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Unemployment insurance grief for Miller

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Posted: Tuesday, October 5, 2010 10:25 am

—Posted by Rod Boyce, News-Miner managing editor

Down below is some material from the bottom of Monday’s Senate race roundup story by The Associated Press (The News-Miner didn’t use the roundup since we had our own stories about the Senate race.)

The topic of Joe Miller’s wife receiving unemployment insurance was also the subject of a late Monday (as in 11:11 p.m.) news release out of the Murkowski camp, which is making much hay over the juxtaposition of that fact with Miller’s claim that unemployment insurance is unconstitutional.

“It is odd that a candidate for the United States Senate would continue to walk around parroting the phrase ‘unconstitutional, unconstitutional’ when he has been a benefactor of those very programs,” Murkowski spokesman Steve Wackowski said in the news release.

Here’s the information from the bottom of the AP story:

Miller confirmed Monday in an e-mail to The Associated Press that his wife, Kathleen, received unemployment benefits "for a short period of time" after leaving her job as a clerk/secretary in his federal magistrate's office.

Miller was a part-time federal magistrate from 2002 to 2004. He said that due to the time commitments involved, it was not uncommon then for people who worked as both part-time magistrates and lawyers to have the same people working for them in both offices. He said in many cases, those employees included family members. He said he spoke with members of the federal court — even before applying for the job — about his wife and said he'd received approval to have her work for him.

Miller entered the Senate race in April because he said he believes the nation is at a crisis point, Washington is out of control, and the federal government is on the brink of bankruptcy. He has been criticized for recent disclosures that he and his family received government benefits in the past, including farm subsidies on land he owned in Kansas in the 1990s and low-income hunting and fishing licenses for him and his wife after they first moved to Alaska.

He said he's never denied that he has received benefits and said he isn't receiving them currently.


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