Articles & Op-eds


The Hill: Murkowski attacks Obama climate aid pledge

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), the top Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, doesn't like White House plans to help developing nations battle climate change. "I'm surprised the president would commit our nation to billions in new and long-term spending, particularly in a year that has seen our government rack up a record deficit, and before our economy is back on track," she said in a statement this evening. "I'm also disappointed that the administration has chosen… Continue Reading


New York Times: Senate Blocks Use of New Mammogram Guidelines

The Senate on Wednesday night agreed to bar the federal government from relying on the findings of an independent panel of health experts that recently recommended women should begin having routine mammograms at age 50 rather than at age 40. Without a vote, the Senate agreed to accept an amendment to the big health care legislation proposed by Senator David Vitter, Republican of Louisiana, effectively requiring the federal government to ignore the new recommendations by the expert panel, the U… Continue Reading


New York Times: Doppelgängers on the Senate Floor

As if it weren't hard enough to parse the fine points of health care policy, Senator Barbara Mikulski, a Democrat from Maryland and the main sponsor of a women's health amendment approved by the Senate on Thursday, went to great lengths to make sure that viewers and listeners could recognize the differences between her amendment and a rival proposal put forward by Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska. "I say vote for Mikulski. Don't vote for Murkowski. And please, on this one, get it s… Continue Reading


Anchorage Daily News: Murkowski: "I want to be able to rely on the good judgment of a provider I trust."

Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski introduced an amendment today to the health care bill that effectively bans the government from using guidelines from the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force to deny coverage. Murkowski's amendment, aimed at guidelines the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force released last month on breast cancer screening, would apply to private insurers and government insurance plans. It is one of numerous amendments introduced and set to be debated in the coming days. The t… Continue Reading


Alaska Public Radio Network: Alaska Senators Split Vote on Health Care Bill

Alaska's Senators split their vote Saturday on whether to bring health care legislation to the floor. Democrats got exactly the 60 votes needed with all party members lining up for it, and all Republicans voting against introducing it. You can listen to the audio here. # # #… Continue Reading


KSRM Radio: Alaska Senators Split on Health Care Vote

U.S. Senators Mark Begich and Lisa Murkowski continue to be on opposite sides of the health care reform debate. On Saturday night's cloture vote to allow floor debate on the bill, Senator Mark Begich continued to support the bill with a yes vote. In a statement over the weekend, Begich stated that he voted in favor of moving the bill forward; however, he emphasized that his vote is not a vote on the final legislation. Begich said the Senate owes it to the public to fully debate the health refo… Continue Reading


Alaska Public Radio Network: Senate Expected to Vote on Health Care Bill

The US Senate is poised to take a first vote on health care tomorrow (Saturday) night. Senator Lisa Murkowski will vote "no" along with all the other Republicans, so in order to move forward, Democrats need every member of their caucus - all 60 - to vote yes. You can listen to the audio here.… Continue Reading


KTVA (CBS-11): Alaska Senators split on healthcare vote

The Healthcare Reform Bill is one step closer to a final vote. Saturday, the Senate voted to move the bill to the floor for open debate. But Republicans allege Democrats used backdoor techniques to get the bill to the floor. "There were a lot of gimmicks that we saw tonight," said Sen. Lisa Murkowski. "Not the least of which was the fact that we didn't vote to proceed for the bill that we will be taking up after Thanksgiving." Murkowski voted against moving the bill to the floor today becaus… Continue Reading


Anchorage Daily News: Alaska senators don't see health bill passing as it stands now

A day after Alaska's senators voted against each other on health care reform, both said that plans to offer people the option to buy government-run health insurance won't survive the upcoming Senate fight as written. As the Senate prepares for combat over overhauling national health care, this so-called "public option" is a key battleground. Unlike a handful of centrist senators who have indicated they won't support health care reform that includes a public option, Democratic Sen. Mark Begic… Continue Reading


KTUU (NBC): Letters to Santa will be answered after all

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- The United States Postal Service has agreed to resume a program that answers children's letters to Santa sent to North Pole, Alaska, Sen. Lisa Murkowski announced on Friday. Deputy Postmaster General Pat Donahoe told Murkowski during a phone call that the USPS had reconsidered its position not to allow Alaskan volunteers to answer letters addressed "Dear Santa, North Pole." Donahoe told Murkowski the program would resume as in previous years, but with new security requirem… Continue Reading


The Associated Press: Postal Service retreats on Santa letters ruling

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) _ North Pole elves have good reason to celebrate again, thanks to a decision by the U.S. Postal Service to resume a Santa Claus letter program that's thrilled children from around the world for decades. ``It's great!'' Gabby Gaborik, chief elf among several dozen volunteers, said of the agency's Friday announcement that it's reversing a recent decision to drop a program begun in 1954 in the small Alaska town of North Pole. The program was suspended over privacy concerns. … Continue Reading


