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Empire Editorial: Pay up, Joe

Posted: June 25, 2011 - 10:15pm

Former U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller got a bit of a jolt last week when a judge handed him the bill for his protracted, unreasonable and rather embarrassing court fight against the results of a fair election.

We agree with Judge William Carey’s Friday ruling that ordered Miller to pay $17,373.85 in legal costs the state of Alaska racked-up during Miller’s court challenge to the 2010 election.

We think it’s unfortunate Carey had to rule that Miller shouldn’t pay legal bills for his rival, Sen. Lisa Murkowski. She had to defend her legitimate write-in win against Miller’s increasingly shrill bid to become a U.S. Senator appointed by the courts. But, legally, the judge found the state was the prevailing party, not Murkowski, who joined the suit but had no claim to reimbursement of her expenses.

Miller, of course, does not agree with the judge’s view that the suit filed against the state he sought to represent was filed for the defense of the state’s Constitution. Miller said he did it for all of us, not for himself.

In Carey’s own words, quoted by the Associated Press: “The hearings and briefings revealed Miller arguing a fair election but addressing the margin of votes and the closeness of a possible win. The main thrust of this action was not, in this court’s view, to altruistically promote and preserve constitutional protections, but to win an election, with the political and pecuniary benefits that would accrue thereby.”

Miller lost at every level in three courts when he sued the state over its handling of the election and the counting of write-in votes for Murkowski.

It doesn’t take a crystal ball and a swami to see what’s probably going to happen next. The suit started in federal court, but a judge determined the case belonged in the state courts. Miller will proceed to blame every judge, especially the one who told him to file first in state court.

Miller mouthpiece Randy DeSoto is already on the job, telling the AP that Judge Carey “mistakenly divines — without any evidence concerning this before him — that Joe Miller’s motivation was a U.S. senator’s salary. Obviously, the judge and many like him do not get it.”

That’s right.

The judge doesn’t “get it” the way Joe Miller does.

The majority of the state’s voters, who soundly rejected Miller by voting for Murkowski or Scott McAdams instead of Miller, also don’t “get it” the way Miller does.

We think Joe Miller doesn’t “get it.” His unsuccessful bid for office died by popular vote, and the resulting court dramas were all about him.

Pay up and move on already.

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