This item was published on Monday evening. A somewhat different, expanded version was published in Wednesday's print newspaper and on our main webpage. Read that version here.
From Sean Cockerham in Anchorage ---
After he first came to Alaska, purchased a home in South Anchorage and started work as an attorney for a prominent local firm, Senate candidate Joe Miller and his wife obtained resident low-income hunting and fishing licenses that require a family annual income of less than $8,200.
Miller campaign spokesman Randy Desoto said the family met the guidelines for the 1995 licenses. He said Miller had been a full time law student at Yale on a merit scholarship the previous years and his wife was taking care of their children, with family expenses paid through loans.
The Alaska resident low-income sportfishing, hunting and trapping licenses require a person to have their domicile in Alaska for the previous 12 months. The person must also either be on welfare or have an annual family gross income of less than $8,200 for the year before applying for the license.
The cost of the low-income license was $5. Nonresidents paid $300 and residents who didn’t meet the income guidelines paid $55.
Miller came to Alaska in July 1994, while still in law school, and worked as a clerk and intern. He purchased the South Anchorage home that September (it currently has an assessed value of about $400,000). DeSoto said Miller’s wife and children stayed behind at the Anchorage home when he left that winter to return to Yale, going back and forth to Alaska.
DeSoto said the home was purchased with the sale of some of the farmland Miller owned in Kansas, where he's originally from.
Miller graduated from Yale in May 1995 and then started work that June for Condon Partnow & Sharrock in Anchorage, according to an application Miller later filled out for a job as an assistant borough attorney in Fairbanks. Miller listed the estimated salary as $70,000 a year.
On July 31 of that year, Miller obtained the low income hunting and fishing license that require a gross annual income family of less than $8,200 for the year preceding the application. His wife, Kathleen, received her license on Aug. 4. (Those getting the licenses only must show proof of eligibility when specifically asked by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.) Miller and his wife were issued the licenses by Wal-Mart, one of the state's vendors in Anchorage.
“Joe told me that he did not cross the income threshold,” DeSoto said.