Joe Miller visits campus

Last week, United States congressional candidate Joe Miller attended an event at UAA to discuss his campaign platform. The event was hosted in collaboration with UAA’s Political Science Association, College Republicans and Young Americans for Liberty.

If elected, Miller said he would address three main issues during his term: the surveillance state, national debt and restoration of the Constitution to its original intention, by restoring power to individual states.

These issues, according to Miller, are directly related to college students and the future of America.

“You are the next generation,” Miller said. “You have more of a future than I do.”

Miller said reducing the federal debt load is essential in order to establish a strong future for the United Sates, whose debt ceiling currently sits at  $17 trillion in absolute debt and about $200 trillion in future funded liabilities.

Miller said it’s impossible to pay that back, which means our national debt will have a much more pronounced impact on the younger generation.

“We, at least at some point, have to say enough is enough,” Miller said.

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Miller spoke at length about what he considers the current surveillance state. According to Miller, technology available to record phone conversations, track metadata and hone in on a GPS signal via satellite is an unconstitutional form of tyranny.

Miller said under the Fourth Amendment citizens the right to no unreasonable search and entry, and a reasonable right to privacy, and when this data is collected, these rights are infringed upon. He used Gen. David Petraeus, former head of the CIA — who was exposed through the release of emails that he was having an extramarital affair — as an example of what can happen to even the highest officials in a surveillance state.

Miller supports a strong educational backbone for Alaska and the rest of the United States. He said we won’t be competitive in the international marketplace without the backing of an educated workforce.

“As far as education goes in the federal perspective, we would like to give the education back to the states,” Miller said.

He later explained that the Department of Education was not a necessary office under the Constitution. Miller also said the amount of student loan debt was too much, and that he was still paying back loan money for his law degree.

Kinsey Finnegan, president of the Political Science Association, said it’s important for students to be involved politically because it has an impact on their lives, and everyday life. Finnegan said the United States is at a turning point, and by being involved politically, students can help make sure the government speaks for the majority.

The Political Science Association has also hosted Candidates Mark Begich and Dan Sullivan on campus.