Hard to Fight for Alaska If You Don’t Bother to Show Up

Lisa Murkowski makes time for DC lobbyists, but is MIA while Republican colleagues continue the fight for lower taxes and against the Democrat agenda.

Anchorage, September 30, 2010 — Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski has missed 80% of the Senate’s votes since losing the Republican primary, including every Senate vote since proclaiming she was “continuing the fight for Alaskans” by launching her write-in campaign.

Lisa has missed critical Senate votes to: cut government spending; reign in some of the outrageous small business burdens in ‘health care reform’; and to provide ‘disapproval’ of National Mediation Board rules changes for airline and railway unions, among others. In some cases she was the only Republican missing. In fact, since the Republican primary, Murkowski has only been present for one day of Senate votes out of eight (September 16, 2010).

“Actions speak louder than words and this is just another example of Lisa saying one thing to Alaskan voters and actually doing another,” Miller spokesman Randy DeSoto said. “Murkowski spent months trying to convince the voters that she really was a conservative while voting for things like the Wall Street Bailouts and sponsoring Alaska job-killing cap and trade legislation.”

DeSoto continued, “Our self-described ‘conservative Republican’ senator is now surrounding herself with Democrats, tacking hard to the left and is back championing her old big spending ways. Is she really ‘fighting for Alaska?’ It’s hard to fight for the people of Alaska when you don’t bother to show up.”

As a ‘write-in candidate’ Lisa has managed to find time for DC lobbyists though. According to the September 17, 2010 Politico story “Murkowski hits up lobbyists,” her staff were quick to call on some of DC’s “most prominent lobbyists” for a call with the Senator just one day after her campaign announcement. It makes sense that she would solicit lobbyists before telling Alaskans of her campaign. According moneyline.cq.com, nearly 65% of the money she has raised in 2009 and 2010 has been raised from individuals and interests outside of Alaska.

DeSoto pointed out, “It is interesting to note that during the primary campaign she said she was too busy to debate Joe Miller (until days before the election) because she was “fighting for Alaska” in the U.S. Senate. Why has she abandoned the fight now?”

The critical votes:

Senate Vote 231 – HR 5297: Small-Business Tax and Lending – Cloture

September 14, 2010 – The Johanns amendment would repeal a tax information-reporting requirement from the 2010 health care overhaul law, offset by increasing the affordability exemption to the individual mandate in the health care law and funding allocated for prevention programs. The Nelson amendment would exempt businesses with fewer than 25 employees from the tax compliance provision in the health care law and would raise the reporting threshold for the remaining companies from $600 to $5,000. The substitute [Johann] would provide for a variety of small-business tax initiatives, including a revival of an expired bonus depreciation provision to allow companies to write off assets more quickly, and authorize a small-business lending fund.

Motion rejected 46-52: R 39-0; D 7-50; I 0-2.

Senate Vote 239 – S J Res 30: Union Elections – Motion to Proceed

September 23, 2010 – Isakson, R-Ga., motion to proceed to consideration of a joint resolution that would provide for congressional disapproval of a National Mediation Board rules change regarding airline and railway union elections under the Railway Labor Act.

Motion rejected 43-56: R 40-0; D 3-54; I 0-2.

Senate Vote 245 – HR 3081: Continuing Appropriations ‘Shell’ – Spending Reductions

September 29, 2010 – Thune, R-S.D., amendment no. 4676 to the Inouye, D-Hawaii, substitute amendment no. 4674. The Thune amendment would provide for a 5 percent reduction in spending, except for defense, homeland security, veterans programs and other matters adjusted by the substitute. The substitute would provide continuing appropriations through Dec. 3, 2010, for all federal departments and agencies whose fiscal 2010 appropriations bills have not been enacted.

Rejected 48-51: R 40-0; D 8-49; I 0-2.

Murkowski’s Missed Votes since the Primary:

9/13: 1 vote

9/14: 3 votes

She was present on 9/16: 4 votes

9/21: 1 vote

9/23: 2 votes

9/27: 1 vote

9/28: 2 votes

9/29: 5 votes