Currently, the senior senator from Alaska, Lisa Murkowski, is ranked as one of the 14 least conservative Republican senators in the U. S. Senate. In fact, Sen. Murkowski has been ranked among the least conservative Republicans in the senate for the past four years. Moreover, Sen. Murkowski has never been ranked closer to the Gang of 14 most conservative Republican senators than to the least conservative Republican senators.
The 2009 National Journal Vote Ratings, published in Feb., 2010, ranked the senior senator from Alaska the sixth least conservative Republican senator. Senators Gregg, Voinovich, Collins, Luger and Snowe held the honors of being the five least conservative senate Republicans out of a total of 39. Democrat Senators Bye and Nelson were ranked just slightly less conservative than Alaska’s senior senator, yet more conservative than Sen. Snowe, while Sen. Bye was more conservative than Luger and Snowe.
Sen. Murkowski has never been any where close to ranking in the Gang of 14 most conservative Republican senators. In her best conservative years (2003, 2004 and 2005), at least 10 other Republicans were ranked more conservative than she, yet still less conservative than the most conservative gang of 14. In 2005, 22 Republican senators were ranked less conservative than Murkowski. Nonetheless, 18 Republicans were ranked more conservative, but not conservative enough to be ranked among the 14 most conservative senate Republicans.
Despite being more conservative than 22 of her Republican peers in 2005, the list of less conservative senators is not surprising. Among the least conservative of her peers that year were Sen. Specter, who finally became a democrat, Lincoln Chaffe of RI, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins from Maine and Lindsey Graham, John Warner, Mike DeWine and John McCain. With the exception of Sen. Specter, these senators were the Republicans who joined with seven Democrat senators to create the “original” Gang of 14 in early 2005.
As the 2010 election approaches, the Alaska Republican Party has aptly begun to portray the senior senator from Alaska as more conservative than her record actually demonstrates. While the senator’s record has been consistently conservative over the past several months, it may not be much of a surprise that the liberal ladies from Maine have also held ranks in opposition to the Democrat controlled government’s efforts to create a nanny state. After all, although the least conservative Republican senators are really just liberals with an R after their names, they are not Leftists.
For example, in January of ’09 when the 2010 elections were distant enough on the political horizon, Murkowski joined the Maine Ladies, as well as soon to become a Democrat Arlen Specter, voting for the “massive S-CHIP expansion… to subsidize not-poor families and not-children ‘children’ and non-citizens who don’t have to prove their citizenship.” http://michellemalkin.com/2009/01/29/senate-s-chip-roll-call-vote-9-bo-republicans-vote-for-raising-taxes-in-a-recession/
The senator has staked out her position over the last seven years, and whether or not she voted for the very expensive and expansive Bush era Medicare Part D and No Child Left Behind programs, or was a member of the original gang of 14 or not, is immaterial at this point. As a liberal republican she has used her office to purchase, using other people’s money, the allegiance of as many of those who have less while placating the conservative constituents who will actually pay for the programs. Time and again the senator has demonstrated behavior that suggests a philosophical position supportive of a federal government that seeks equal outcomes in lieu of trying to hold true to the principle of equal opportunity.
Alaska’s senators are both subscribers to the concepts of social justice and economic justice; but only one of them would dare to publicize it.
Those who support her primary challenger, Joe Miller, want a senator who ranks closer to, or is actually included in, the conservative gang of 14 senators. They seek a senator who will put some reigns on federal spending and bridle it back. They want a senator who not only votes consistently conservative, but one who is a persistent proponent of smaller government. Alaskans want a senator who is publicly and sincerely critical of those who seek more centralization of power, control and influence in Wash., D.C.
Lisa Murkowski is a compassionate conservative who participated in the Bush Administration’s doubling of the national debt. She is a centerpiece for the Leftists who currently control Washington to point out as an example of Republicans who often agree with them on social and economic issues, and who have voted consistently to provide government services and regulations to support those issues. As a result, liberal Republicans who vote with the Left on issues such as S-CHIP are easy examples for the Left to use as a defense for more fiscal irresponsibility.
Alaskans can do nothing about the ladies from Maine, but we certainly can do something about the lady from Alaska.
Finally, in case a challenge is made on the substance of this articles for it’s sources, Human Events also published an article in March of ‘09 that listed Senator Murkowski as number five on a list of their top ten RINOs, including Senator Specter. Hence, with Specter’s departure from the Republican Party, Sen. Murkowski is now ranked number four on this list. http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=31018&keywords=top+10+senate+rinos