It turns out that if Joe Miller wants to be a U.S. senator from Alaska, voters do deserve to know about his past. That's according to a Superior Court judge who ruled on Saturday that the Fairbanks North Star Borough must release personnel records from Miller’s time there as a government attorney.
The judge ruled that the public’s right to know trumped the GOP Senate candidate's right to privacy, the Anchorage Daily News reports.
"I hold that although Mr. Miller has a legitimate expectation of privacy in those documents, Mr. Miller's right to privacy is indeed outweighed by the public's significant interest in the background of a public figure who is running for the U.S. Senate," the judge said, according to the Daily News.
About 30 of the documents being sought by various news organizations will be released no earlier than Tuesday (giving time for a possible appeal to the Alaska Supreme Court), with another 60 or so being redacted. The documents are from the seven years Miller worked as a government attorney in the Fairbanks North Star Borough.
This ruling comes just weeks after Miller said he would no longer talk about his past while on the campaign trail. “You can ask me about my background, you can ask me about personal issues,” Miller said during a news conference. “I’m not going to answer.”
Shortly after that announcement, Miller talked about an ethics violation from his time as an attorney. He admitted that he was suspended for three days for using government computers to try to oust the state GOP chairman in 2008. While admitting to this violation, Miller said it did not have anything to do with his departure.
This article appears in the October 25, 2010, edition of National Journal Daily PM Update.