Joe Miller’s Employment Record: Lying, and then Lying about Lying

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/zieak/4997548740/">Flickr</a>/<a href="http://www.zieak.com/"> Ryan McFarland</a>

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


Joe Miller may be in trouble up in Alaska. On Sunday, after spending weeks trying to keep his personal history out of the campaign spotlight, the tea-party backed Republican candidate for senator finally admitted that he’d been suspended from his part-time job as an attorney with the Fairbanks North Star Borough for three days in 2008 for violating the borough’s ethics policy. But the story didn’t end there. Earlier this month, several Alaska media outlets sued for access to Miller’s employment records. They won on Tuesday, after a judge ordered the release of Miller’s employment files. What those documents reveal about Miller isn’t pretty.

According to those records, Miller used multiple government computers to vote against state Republican Party Chairman Randy Ruedrich (a position he wanted for himself) in an online poll. He then cleared out the caches on the computers to cover his tracks and lied about the whole episode, multiple times. It was the lying that earned Miller a three-day suspension and a six month probationary period.

Included in the documents released Tuesday is a letter Miller wrote to his supervisor in which he describes what happened:

Over the lunch hour this past Wednesday, I got on three computers (not belonging to me) in the office. All of them were on and none of them were locked. I accessed my personal website, for political purposes (participated in a poll), and then cleared the cache on each computer. I did the same thing on my computer. Jill asked the office what happened. I lied about accessing all of the computers. I then admitted about accessing the computers, but lied about what I was doing. Finally, I admitted what I did.

“I acknowledge that my access to others’ computers was wrong, participating in the poll was wrong, lying was wrong, and there is absolutely no excuse for any of it,” Miller continued.

So now we know that Miller lied. But do Alaskans care? Or, at least, do they care enough swing the race, which currently shows Miller and Murkowski tied, with Democrat Scott McAdams gaining on them? The Alaska Dispatch ponders this question, but the answer is far from clear at this point.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest