Joe Miller Remarks: The End of the Beginning

Joe Miller Concedes

Anchorage, Alaska. December 31, 2010 — Joe Miller made the following remarks announcing his decision to end his legal fight regarding the U.S. Senate election in Alaska:

As many of you know, I am a father. I have 8 wonderful children and an extraordinary wife. One of the primary reasons I decided to run for the U.S. Senate was because of my sincere belief that the reckless spending by those in office was bankrupting our country. In what can only be described as actions that are selfish, irresponsible and immoral, we continue to pass on trillion-dollar deficits to our children. This delusional spending has no regard for the burden placed on them, and no consideration for the difficulties we place on ourselves.

It is said that a politician runs for the next election, but a statesman runs for the next generation. I have always viewed my platform as one that would benefit the next generation more than ourselves. It was a message that over 90,000 Alaskans endorsed and millions across the nation supported.

But we ultimately fell short this time. While it appeared unlikely that the vote margin would be overcome, we wanted to make sure that the vote count was honest and conducted in compliance with the law. Adhering to the rule of law is the bedrock of our democracy. We raised concerns about the election process under a state law that a federal judge recently ruled was “a poorly drafted state statute” and that the court suggested “the Alaska Legislature act to clarify it.” Recent comments and prefiled bills by Alaskan legislators on both sides of the aisle suggest that they too agree on the need to revise state election laws. Even the lieutenant governor has called for an internal review. All Alaskans should demand that this review is transparent and independent.

I have been criticized for seeking to apply the rule of law to this election, and I have paid a price for our approach. I accept that criticism knowing that often doing what is right is not the same thing as doing what is easy—or popular. The easy thing to do would be to ignore the electoral irregularities and move on to other things. While persisting in this fight, I knew my motives, and indeed my judgment, would be called into question. What is true, is that I fought this fight, so that candidates in the future would not have to do so. There can be nothing more serious, and more sacrosanct, than our election process. It’s the tool we use to maintain the will of the people in determining the course of this state and the nation. When the laws governing this sacred process — laws voted into place by the people and their legislators — when these laws are disregarded, for whatever reason, all Alaskans should demand answers. And so, given the facts, and my position at the time, I chose to fight, for this process, and the rule of law. We were not successful in that endeavor, but the fight was a worthy one, and one I will not shy away from, should I be faced with it again.

As a Constitutional conservative, I respect the rule of law as much as I sought to have enforced the rule of law. I say today that the courts have spoken. To my many supporters who continue to urge me to appeal to the Ninth Circuit and the US Supreme Court, I say that I hear you, but the time has come to accept the practical realities of our current legal circumstances. We shall abide by the courts’ decisions even if we do not agree with them.

I stand before you today to explain where we are in the process and what our future plans are. I started my run for Senate out of a sincere love for my country and my state. There is no place more extraordinary than Alaska, with its wide open spaces, rugged extremes and individuals, and unparalleled challenges. And there is no nation more exceptional than the United States of America, founded on the unshakeable principle that God has given us fundamental rights that no one and no government has the right to take away. I voluntarily pledged my life and all my resources to defend this country and those principles. And I would do so again.

Like so many Alaskans, I have grave concerns about the course our country is taking. We are spending money we don’t have. I brought a message to this state and I sounded an alarm. The way of the past, with its obsession for growing the federal government, out of control spending, pork barrel politics, corrupting earmarks, and its disregard for individual liberty, is destroying our country. Now is the time for us to engage in a national conversation about the role of the federal government, its relationship with the states and the people, and the need to balance and responsibly manage the federal budget. I also applaud the efforts of the Republican leadership to not only read into the record the Constitution, but to cite the Constitutional authority for each proposed law.

Unlike so many people in D.C. right now, I still believe in American exceptionalism.

I still believe in the American individual.

I still believe in the sovereign State of Alaska and the independent Alaskan.

And always, always, I believe in and maintain an unshakeable faith in God and his providence and grace.

Our campaign was an underdog from the beginning. Going against the establishment, and a political force with so much money and power standing behind it to defend the status quo was a formidable challenge that few thought we were up to. Many knew the risk of standing against such power, and still they stood with us. Our support network, many of whom we see here, and the will, passion and foresight of a great people were up to the task, and through the grace of God, we prevailed in the primary.

