Alaska’s Democratic Senate Candidate Can’t Go on a Budget Break

Murkowski Fends Off Attacks on Her Record in Alaska’s Senate Debate

On Tuesday morning Alaska’s Democratic Senate candidate was asked about the state’s massive deficit. She replied that Alaskans can’t go on a budget break.

“Well no they can’t,” replied Senator Lisa Murkowski during the Senate debate. “The budget can’t be taken that easy.”

A few minutes later, she explained how her policies would pay for the state’s massive deficit. But she did not mention federal money.

This exchange was caught on video by the Alaska Dispatch, the online home of the Alaska Watchdog. She was asked to clarify her position on federal spending on the deficit; she was given no opportunity to even address the topic.

“The one thing I’ll say is that I’m not going to sit here and debate the federal government’s responsibility and spend on the federal government’s responsibility. That’s something they’d have to deal with, but on the state level we have to deal with the state’s responsibility; that’s something we have to deal with going forward,” continued Murkowski during the debate.

The deficit is expected to swell over $6 billion by the end of the year, with the state facing an $849 million deficit for the 2012 fiscal year that started June 1. That number will rise to $1.4 billion by next July and more than $2.1 billion by June 30, 2013, according to estimates by the Alaska Department of Administration.

Murkowski campaign consultant Andy Martin said the senator is simply trying to get a word in edgewise during a “fiercely contested election for U.S. Senate.”

“This is not a situation where she goes up there and tries to make policy and gets in a policy fight with the administration. This is something she’s going to have to work with,” said Martin, who worked on Senator Murkowski’s Senate race campaign committee.

“We’re in charge of our own policy

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