Friday, December 28, 2012

Alaska's Lisa Murkowski teams up with Democratic Senator to write opinion piece promising to take on SuperPACs. Oookay, what's the catch?

Courtesy of Alaska Dispatch:  

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, is teaming with Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., to clean up the indulgent and secretive excesses of so-called political Super PACs. She's pledged to take on the project early in the 113th Congress, and co-authored with Wyden an opinion piece on the subject published in the Washington Post. 

In their piece for the Post, released late Thursday to reporters, Murkowski and Wyden explain: 

"This influx of unregulated political cash stemming from the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision spawned a particularly vitriolic political cycle. Groups on both sides dumped some $6 billion into tearing down candidates for public office. The anonymity of much of this spending encourages ads that lower the level of political discourse and makes it harder, not easier, for Americans to make informed decisions.” 

However before you start thinking to yourself, "Finally a Republican who is ready to break ranks and think for herself, remember this:

Murkowski has herself benefited greatly from a Super PAC. Back in 2010, when independent expenditure groups got the green light to go hog wild, she was in a heated battle to keep her Senate seat from going to Alaska's tea party-backed challenger, Joe Miller. Miller won the primary, but Murkowski chose to stay in the race and mount a write-in campaign. With the help of a Super PAC called Alaskans Standing Together, largely funded by Alaska Native corporations reliant on federal money streams, Murkowski won re-election.

I am unable to put my suspicious nature concerning Lisa Murkowski aside (Remember she is the Senator who allowed energy lobbyists to write her a bill for her and also attempted to hamstring the EPA's ability to regulate greenhouse gases.), however I will say that she has broken ranks with the Republicans before, and I would expect that she will do so again as she may have one of the most primary proof Senate seats in the country.

After her trouncing of Joe Miller's vaguely bearded ass in 2010, I would be stunned if anybody from the right wanted to challenge her nomination again. And as for the Democrats, as much as it pains me to say, there just isn't anybody that I believe can really give her a run for her money.

So essentially Murkowski is free to finally vote her conscience. I don't expect that her conscience. will line up too well with most liberal ideals, but I also don't see her going all Teabagger on us either.

The only possible fly in Murkowski's political ointment is the fact that the Joe Miller crowd is now running the Alaska Republican Party.

As you know our elections are not exactly democratic so the people in charge of the vote tally (The Republicans) is also in charge of the outcome of our elections. However it would be an incredibly risky move for the Miller teabaggers to try and steal an election from Murkowski, who would have the support of the old Republican guard plus many Independents, not to mention more than a handful of liberals whose respect she earned by kicking Miller's ass.

Oh well, time will tell, but my money is still on the fact that Murkowski is, for all intents and purposes, essentially bullet proof. Which means that she could conceivably become one of the most influential members of the Senate.


  1. hedgewytch1:48 PM

    Remember Gryph, Lisa is a Master at being very concerned about something. She posture's very well. But in the end, she has ALWAYS voted what her campaign contributors tell her to. The very, very few times she voted against the rest of the GOP, it was on things that wouldn't really matter in the long run.

    1. fromthediagonal2:23 PM

      I agree, hedgewytch, she postures well, but her voting record leaves much to be desired.

      Historically, there have been people, even politicians, who somewhere and somehow in their life time found a core belief.
      Ms. Murkowski's fight against Joe Miller and his fundamentalist and militia followers may just have provided what she needed to stand up to those who have perverted the system.

      OK, so I am a cautious optimist...

    2. Also too - does Alaska have to be forever seen as republican. There are surely some bright dems there - it seems really sad that the gop paranoia allows the state to get redder and redder

    3. Anonymous2:50 AM

      Her picture is in the dictionary after this line: "watch what she does instead of hear what she says". Actions speak louder than words.

  2. Anonymous1:53 PM

    Another Republican for which I have absolutely no trust or respect. She makes me nervous whenever I watch her speak - something in her delivery!?

