Alaska Senate candidate Miller refuses to answer questions about past

FAIRBANKS – U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller said today he’d reject pressure to talk about his former employment at the Fairbanks North Star Borough. He accused Alaska’s media corps of persecuting his campaign.

Miller left the borough attorney’s office last August after seven years as a part-time assistant attorney. News organizations have pushed for more information regarding the reasons for his exit from the job. Documents raised questions about whether he inappropriately used public equipment to conduct partisan political business.

Miller, the state Republican Party nominee, has declined to authorize a broad release of his personnel information. This afternoon he told reporters in Anchorage the attention on his personal and work histories is “distracting” from the real issues. He said he was “not going to answer” questions about his history during the final weeks of his race against Democrat Scott McAdams and write-in candidate Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

Miller called upon “responsible members of the media” to focus on issues of national policy when scrutinizing candidates.

Miller said he will no longer answer reporters’ questions about his background and personal life, citing the “viciousness” of the campaign.

“I’m not going to answer them, I’m not,” he said of requests for personal information.

Miller, a fiscal conservative who has called for an end to the “welfare state,” received federal farm subsidies for land he owned in Kansas in the ‘90s and he and his wife received low-income hunting and fishing licenses when they first moved to Alaska and he was fresh from law school. Miller also acknowledged his family received Medicaid for a period and that his wife briefly received unemployment benefits.

Miller said these topics have distracted from the issues of the race. He told reporters in Anchorage he intended to focus on those issues until the election.

The race should not be about “personal attacks” but about “moving the state forward,” he said.

© 2010