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The Joe Miller I know

Posted: Friday, October 29, 2010

For 11 years, I worked as a health care provider in Tok - a hub for medical and judicial services for the Upper Tanana. Alcoholism was a serious and daily problem. For a time, 95 percent of my after hours calls were alcohol-related. Seemingly endless medevacs were due to injuries sustained while drinking and fighting. Generally, the perpetrators were repeat offenders. As magistrate, Joe Miller took an innovative approach in addressing recidivism associated with alcohol-related crime. He pioneered an optional treatment plan; instead of going to jail, repeat offenders could opt to participate in a court-ordered naltrexone program.

The results were overwhelmingly positive. Chronically intoxicated individuals were not only maintaining long-term sobriety but holding jobs. The impact on families was positive and dramatic. This says nothing of the savings in medical and incarceration expenses.

Miller is extremely hard working, honest, a man of integrity, innovative, family and community centered, fair and non-judgmental of others' personal lives

During his time off what does Miller do? From what I can tell, all of his leisure-time activities involve his wife and children. Every time I have observed the family during non-work hours, they are participating in some wholesome activity designed to involve all: sledding, horse-back riding, hunting, and the like. I remember driving by Miller's property in Tok. For a time, the family lived in a travel trailer. After working at the courthouse a particularly long day, I found Miller atop a ladder building his house. And his crew - his daughters and sons working hard along side.

As is widely known, Miller graduated with honors from West Point. He attended Yale Law School. He is a decorated soldier. His list of professional and academic accolades is lengthy. The purpose of my letter is not to list his accomplishments, but to share with you my experiences with him.

Not only do I feel Miller is highly qualified for the United States Senate post, but I feel he has tremendous potential as a leader for our country.

Mary-Beth Gardner

Fairbanks



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