Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Joe Miller Is NOT Dr. Hugh "Bud" Fate's Son-In-Law

Sen. Dyson introducing Joe Miller

At Sunday's 'town hall' meeting at Central Middle School, Sen. Fred Dyson introduced Joe Miller to the audience.  As part of the introduction, Dyson said he knew the Joe Miller was a great guy because he was married to Hugh "Bud" Fate's daughter.  Dr. Fate [a Fairbanks dentist who served on the University of Alaska Board of Regents for years as well as in the legislature], he continued,   wouldn't let any of his daughters marry someone who wasn't first rate.

Hugh Fate son-in-law Dan Sullivan

Well, my brain started whirring at that point.  I'd been in the confirmation hearings last February in Juneau for state Attorney General Dan Sullivan [no, not the Anchorage Mayor of the same name]  and it seemed to me that Bud and Mary Jane Fate were there and introduced as Sullivan's father-in-law.  If Joe Miller was married to the Fate's daughter, then he and AG Sullivan would be brothers-in-law.  Interesting.

Well, I got caught up in writing about Miller's comments on East Germany, and put this on the back burner.  But today as I was getting ready to post this I wanted to see if I could find something that showed that Kathleen Tompkins-Miller was Fate's daughter.

An old legislative site for Fate had a section on family:
Kathleen Tompkins-Miller
Wife - Mary Jane
Children - Janine, Jennifer, Julie, Al H. Woods
Twelve Grandchildren
No Kathleen.  But, of course, Miller would have corrected the record at the time if it weren't true.  Wouldn't he? 

Now I started scratching my head.  I called Rep. Bob Lynn who had been at the Sunday event.  I'd gotten to know him while I was in Juneau and had talked to him Sunday.  He recalled Sen. Dyson making that introduction, so I hadn't been wrong about that.  He said he thought there was a connection to the Fates but wasn't really sure.  I mentioned the Dan Sullivan connection - Rep. Lynn had been in the confirmation hearings - and he thought, well, maybe that was it.  He wasn't sure.

I called the Miller headquarters on Northern Lights, but I was told no one there had been to the Sunday event and they didn't know.  They recommended I call Fred Dyson.

I left a message on Dyson's answering machine and followed up with an email.  [Update Oct. 20, 9:30am:  Dyson's office called this morning and when I said I'd gotten the answer, the woman said 'good' and hung up before I could ask anything more.][Update later Wednesday:  Email from Fred Dyson said he confused Sullivan and Miller and thought Miller hadn't corrected him so as not to embarrass him.]

I called another legislator who didn't know, but suggested I call Dr. Fate in Fairbanks.

Joe Miller

When I explained to Dr. Fate why I was calling he laughed and said that Sen. Dyson was confused.  No, he was not related to Joe Miller in any way.  In fact he'd asked Dyson whether Miller had refuted him.  (Fate had gotten calls about this immediately after the meeting.)  He asked me if I'd been there and if I'd heard any refutation.  I told him I hadn't heard any correction.

Dr. Hugh "Bud" Fate

Dr. Fate said he was well known in the state, particularly in Fairbanks, and he was a little miffed that Miller hadn't corrected the record about Miller's relationship with Fate.  He made it clear that there was no connection between himself and Joe Miller.

I asked if he was supporting Miller.  He said he'd just made up his mind that he is voting for Lisa Murkowski.

[Dr. Fate's photo is from
So,  I'm wondering if Fred Dyson is changing his assessment since Joe Miller hasn't, in fact, been vetted by Dr. Fate.  Miller just let the folks at Central Middle School think he was Fate's son-in-law without correcting the record.  Or maybe he hadn't been listening to Dyson.


  1. Just weird. You would think Joe would have drawn him aside and told him the truth. But, that is just Joe.

  2. A compliment is a compliment and Joe needed one. Maybe he was going to correct Dyson afterward but got embroiled in a scandal?

    The last name is a bit confusing-- if someone asked if I was related to Fate I might think it was along the lines of, "Are you a child of Hope?"

