|U.S. Senator from Alaska|
From: December 20, 2002 - Present
|Successor||Incumbent (no successor)|
Lisa Ann Murkowski, born May 22, 1957 (age 59), is the senior United States Senator from Alaska and a member of the Republican Party. She is Alaska's first female senator and the first U.S. Senator born in Alaska. In 1998, Murkowski was elected to the Alaska House of Representatives and had been elected the House Majority Leader for the 2003–2004 session. In December 2002, her father, Governor Frank Murkowski, appointed her to a vacant seat in the United States Senate, resulting in charges of nepotism. In her 2004 reelection she was considered the Democrats best chance to pick up a seat from an incumbent Republican. Murkowski was elected to a full six-year term by a 49%-46% margin.
2010 Midterm Elections
In a stunning upset, she was defeated for renomination in 2010 by Tea Party favorite and pro-life conservative Gulf War veteran Joe Miller. Murkowski ran a write in candidacy, which was especially complicated due to the high rate of non-English speakers who supported her. Approximately 8,000 of the 100,000 write in votes cast for her were misspelled, the most common misspelling was Merkowski, but Murkowsky and Murcowski were also common. For comparison the last major write in candidate, Robin Taylor, who was the Republican party nominee running against a withdrawn candidate and a Democrat had about 15% misspellings, Robin Taylor is far easier to spell than Lisa Murkowski. The wording of the legislation leads readers to the conclusion that no misspelling is acceptable, even with out misspellings Murkowski won, but the Division of Elections and State and Federal courts chose to take voter intent into account and concluded that all votes that where phonetically identical to Murkowski should be counted for her. The legislation was rewritten early in the 2011 legislative session with bipartisan support in order to avoid repeat problems in the future.
Murkowski has earned a reputation as a "moderate Republican" (i.e. liberal); she is a RINO, Republican-in-name-only, according to Tea Party conservatives and Rush Limbaugh. Murkowski has said this of the Obama administration and President Obama in particular:
|“||I will tell you, I am not one of those who wants Obama to fail.||”|
While she voted to ban partial birth abortion and to make it a criminal penalty for harming an unborn child during other crimes, she is a member of several pro-abortion groups such as The Republican Majority For Choice, Republicans For Choice and The Wish List. Murkowski has received a 14% rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America, and she describes herself as "pro-choice." Murkowski likewise is a strong advocate of taxpayer-funded human embryo experimentation.
She is one of ten Republican Senators who refused to commit to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's "nuclear option" to end judicial filibusters.
Murkowski supports oil exploration in her home state of Alaska, saying that recent technological developments have reduced the environmental risks of drilling in ANWR.
Murkowski uses her position as the ranking republican on the Senate appropriations committee to gain pork expenditures for Alaska.
When Obamacare passed, most Republicans were talking repeal. Murkowski said repealing was not possible. Also, she disputed Sarah Palin's acknowledgement that there were death panel provisions in the bill.
- Rush Limbaugh.Lisa Murkowksi, RINO Run Wild, RushLimbaugh.com, November 17, 2010.
- Rush Limbaugh. Lisa Murkowski is an Idiot, RushLimbaugh.com, November 16, 2010.
- On the Cloture Motion H.R. 1105, Washington Post, March 10, 2009