Miller, McAdams Debate State’s Economy and the Federal Factor

Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau

The major issue to be argued in this year’s U.S. Senate race is how the winner of the General Election will deal with the federal government’s influence on the state’s economy.

Democrat Scott McAdams and Republican, Tea Party candidate Joe Miller held their first formal debate Thursday before the Juneau Chamber of Commerce.   And McAdams came out on the attack.  During his opening remarks, he read from a national pledge by the Citizen’s Council Against Government Waste that he said Miller signed promising he would not seek earmarks that would serve only local needs.  But McAdams argued that the pledge wasn’t good for Alaska.

Miller, in his defense, says Alaska is going to experience a downturn in federal money – whether it’s the result of national policies or the national economy.  He says the state must be prepared by getting control over its own land and resources before the nation gets to what he calls “the fiscal brink.”

Miller continued his arguments for getting control of the state’s resources, pointing out the costs and effects of having to meet federal controls in building roads, or mines, or even exporting natural gas.  And he repeated later that the federal money will stop –either through what he referred to as bankruptcy or through congressional decisions to restrain spending.  At that point, he went back to his basic argument – Alaska must have control of its resources.

McAdams continued with his point that federal investment is still important in Alaska. And the congressional delegation is critical in helping the state have a solid economic future.

The debate covered a variety of issues.  But the next one – scheduled in Fairbanks in mid-October – might be different,   depending on whether incumbent Senator Lisa Murkowski rejoins the race. McAdams said he would welcome her.

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