    Joe Miller seems to be cracking under pressure. He was probably paying attention to one of every 15 words spoken and scanning the audience for Lisa supporters and people ready to McAdamize his supporters. He seems to shoot from the hip and was some place he really didn't want to be. His mind wasn't on the speakers and he was thinking other things. Would anyone deign to ask about subjects he'd drawn a line in the sand over? Did Gretel von Susteren think his beard was macho or was she going to do a Brazillian on him the next time she saw him? What did blue drapes mean in his new office? Did the Tea Party think about their initials after they changed their name from the Tea Baggers? Hmmmmm. I am being rediculous with the questions, but in this case I might let it pass on him being the son-in-law of Fate.

    But for poor Fred Dyson, is Joe Miller who he thought he was supporting all along?

  3. Deep thoughts! You made me laugh!!! I love your musings! I can just see him stroking his beard — checking out his security — wondering whether they are up to the job ... whether he should have written a check ... Why are they cash only? But, oh well, it is really hard to find cheap under the table help ...

  4. Anonymous, you also made me laugh. Now I hope Steve doesn't delete this post.

    You said, "But, oh well, it is really hard to find cheap under the table help ..."

    Joe was thinking, "This isn't the kind of under the table help for cash I was expecting. I thought they'd be wearing dresses. . . Son in law of Fate? What did Dyson mean by that?"

  5. Maybe fate will rear it's ugly head and bite Miller in the ass (not that I'm calling the honorable Bud Fate ugly)! But Miller would have DZ Security Agents to make sure that doesn't happen!

  6. Please don't tell me that "refudiate" is now common language in Alaska. :-{

  7. An intro by Dyson says enough for me anyway, but to hear that Miller allowed that association to go without correction is really bizarre (even if he wasn't paying much attention.) Such a Palin thing to do, take credit for the AG's reputable FIL status.

    Andrew Sullivan should now start the list of The Odd Lies of Joe Miller.

    By the way Phil, can you bring up your video encounter with Joe at the State Fair again where he insists that he is [an] "extremely" or "severely" disabled veteran?

    I think that begs elaboration. He opened the door to make it a fair question.

    And when is the heat going to affect Parnell that he is supporting another whack-job to 'lead' Alaska? I may not have the best confidence in Ethan Berkowitz, but an [un]earned Gubernatorial win by Captain Zero turns my stomach.

  8. Anon @ 5:20 am - sorry Steve, about mistaking you for the PA Blog. I knew the format was different but was quick to hit 'post comment.'

    Excellent post anyway. This is why I read blogs before the MSM, I learn more and research more. : )

    Keep it up!

    M in Bethel

  9. Here's a link to a site called American Resistance Radio, featuring an interview with Norm Olson, Ray Southwell and Shafer Cox


    Here is a direct link to the MP3 -


    And here are their archives of past shows on various subjects.


  10. It's become obvious that "truth" and Joe Miller should not be used in the same sentence.

  11. I just posted this at Progressive Alaska and thought that visitors here might find it interesting.

    Joe Miller-"I am probably the most disclosed candidate in Alaskan history".

    Checking up on Joseph W. Miller and found something I haven't seen disclosed before.

    Governor Palin appointed him to the Commission on Judicial Conduct. But after two weeks the appointment was withdrawn by Governor Palin. Here are the direct quotes and the links to the official records.


    A letter dated January 30, 2008, was read stating that, in accordance with AS 39.05.080 , the Governor submits the following names for
    legislative confirmation to the boards and commissions noted
    . .....

    The Speaker referred the following to the Judiciary Committee:

    Board of Governors of the Alaska Bar
    Mr. Carl Ekstrom - Anchorage
    Appointed: 1/29/2008 Term Expires: 3/1/2011

    Commission on Judicial Conduct
    Mr. Joseph W. Miller - Fairbanks
    Appointed: 1/28/2008 Term Expires: 3/1/2012

    This is the appointment document -at the state (see the url)

    Just a few weeks later a change of plans- Governor Palin withdraws the appointment!


    A letter dated February 15, 2008, was read stating that the Governor withdraws the following names from legislative confirmation of
    appointment to the positions noted.
    The Speaker had referred the following to the Judiciary Committee (page 1838):

    Commission on Judicial Conduct
    Mr. Joseph W. Miller - Fairbanks""

    Three other names are withdrawn here in addition to Joseph W. Miller.
    Then Governor Palin appoints Peter Aschenbrenner- Fairbanks to replace Miller's appointment.