Arctic Sounder: Murkowski comes for a visit

About 100 people, including students, teachers, aides, parents and administrators, came to listen, meet and ask questions of Sen. Lisa Murkowski at a community meeting Nov. 12 at the Kotzebue Middle/High School cafeteria. Community members and Dr. Norm Eck, Northwest Arctic Borough School District superintendent, introduced Murkowski; and she presented the book "Recess at Twenty Below" and a United States flag to June Nelson Elementary School student council president, Margie Baker, along with … Continue Reading


KTUU: Santa’s elves get support from congressional delegation

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- A rallying cry came across the country for North Pole, Alaska. People are outraged at the United States Postal Service's decision to end a popular program that has local nonprofits answer letters to Santa, and Alaska's congressional delegation is urging the Postal Service to review it new policies. When UAF journalism students produced a documentary on the popular decades-old Santa's Helper program in North Pole, they didn't realize it might be one of the last years for th… Continue Reading


USA Today: Postal Service to block 'Dear Santa' letters to North Pole, Alaska

The U.S. Postal Service, citing security and privacy concerns of children, will no longer forward "Dear Santa" letters to the Alaska town of North Pole, putting in jeopardy the town's 55-year-old volunteer letter-answering effort by the town. The concern is that names, addresses and other private information about small children could get into the wrong hands. Postal Service officials note that a postal worker last year in Maryland recognized a volunteer in the agency's Operation Santa program… Continue Reading


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: New postal rules halt ‘Dear Santa’ letters to North Pole

FAIRBANKS- The U.S. Postal Service will no longer forward "Dear Santa" letters to Kris Kringle's elves in North Pole, citing security concerns and putting in doubt the future of a volunteer letter-answering effort that dates back 55 years. North Pole Mayor Doug Isaacson has called on Alaska's congressional delegation to intervene, saying the Postal Service is "running roughshod" over the city of North Pole, whose very identity is tied to Christmas. "What grinch would conceive of something so s… Continue Reading


KTUU (NBC): Murkowski holds town hall on healthcare

PETERS CREEK, Alaska -- While the president prepares to come to Alaska for his first visit to the state, Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich talk health care reform. Murkowski held a town hall meeting Wednesday night, while Begich talked about health care reform with reporters. Murkowski got an earful about health care reform at the town hall meeting. "Government likes to play this red herring trick with us where you stand here and tell us your ideas and the progressives stand there and give… Continue Reading


Anchorage Daily News: Murkowski slams Dem health-care plans

At a town hall meeting in Chugiak Wednesday night, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski propped up a foot-high stack of paper next to her at the podium -- the 1,900-page health care bill passed by the House last week. "We can pull this thing back," she told a supportive crowd. Murkowski, a Republican and an outspoken opponent of Democrat-led health care reform bills, wants much more limited legislation. She spoke to 150 to 200 people at Mirror Lake Middle School. Unlike previous town halls in Anchorage,… Continue Reading


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Sen. Murkowski, Fairbanks North Star Borough hope for census plan review

FAIRBANKS - Sen. Lisa Murkowski is asking the U.S. Census Bureau director to review the agency's plans for counting the Fairbanks North Star Borough. Borough officials said they're worried that the Census Bureau's approach will lead to an undercount of the area's population, since nearly half of local residents receive their mail at post office boxes. Census Bureau policy allows its questionnaires to be sent only to physical addresses. If the mail is returned to the bureau as undeliverable, an… Continue Reading


Reuters News Service: U.S. states vie to land F-35 fighter bases

WASHINGTON, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Vermont, Utah, Florida, Idaho and South Carolina moved closer Thursday to landing operating bases for Lockheed Martin Corp's (LMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft. The U.S. Air Force also said locations in Idaho, Florida, New Mexico and two in Arizona were being examined as potential training bases for the radar-evading, single-engine jet, now in early production. Attracting the F-35, the Pentagon's costliest acquisi… Continue Reading


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Alaska officials rip F-35 decision

Eielson Air Force Base will not be home to a group of F-35 fighters, the Department of Defense says. Sen. Lisa Murkowski said that a year ago the Pentagon considered Eielson one of the top six contenders, but now it has fallen to the point where about 65 bases are deemed more suitable for the new jet. She said, the Air Force had scheduled meetings in the Interior in November 2008 to begin preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement. "Those meetings never occurred. Today we learned that … Continue Reading

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