Friday, October 28, 2016

Weld in Alaska, where ticket last polled 18%

Libertarian vice presidential candidate makes pitch for Alaskans’ votes - Alaska Dispatch News - Nathaniel Herz:

October 28, 2016 - "The Libertarian Party on Thursday began a last-minute blitz on Alaska, sending vice presidential candidate Bill Weld to make his ticket's small-government case in a state where it's drawing double digits in polls.

"Weld, in an interview and later speaking at an Anchorage rally that brought 150 people to the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts, pitched a pragmatic libertarian philosophy. His program made room for climate change regulation, status quo military spending, and a near-endorsement of Lisa Murkowski, the incumbent Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, whom Weld described as 'dynamite' — and who's running against an official Libertarian candidate, Joe Miller.

"Weld is spending two days in Anchorage less than two weeks before the election, with Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson, a former Republican governor of New Mexico, expected to visit Wednesday.

"Weld is a former Republican governor of Massachusetts and an avid outdoorsman who initially tried to fit a trout fishing trip into his Alaska schedule. He said the two running mates see their Libertarian ideology and love for 'wide open spaces' aligning with Alaskans who want to keep government at arm's length....

"An Alaska Dispatch News poll conducted at the end of September and early October had Johnson drawing 18 percent. Murkowski's own polling put the Libertarian candidate at 10 percent....

"The Libertarian presidential campaign sees Alaska as fertile ground, given widespread dissatisfaction with the two major [parties'] nominees and the 53 percent of voters who don't register with a political party. But they haven't been working with the Alaska Libertarian Party, which chose a social conservative and former tea party Republican, Joe Miller, as its U.S. Senate candidate....

"Weld referred to socially conservative policies as 'mean-spirited' at the rally and said Miller effectively 'took over' the Alaska Libertarian Party.

"'He doesn't speak for us or the national party,' Weld said in the interview. Instead, he praised Murkowski, who condemned Donald Trump's candidacy earlier this month. Weld said Murkowski was 'absolutely terrific' and said he agreed with her support for oil and gas development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

"A spokesman for Miller, Randy DeSoto, didn't respond to a request for comment."

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