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Monday, September 20, 2010
Senate’s only Republican Akaka Bill backer to be stripped of seniority, positions
By Andrew Walden @ 4:20 PM :: 6043 Views :: Akaka Bill, Republican Party

by Andrew Walden

According to multiple sources, Alaska Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski, is likely to be stripped of her Senate seniority and her committee assignments by Republican leaders.

The moves come in response to Murkowski’s announcement that she is conducting a write-in campaign for reelection to the US Senate from Alaska after losing the Alaska Republican Primary race to Yale and West Point grad Joe Miller. 

Murkowski is the only Republican US Senator currently backing the Akaka Bill.  Her support has been seen as necessary to gather the votes to overcome any filibuster by Republican senators.  With Murkowski effectively declared persona non grata by the Republican caucus, her ability to do political deals for votes on any cloture resolution is effectively nullified. 

With Republicans poised to take control of the US House and possibly the Senate after the November elections, it appears that 2010 could be the last opportunity for the Akaka Tribe to steal the Hawaiian legacy all for itself.

We at Hawai`i Free Press would like to take this moment to express our gratitude to Senator Dan Inouye.  Without his decision to allow Rep Neil Abercrombie and Sen Dan Akaka to introduce the “instant tribal jurisdiction” version of the Akaka Bill last December, the Akaka Bill might have become law already. 

Sometimes the best policy is to allow one’s opponent to take out just enough rope to hang himself.  In this regard, our gratitude for Senator Inouye's sabotage is matched only by our appreciation for the bull-headed stupidity of Neil Abercrombie, whose Congressional witlessness is as much responsible for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory as Inouye’s careful calculations.

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RELATED:

Politico:  House may adjourn by end of week (Won't be back til after Nov 2)

HFP: Senate’s Key Republican Akaka Bill backer CONCEDES Alaska primary

HFP: Akaka Bill: More than 73% of Hawaiians not "Qualified" for membership in Akaka Tribe, Reservation for a Broken Trust?, Hawaii's new political reality: Akaka Bill becomes an election issue

CSM: Lisa Murkowski write-in bid for Alaska Senate: Why would she?

Miller also says he has been told by the Republican Senate leadership in Washington that Murkowski would be stripped of her seniority and committee assignments if she runs, and wins, as an independent. If this is true, it would mean she cannot argue that she is better positioned to direct federal dollars to the state.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) has already pledged more than $200,000 to help Miller in the general election, and its leaders are unhappy that Murkowski is not going quietly into the political night.

Juneau Empire:  Miller says Murkowski will lose seniority if she wins write-in 

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Sen. Lisa Murkowski will be stripped of her seniority and key committee assignments if she runs as a write-in candidate against Republican nominee Joe Miller, Miller said Thursday.

The loss of those positions could negate one of Murkowski's key arguments for returning her to office, that her powerful Senate positions, including ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and a coveted seat on the Appropriations Committee, which can be used to benefit Alaska….

Miller said he was told of the possible action against Murkowski personally. "I was actually told by Senator Mitch McConnell today that if the senator runs a write-in campaign she'll be stripped of seniority and replaced on committees," Miller told the Empire.

Roll Call: Murkowski Likely to Lose Leadership Spot if Campaign Continues

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) will likely be forced out of her party leadership position should she decide to launch a write-in or third-party candidacy, a Senate Republican said Wednesday.

Murkowski, who conceded the GOP primary last month to Fairbanks lawyer Joe Miller, could announce as soon as Thursday whether she will continue her campaign for re-election as a write-in candidate. She has also held talks with the state’s Libertarian Party leaders about running under their flag.

Although Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and other GOP leaders have not yet formally discussed what to do if Murkowski does run, the Senate Republican said there is likely no scenario in which she would be allowed to remain Republican Conference vice chairwoman.

According to this source, Murkowski could simply resign her position, or McConnell and other leaders could press her to resign. The conference could also formally vote to strip Murkowski of her leadership mantle.

Assuming she does stay in the race and is stripped of her title, Republicans would be forced to wait until after the November elections to vote to install a new member in her position.

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