AK Voices: Paulette Simpson

Paulette Simpson lives in Juneau where she has been active in Republican politics.

Not forged from the same fire - 3/26/2011 9:17 pm

Mining camp to capital city - 3/21/2011 8:12 pm

Rankings - 1/29/2011 9:43 pm

The lost (and found) boys of the Republican Party - 11/21/2010 5:50 pm

The shadow election - 10/18/2010 6:59 pm

A principled choice - 9/14/2010 6:04 pm

Reviewing National Review - 9/11/2010 5:09 pm

"All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up." - 7/23/2010 3:56 pm

"All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up."

After storming off the stage at the March 2008 Republican convention in Anchorage, Joe Miller quit the Republican Party. In October 2009 he decided he was a Republican again and in April 2010 showed up as a delegate at the Republican convention in Juneau. Compared with 2008, he maintained a low profile. We exchanged pleasantries and even shared a table at the Friday night banquet.

Conventioneers were electing a Party Chairman on Saturday afternoon but Miller still wasn’t interested in that job. In fact, about a week earlier a rumor had begun circulating that he had set his sights much higher and would challenge Lisa Murkowski for the United States Senate seat in the August Primary election. He had shared his plans with several others, including state Sen. John Coghill.

Lisa was the speaker at Saturday’s convention luncheon. District 3 chair Ben Brown and I took seats toward the back and Miller sat at the next table over. When Lisa wrapped up her remarks but before the luncheon ended, I turned my phone back on and it immediately rang. The caller was a political acquaintance wondering if Miller had announced against Lisa yet. I asked the caller to hang on, laid the phone on the table and told Ben what I was going to do.

I walked over to where he was sitting and looked Miller directly in the eye.

“So,” I said. “Are you going to announce against Lisa?”

With indignation in his voice, he replied, “Absolutely not, Paulette!”

“I’m sorry, but that rumor is all over this convention and I just wanted to hear it from you straight,” I said.

“Paulette,” he replied, “If I were going to run don’t you think I would have announced BEFORE the convention?”

“You know,” I said. “Two years ago you did some pretty squirrelly things so I guess it’s not surprising people are making stuff up about you.”

One more time he clearly reiterated to me that he was not going to challenge Lisa.

Two days later he channeled Obama by using the state Capitol’s marble columns and big stage steps as the backdrop to unfurl an expensive, professionally designed “Joe Miller for the U.S. Senate” banner.

I’ll be the first to say it’s Miller’s constitutional right to run for office and it’s also his right to keep it a secret if he wants to. I certainly wasn’t more entitled to the information than anyone else, but I wasn’t less entitled either. How could someone auditioning for the United States Senate look a potential constituent in the eye and plainly lie? It begs a few questions, like what else does he think it's okay to lie about? Some might think that his lying to me specifically was okay. Well then, who else? When else?

Also, did Miller gain anything by keeping his news secret for another forty-eight hours? No. Did Lisa do something that changed his mind between the end of her speech and his announcement? Don't think so. Why did he have a problem answering a simple and direct question? Remember former Sen. Alan Simpson’s famous quote? "If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don't have integrity, nothing else matters."

I’m beginning to think Miller suffers from a personality disorder. We know from his amateurish performance at the 2008 Republican convention that he acts impulsively and irresponsibly - ignoring reality and failing to count his votes. And for someone who’s never been elected to anything, his sense of self-importance seems wildly inflated.

With his well-rehearsed lines and fake bodyguards, it’s inevitable that some will be drawn to Miller’s act, but I’m still not buying the script. He doesn’t get the rules, he can’t work the system and he’s not honest. He’s a bearded, unfamous Lindsay Lohan. Another warped drama queen.

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