However, more than just a testament to the will of our supporters, defeating a sitting Senator in the primary reflected a simple truth–tens of thousands of Alaskans heard my message and knew its truth. And over 90,000 Alaskans said loud and clear on Election Day–enough! And in a state that is dependent on enormous federal funding, the fact that so many Alaskans were able to see beyond today and look to the future was an amazing achievement, and a testament to their character.

My message was honest. The truth cannot be hidden from the people any longer. But blunt honesty has a price. The messenger may not always be appreciated. It’s been said that in war you can only die once, but in politics you can die a thousand deaths. I like to kind of focus on the resurrection part of that message.

But in speaking the truth we saw how quickly those whose economic model depends on government waste reacted. These powerful vested corporate interests, funded in part by U.S. taxpayer dollars with no bid contracts, successfully organized against our messages of reform and fiscal responsibility.

The campaign is over, but the real impact of the outcome is just starting to be felt. We’ve seen in just the past few weeks what direction Senator Murkowski wants to take the country and Alaska, a direction that I campaigned against, and I will continue to oppose.

We need to demand that our elected leaders remember that “Freedom” is not unlimited financial support funded by fellow taxpayers. “Liberty” is not recklessly spending us into bankruptcy. The ability to prosper in this nation and reach our full potential is not based on how much the government can give us, but rather how much it will leave us be, to thrive and determine our own destiny.

People ask me what my plans for the future are. I know for a fact that standing down is not an option, and I will continue to sound the alarm about the state of our nation. But exactly what form that will take, I don’t know quite yet.

I do know that I have a loving family and the support of my wonderful wife. We have a great state, and the support of tens of thousands of Alaskans. My supporters were the most loyal, devoted and energetic volunteers any campaign could hope for. I studied American politics, while I was at West Point; I’ve been a student of it since; I taught it when I was at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. I have never seen, of course I am a little bit biased here, I have never seen a campaign so energized, so funded, so supported by the base. Extraordinary. That’s one thing that ought to go down in the history books. We have been blessed beyond words by your contribution and sacrifice. These were people, who gave not just their financial resources, but their time. But beyond these sacrifices, and quite possibly even more significant, they gave us their endorsement. They took the value of their good word, built up with friends and neighbors over a lifetime of honest deeds and actions, and put that behind me and this cause. They placed signs in their yard and said, “This is my candidate. I stand with him.” There can be no greater honor, and no more humbling experience for me personally, than to receive the faith and trust of these good people. I will live my life trying to live up to the magnitude of that trust, so that no one who has ever placed that faith in me will be let down. To all of you, and especially to my incredible wife Kathleen, I say thank you.

People from across the country have reached out to us. Great leaders and minds of conservative thought embraced us and our message also. Again, let me say we are, and were, humbled and honored beyond words by this.

This is not the beginning of the end. This is the end of the beginning. While Alaska may not, at this point, have embraced the sort of reform that this nation and state needs to survive, hope IS apparent, as evidenced by the overwhelming message sent to Washington DC in this last election cycle. The American people are increasingly rejecting socialism, and conservatives are rejecting career politicians who stand for nothing save self preservation. These are great days, in that regard, and all who value liberty should take heart at these recent events. There is much to do, but the light has shone, and I believe, more and more Americans and Alaskans will wake up to this light, and embrace, and not oppress, those values that for so long in our recent times, we have forsaken.

Whatever comes next, I can make only one promise: I will work now, and for the rest of my life, to educate and inspire, and to fight to protect the things that have made this state and this nation great, and will defend with every fiber of my being, the hallowed principles outlined in the divinely inspired document that for over 200 years has not just ensured our freedom, but has been a beacon of hope for the entire world: the Constitution of the United States. Where corruption and complacency threaten to weaken it, I will draw the lines of battle and step into the breach. I would ask those who believe in these principles, and share this love of liberty, to step with me.

Thank you, all of you, for the privilege of being your candidate.

May God continue to bless our state, our country, and guide Senator Murkowski in her future actions.


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