Tea Party-backed Miller says he accepted farm subsidies

Alaska's Republican Senate nominee Joe Miller, who has railed against wasteful federal spending and pledged to abandon earmarks, received some $7,200 in farm subsidies on land he owned in Kansas.

The money came over a seven-year period and included money for an agriculture conservation program and disaster assistance, according to government records obtained by the Alaska Dispatch.

The Anchorage Daily News notes that Miller opposed federal spending on agriculture in a survey from Project Vote Smart.  

Miller spokesman Randy DeSoto said Miller, who is from Kansas, purchased the farmland in 1990 when he was in the Army and essentially rented it out to be farmed, finally selling the last of the 140 acres that was being farmed in 1998.

DeSoto said that it was standard practice for farmers to receive the subsidies in Kansas and that the nation was in a much better financial situation at the time that Miller received the funds.

“This was back in the 90’s, the situation the country was in was far different than now,” he said.

Miller now faces a three-way race this November with Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), who is running as a write-in candidate, and Sitka Mayor Scott McAdams (D).