Miller And Murkowski Squabble Over Court Location For AK-SEN Hearings

November 24, 2010 5:31 am

In the latest dispute in the Alaska Senate race, Joe Miller and Lisa Murkowski are debating where to hold the hearings over Miller’s lawsuit in state court. Murkowski, who announced Monday that she would attempt to intervene as a party on the state’s side of the case, argues that the case should be heard in Juneau, where the write-in vote count was held. Miller wants the suit heard in Fairbanks.

The tea party-backed Miller won a surprise victory over Murkowski in the Republican primary, only to fall short to her historic write-in bid in the general election. Murkowski has declared victory and the AP has called the race for her — though the state hasn’t certified the result yet.

The court has yet to decide whether to accept Murkowski’s attempt to become a part of the suit, which she said was an attempt “to keep those thousands of voters from being disenfranchised by Mr. Miller.”

Her campaign manager Kevin Sweeney says the campaign will file a motion over the location if the state won’t, KTUU reports.Miller filed his suit in state court on Monday, after a federal court ruled it under state jurisdiction. He argues that counting misspelled ballots as votes for Murkowski is against the law.

Yesterday, Lt. Gov. Craig Campbell, one of the parties named in Miller’s suit, called the claims “baseless” in a statement, adding that the allegations, “if left unanswered, I believe could make members of the public lose trust in a lawful, reliable and consistent process.”

In response, Miller sent out a press release yesterday saying that Campbell “plays fast and loose with the facts,” and accusing him of favoring Murkowski: “Had Campbell done his job in a neutral, competent, and lawful fashion, the Miller Campaign would not have needed to seek court assistance. Is it too much to ask that the Lieutenant Governor be unbiased and simply follow state law?”

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