    Here is the second document

    What happened here?
    Was there some trouble with the confirmation?

    There might have been some mistake, or perhaps a change in plans.
    Joseph W. Miller was at this time already serving on the Board of Marine Pilots (appointed by Palin).
    October 20, 2010 7:51 AM

  12. I'll start with the last one first - Anon 8:22am

    I touched on this in a Sept. 6 post where I cited a post at Wickersham's Conscience that discussed this in detail, saying people generally withdraw if they get a low rating. You can read it all there.

    Thanks to all the other commenters. M in Bethel, at 5:20am I don't know where I am either.

  13. I'm Anon at 8:22am.

    Thanks for responding. I was not aware that you had discussed Joe Miller and his judicial record in detail. The links I found to your posts were




    Which were informative. I had already read the excellent Wickersham's Conscience post you referenced prior to submitting my comment.

    I am and was aware of Joe Miller's application and withdrawal in 2005 for Fairbanks Superior Court.

    What I referenced in my 8:22 am comment was Joe Miller's appointment by Governor Palin to the Alaska Commission on Judicial Conduct in 2008.

    From my comment above:

    "Commission on Judicial Conduct
    Mr. Joseph W. Miller - Fairbanks
    Appointed: 1/28/2008 Term Expires: 3/1/2012 "


    What does the Alaska Commission on Judicial Conduct do?

    "Alaska's Commission on Judicial Conduct oversees the conduct of justices of the Alaska Supreme Court, judges of the state court of appeals, state superior court judges, and state district court judges. The Commission cannot handle complaints against magistrates, masters, attorneys or federal judicial officers."

    Above is from the State's site

    I am certain that the information is accurate (comes from the state websites) and that these are two different things- separated by three years in time.

    That is why I'm resubmitting this, hoping that you and perhaps other visitors will take another look at this information.

    Thank you again for a place worth visiting and your work in revealing what voters and citizens need to know.

  14. Anon 8:22am - sorry, I read it too fast. All I know is that Kathleen Tompkins-Miller was appointed to the Judicial Council as a public member. (Hope I'm not reading this one too fast too, but I think it was that group.) Thanks for following up. And make up a name and put it at the end, something less common than Anon. :)

  15. Thanks. No apology is needed.

    I failed to include information for the position that Joseph W. Miller's wife Kathleen Tompkins-Miller was appointed to to distinguish it as separate from either of the two previously discussed concerning Joe Miller.

    February 20, 2009
    Alaska Judicial Council

    William F. Clarke
    Kathleen R. Tompkins-Miller

    source- see pages 1 and 2 http://www.legis.state.ak.us/pdf/26/M/HJUD2009-02-201339.PDF

    See pages 9 through 11 at above for Kathleen Tompkins-Millers testimony concerning her qualifications and views on Judicial selections.

    She was confirmed, and her term in office is 3/01/09 to 3/01/15.

    What does the Alaska Judicial Council do?

    "Mission Statement

    To screen and nominate judicial applicants; evaluate the performance of judges and make evaluation information and recommendations available to the voters; and conduct studies and make recommendations to improve the administration of justice."


    Wickersham's Conscience has a recent summary on this appointment- coupled with a discussion of the lawsuit Joe Miller filed representing five Alaska residents; this suit was to block the Troopergate investigation of Sarah Palin's administration. Perhaps Joe Miller thought this suit would grease his way to the Alaska supreme court for the second and a half time. There are excellent links there.
    The summary gives a hint at what the author thinks is going on.

    " Some of WC’s readers may think irony is rusty water. WC thinks irony is Palin running against corruption, and then engaging in patent Chicago-style political patronage and cronyism. And avowed maverick candidate Joe Miller jumping at the chance to put his wife in a six year part-time job."

    Wickersham's Conscience story is here-

    Was Wickersham's Conscience aware of Joe Miller's appointment by governor Palin to the
    Alaska Commission on Judicial Conduct in 2008?
    It seems as though that might have been the subject of commentary too. One is left to speculate how favorably this fact would have been viewed.

  16. Actually, Joe Miller "used to be married" to Mark Begich's sister. Go look it up. Miller can win the Republican Primary in a crowded field, but will lose to Begich in a General Election. Begich knows this, and so does Miller's ex-wife.


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