    Why Alaskans have kept her in office makes no sense to me. I've never voted for her and never will!

  3. Anonymous2:15 PM

    Yep Murki has no spine and is a fake, pretending to care about her constituents when really all she cares about are her big donors. And Ron Wyden, the guy who supports Paul Ryan's budget plan to cut and or privatize our social safety net. I'd vote for sick dog before I vote for that Blue dog indeed!!

  4. Anonymous2:17 PM

    As Republicans go, you could do a lot worse than Lisa Murkowski.

  5. Anonymous2:37 PM

    And she kicked Palin's ass when she beat Joe Miller which has to count for something.

  6. Anonymous2:51 PM

    2:17 Quite the statement, but where is the proof to your sentence? As usual from some of you people, nothing of substance!

    1. Sally in MI3:00 PM

      You people? And you want to know who's a worse Republican than Lisa? Bachmann, Akin, Issa, Gingrich, Cantor, Camp, McConnell, Boehner, Santorum, Snyder,Kasich, Walker, Mittens and sons, Scott Brown....I could go on and on. At least Lisa can see the other side and go against her party once in a while. The above maned have NEVER voted against ALEC, the Kochs, and the NRA.

    2. Anonymous3:52 PM

      3:00 PM Lisa is a Republican amongst all those you mentioned that are absolutely horrible. Lisa has shown me nothing for which to vote for her or respect her as a Republican. Sorry! I don't trust her and that is all there is about it! I truly don't trust the majority of them! In Congress - or on the state and city levels. They are a piece of work that don't fit my ideals.

  7. Anonymous3:06 PM

    Lisa Murkowski is very smart and I used to respect her, even if I didn't necessarily agree w/ all her positions. But lately she's sold her soul to the Right-Wing Nincompoops and made some truly shameful votes. If she's really taking on the SuperPacs to try and clean up our elections, good for her. But yes, I'm very dubious too. If she really IS turning over a new leaf, perhaps she could introduce a bill to institute nationwide instant runoff elections, whereby candidates are "ranked" in order of voters' preference. Many voting districts have this already, and it works. What it does is to allow people to vote for a 3rd party candidate without fear of "wasting" their vote. It also would prevent Yahoos like Teabagger Joe Miller from splitting the rational vote and winning a seat against all odds, like he did in the Senate Primary against Murkowski. Perhaps she could use her first-hand experience in that election to push for that kind of change. It would be a step back on the high road for her.

    1. Anonymous4:20 PM

      Murki very smart? It took her five efforts to pass the bar.

    2. For sure she wasn't a quitter.

    3. Anonymous 3:06 pm: I agree with you. It's time for her to dump the republican party. She was a write-in candidate and its time for her to either be an independent or a democrat. The republicans are imploding and don't know how to fix the monster they allowed to be created in their party.

  8. Anonymous3:06 PM

    Let's hope she grew a conscience and is true to her reform. It's wait and see.

  9. Anonymous3:37 PM

    Off Topic: Does this - - make sense to anyone?
    G, any of this come your way at any time?

  10. Anonymous3:57 PM

    Whatever, I've always thought that Lisa was just "Miller Lite".

  11. Caroll Thompson4:06 PM

    Don't feel like the lone stranger there G. Here in Maine, we have Susan Collins. Senator Collins is not a tea bagger, but she voted for whatever George W. Bush wanted for eight years and always hangs with the Republicans when they insist on 60 votes to even have a vote.

  12. Anonymous4:11 PM

    I really hope they are successful, but I don't have much faith they'll be. Not to pin SuperPAC's to anyone party, but let face it Republican's come out ahead with SuperPAC's because of all the money they can get from corporations. As such, I see Republican's fighting this to the end and killing any effort to do away with SuperPAC's. Nonetheless, Murkcowski is commended for her efforts in overturn superPAC's, no matter how slim the chances are in my mind of this passing. At least she brought it up for conversation.


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