From Sean Cockerham in Anchorage –
The Joe Miller campaign has refused for 10 days to say what low income government assistance the U.S. Senate candidate has received for himself and his family of eight children.
The ADN posed the question a week ago Monday when we reported that Miller obtained a state low-income hunting and fishing license after taking out a mortgage and starting a $70,000 a year attorney job. The question asked was what other low income assistance he’s received, whether through a federal or state program like Denali KidCare. Miller has called federal entitlement benefits unconstitutional, saying that it should be up to the states to decide on offering them.
Miller has also criticized Lisa Murkowski for being a “champion” of Denali KidCare, a state health care program for low-income women and children that receives federal Medicaid money. Miller’s objection was that Denali KidCare money funds abortions.
Miller said in a Sept. 29th Associated Press story that he considers the past government benefits he’s received to be irrelevant but “we'll try to answer the questions the press presents to us. We're going to try to be as forthright as we can."
Miller spokesman Randy DeSoto initially said he would answer the question about what low income benefits Miller has received, writing Sept. 30th that “I will be getting more details for you soon.” But on Monday of this week DeSoto objected to the question, suggesting it is not something the Senate candidate should have to answer.
“I don’t know why we have to answer just broadside questions on did Joe ever receive..I mean, do we have to tell? It seems to me that if a specific question comes up, or raised by specific facts, maybe we should have to answer,” DeSoto said on the phone.
After it was pointed out that Miller had said he was open to answering such questions, DeSoto said “we’ll probably be putting something together.”
DeSoto did not respond when asked today if, 10 days after the question was posed, an answer would actually be coming.
The Daily News also asked the Murkowski and McAdams campaigns today the same question.
Murkowski (an attorney who grew up the daughter of a banker who became a senator) said she and her family have never received state or federal low-income assistance. The Murkowski campaign emphasized her vote in support of federal funding SCHIP funding for Denali KidCare, saying “it extends vital health care coverage to one of the most vulnerable segments of our population – low income children.”
The McAdams campaign answered that "for part of his childhood, Scott lived with his mother and sister in low-income housing in Petersburg, AK. Scott supports the state and federal programs that enable families to survive during hard times and that help hard working Alaskans get back on their feet."