In short, Sen. Flake’s amendment would prohibit the government from mandating a project labor agreement (PLA) on federal or federally funded construction projects authorized by this bill. This good-government proposal would help to increase competition and curb waste and favoritism in the procurement of construction contracts.

The Flake amendment passed 51-49 (Senate Vote #120), with GOP Sens. Daines (MT), Kirk (IL) and Murkowski (AK) voting with all Democrats. . .

PLAs act as special interest kickbacks that typically require companies that have been awarded government contracts to recognize unions as the representatives of their employees on that job, use the union hiring hall to obtain workers and follow notoriously inefficient union work rules. Most importantly, PLAs discourage employers of 86.1 percent of the private construction workforce that chooses not to join a union from bidding on a project. This amendment will lead to increased competition, less litigation and more accountability on taxpayer-funded construction projects. (Read more from “Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski Votes with 100% of Democrats to Continue Government-Mandated Project Labor Agreements” HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.

Alaska’s Senator Lisa Murkowski Helping Obama Fund Solyndra 2.0

Murkowski & ObamaTwo Republican senators are looking to increase government spending on various energy programs, but conservatives accuse them of stifling the free market’s efforts to address energy concerns and effectively helping President Obama pass his climate change agenda.

In a recent piece for Conservative Review, FreedomWorks Senior Fellow Tom Borelli highlights the efforts of Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, to increase funding for the Department of Energy through the current appropriations process.

Alexander is focused on federal assistance to develop more nuclear power, which Borelli said is now at a competitive disadvantage as a result of plunging natural gas prices . . .

According to Borelli’s reporting, Sen. Murkowski’s energy priorities include more money for the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy and for the department’s loan guarantee program. Borelli said her position doesn’t come as a surprise, either.

“Lisa Murkowski, back in 2013 she had something called ‘Energy 20/20: A Vision for America’s Energy Future,’” he said. “What she wanted to do was grow the energy research budget.” (Read more from “Lisa Murkowski Helping Fund Solyndra 2.0?” HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.

Senator Lisa Murkowski: Porker Runner-Up (Or “Honorable” Mention)

CAGW, a non-profit dedicated to eliminating government waste, gives the award annually to the lawmaker, government official, or political candidate who has shown the most “blatant disregard” for taxpayers that year. [Senator Elizabeth] Warren won over six other candidates with 34 percent of the vote in a public online poll.

She won the award because in 2014 she suggested the USPS fix its financial troubles by rebranding itself as a bank. If USPS offered basic bill paying, check cashing and small loans, it could make enough money to provide those services and shape up its finances . . .

Leading Porker in a Supporting Role went to Consumer Finance Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray, with 29 percent. Honorable Porker awards went to Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Republican Rep. Mike Rogers, Democratic Rep. Anna Eshoo, and former U.S. Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel. (Read more about the porker runner-up HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.

Political Corruption, Alaska-Style: Provision in NDAA Benefits Native Corp Instrumental in Murkowski's Write-In Campaign

Credit - AP

Credit – AP

By Edwin Mora. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) negotiated the inclusion of a land entitlement provision in the “must-pass” National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for a Sealaska, an Alaska Native Regional Corporation that helped fund her re-election in 2010 as a write-in candidate.

The NDAA, which includes a public lands package that has been lambasted by conservative lawmakers as unrelated to defense operations, passed the House last week. It is expected to be voted on in the Senate this week.

The public lands package includes the conveyance of tens of thousands of acres in the Tongass National Forest to the Sealaska Corp. It would allow the corporation to handpick lands outside the boundaries set by the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.

In the past, “opponents have accused the Native corporation of choosing some of the best and most valuable lands in the national forest for their own private, moneymaking enterprises,” reported The Associated Press in June 2010.

A Dec. 3 press release acknowledged that Murkowski helped negotiate the Sealaska measure into the NDAA.

Read more from this story HERE.

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NDAA Passes, Authorizes Transfer of Large Tracts of Land to Fed Govt.

Credit: Reuters - Jonathan Ernst

Credit: Reuters – Jonathan Ernst

By Donna Casata

Congress on Friday sent President Barack Obama a massive defense policy bill that endorses his stepped-up military campaign of air strikes and training of Iraqis and moderate Syrian rebels in the war against Islamic State militants.

The Senate overwhelmingly approved the bill that authorizes funds for basic military operations, including construction of new ships, aircraft, and weapons as well as a 1 percent pay raise for the troops. The vote was 89-11.

A coalition of defense hawks and Western state Republicans overcame objections by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and several other GOP senators, who were furious that unrelated provisions to designate 250,000 acres of new, federally protected wilderness were added to the popular legislation dedicated to military operations.

The measure would authorize the training and equipping of moderate Syrian rebels battling the extremists, a mandate that lasts for two years. It also would provide $5 billion to train Iraqis to counter the militants who brutally rule large sections of Iraq and Syria.

“American air power had changed the momentum on the ground somewhat and given moderates in the region an opportunity to regroup, but ISIS cannot be defeated without an opposing force to take the fight to it on the ground,” said Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the Armed Services Committee. “To do that, our Arab and Muslim partners must be in the lead because the fight with ISIS is primarily a struggle within Islam for the hearts and minds of Muslims.”

Read more from this story HERE.

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Cruz Votes Against NDAA

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, today voted against the National Defense Authorization Act citing several concerns, including an extreme land grab provision and ongoing assistance to Syrian rebels.

“The 2015 National Defense Authorization Act includes a number of problematic provisions, including an extension through 2016 of the program to arm Syrian rebels and an extreme land grab that restricts more than a half-million new acres of property from productive use,” said Sen. Cruz. “This is yet another example of Majority Leader Reid’s legacy of obstruction by not allowing any amendments to be called on this bill.

Read more from this story HERE.