From Sean Cockerham in Anchorage –
U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller, who in a recent Project Vote Smart survey opposed federal spending on agriculture, is acknowledging receiving farm subsidies during the 1990s from land that he owned in Kansas.
Miller spokesman Randy DeSoto said Miller, who is from Kansas, purchased the farmland in 1990 when he was in the Army and essentially rented it out to be farmed, finally selling the last of the 140 acres that was being farmed in 1998.
Miller moved to Alaska in 1994.
DeSoto’s acknowledgment follows the Alaska Dispatch, based on a Freedom of Information Act request with the USDA, reporting that Miller received more than $7,000 in federal farm subsidies for the Kansas land over a seven year period. The USDA has yet to fulfill a FOIA request made by the Daily News for documents on Miller’s farm subsidies but DeSoto said he does not believe that the subsidies received would have amounted to much more than the reported $7,235.
DeSoto said that it was standard practice for farmers to receive the subsidies in Kansas and that the nation was in a much better financial situation at the time that Miller received the funds.
“This was back in the 90’s, the situation the country was in was far different than now,” he said.
We have an interview with Miller on Tuesday, and this is one of the topics we’ll ask him about. He’s objected to federal spending in many areas on the grounds of unconstitutionality.
This follows a report by the blog Mudflats last week suggesting that Miller had received $14,000 in subsidies for farmland he owns in the Delta Junction area. DeSoto last week denied that in an email to the Daily News, saying “this is a manufactured story from a Democratic blog. Joe has owned land near Delta Junction since 1999, but the land is not under production and he's received no federal farm subsidies for it.”