Francis Hughes Murkowski, a Republican, was a U.S. Senator from Alaska 1981-2002 and Governor of Alaska 2002-2006. In 2006 he lost in the Republican primary to Sarah Palin, future Republican Party vice-presidential nominee. He came in third place in the primary. He left office with one of the nation's worst approval ratings of 19%.
Daughter Lisa Murkowski
Jet plane scandal
In 2005, Murkowski purchased a Westwind II jet with state money for $2.7 million in spite of opposition from the Alaska Legislature. This purchase added to his unpopular legacy in state politics. Sarah Palin promised to sell the jet once she became governor. After he lost his re-election bid and less than a month before leaving office, Murkowski made a $13,000 trip to Taiwan, Japan, and Korea on the jet.
The New York Times reported, "Mr. Murkowski's office tried to obtain money from the Homeland Security Department to buy the jet, saying it would help "defend, deter or defeat opposition forces." He was denied. Later, in 2005, against the wishes of the Legislature, Mr. Murkowski used state money to buy it for $2.7 million."
The Alaska Report wrote, "Popular opinion turned on Murkowski after missteps that constantly thrust him into battle with his political opponents and his own Republican-led Legislature, including: appointing his daughter to his U.S. Senate seat, unpopular budget cuts his first year and a highly publicized fight to buy a state jet. The more Alaskans got to see of Murkowski the less they liked him.
"Critics have questioned Murkowski's leadership skills, his endless ethical lapses, and his secret pipeline proposal with the three largest oil companies in Alaska behind the backs of state legislators."
Resources and articles
Related SourceWatch articles
- Andrew D. Lundquist, top aide to Frank Murkowski
- Hill & Knowlton, a PR firm that Frank Murkowski hired
- Kjersten Drager
- Lisa Murkowski, Frank's daughter
- Website profile, Frank Murkowski, accessed January 2011.
- William Yardley, "Jet That Helped Defeat an Alaska Governor Is Sold ", The New York Times, August 25, 2007.
- Pat Forgey, "Governor travel shot up with Murkowski's jet, plummets with Palin", Juneau Empire, April 8, 2008.
- Dennis Zaki, "Alaska governor Frank Murkowski now rated the most unpopular governor in entire country", Alaska Report, September 25, 2006.
- Matt Volz, "Governor spends $3,000 on public relations firm: Move related not to election but to provide "better" information, spokeswoman says", Anchorage Daily News, October 16, 2005. (This is an Associated Press story).
- "Alaska Governor Frank Murkowski ousted in a humiliating defeat to Sarah Palin", Alaska Report, August 24, 2006.
- Frank Murkowski profile, "The Washington Post", accessed January 2011.