Sen. Mark Begich (D) doesn't want to be the lone wolf from Alaska at the start of the 112th Congress, and he is calling on Joe Miller to give up his quixotic legal challenge against Sen. Lisa Murkowski.
"It is time for Joe Miller to put Alaska's interests ahead of personal ambition and allow the State of Alaska to certify Lisa Murkowski as the winner,” Begich said in a statement today.
With his comments today, Begich made it clear that in this case his loyalties lie with his home state more than with the Democratic Party. Many Democrats wouldn't mind letting this election drag out so there could be one fewer Republican at the start of the 112th Congress, but Begich is more worried about securing funding for Alaska.
At least part of the reason Begich wants Murkowski alongside him at the start of the new year is for her vote against a ban on earmarks. Last month, Murkowski said she would not comply with a GOP ban, and the two Alaska senators both said they would oppose any legislation banning the process in the Senate. Alaska is consistently among the top recipients of pork-barrel spending by state.
“As many in Washington are united against securing funding for important road and public facility projects in individual states, it’s vital that Alaska have both senators putting our unique needs first and fighting for our state," Begich said. "Without both senators, Alaska’s interests will be at risk on critical issues from energy development to job creation and reducing the national debt in a way that’s fair to Alaskans.”
Murkowski currently leads Miller by about 10,000 votes, 8,000 of which are being contested by the Miller campaign.