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Empire editorial: Time to go, Joe

Posted: Friday, December 31, 2010

The time has come - and long since passed - for the candidate who has no chance of becoming our next U.S. Senator to give up his legal ploys and stop holding the people of Alaska hostage.

Joe Miller says he'll announce this afternoon whether he'll fight to undermine one of only three representatives this state has in Washington, D.C.

His attorneys must sit Miller down with a strong cup of coffee, or perhaps tea is more appropriate, and dole out the tough love he needs: He can't win his challenge, and will only risk crippling a state he claims to love by pursuing a job he didn't win.

Residents of the 49th State deserve the clear and unquestioned representation Lisa Murkowski won the right to give us when she pulled off her long-shot write-in re-election bid over Republican nominee Miller.

Even while allowing the election to be certified, guaranteeing that Alaska will have two U.S. Senators and one Congressional representative on Capitol Hill to look after our interests next year, Miller managed to throw a stink bomb into the room. He continued his challenge to the legitimacy of Murkowski's election and won't tell the world until today whether he'll try to go to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary to oust Murkowski.

His move seems aimed at further crippling Murkowski, who did a pretty good job of kicking the slats out of her own standing with GOP leaders when she opposed the party and ran for her old job via write-in. If Miller's challenges continue, top Republicans and Democrats will look at Murkowski as the candidate who may be recalled home if a court finds she didn't win after all.

That's worse than lame duck status, it's dead duck.

Most politicians talk of voter empowerment and the will of the people in a way that at least seems on the surface to suggest that they want the will of the people to triumph. Joe Miller says he's doing this all for the people - his people anyway, the minority of voters who voted for him.

With 35.49 percent of the popular vote, Joe Miller certainly has no popular mandate - 64.51 percent of people who went to the polls voted for other candidates. Some of those votes were Democratic crossovers who abandoned their own candidate to write in Murkowski's name in the hopes she'd derail the Outside money-fueled Tea Party Express.

If Joe Miller takes nothing else away from this experience, it should be the realization that almost everyone who voted in November did so either for a candidate they liked better than Miller, or as a strong political statement against his ideas.

The voters have already spoken. It's the losing candidate who won't listen.



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