ANCHORAGE - Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller and his wife were embarking on an extensive remodel of their recently purchased home in 1995 when they applied for indigent fish-and-game licenses, the Anchorage Daily News reported Saturday.
Public records obtained by the newspaper show that three months before getting the low-income licenses, the Millers applied for a building permit. The permit was issued in May for an $800 fee plus $520 for plan reviews. The value of the addition, which was like a new two-story home with a bedroom, two offices and a family room, was listed at just over $110,000.
In 1995, residents who qualified for the low-income license paid $5 instead of the regular $55 fee.
Miller was a law student at the time, and he spent much of 1994 working as an intern at an Anchorage law firm and at the state Law Department. He graduated from Yale Law School in May 1995, and flew between Connecticut and Alaska several times that semester.
A month after graduating he began a $70,000-a-year job at an Anchorage law firm.
Campaign spokesman Randy DeSoto has insisted he qualified for the low-income license, and that family expenses were paid with loans while Miller was in school.
To qualify for an indigent license, the state Fish and Game Department says a person needs to have lived in Alaska for the previous 12 months and either been on welfare or had an annual family gross income of less than $8,200 for the year prior to applying.
Joe and Kathleen Miller bought a modest home on an acre lot in Anchorage in 1994 when they moved to Alaska; it was appraised at $98,500.
DeSoto said they used proceeds from the sale of farmland that Miller owned in Kansas, his home state, to pay for it, but the public records also show Miller and his wife took out a $92,000 mortgage from Countrywide.