DON YOUNG AND ALYSE GALVIN SHOW UP, SPAR
Al Gross, the candidate trying to bump off Sen. Dan Sullivan, couldn’t make the economy-jobs debate on Thursday. He was busy.
Scheduled a month in advance, the debate was sponsored by the major private job creators of the Alaska economy: Alaska Forest Association, Alaska Chamber, Alaska Miners Association, Alaska Oil & Gas Association, Alaska Support Industry Alliance, Alaska Trucking Association, Associated General Contractors of Alaska, At-Sea Processors Association, Council of Alaska Producers, Cruise Lines International Association Alaska, Pacific Seafood Processors Association and the Resource Development Council for Alaska.
While it was surprising that such a large group of job creators would get the cold shoulder from Gross, he is one of the signatories to the Ballot Measure 1 tax hike on oil flowing through the Trans Alaska Pipeline. It was not going to be a receptive audience. The debate was broadcast on the internet via Zoom.
The debate circuit has been hard for Gross so far. Last week at the Kodiak “fish debate,” the gentleman fisherman stumbled badly when he criticized the United Fishermen of Alaska, calling them a group that represents Outside interests.
That prompted the UFA to send out an immediate notice correcting the record, batting down Gross for bad-mouthing the group that represents 39 separate commercial fishing groups, only 7 of which are based in Seattle.
“UFA is not a corporate Seattle-based interest group. We are Alaskan fishermen supporting Senator Dan Sullivan for US Senate,” the group wrote on Facebook in response to Gross’ comments. Gross has done commercial fishing in the past, but UFA supports his opponent.
Because Gross didn’t show up at the debate, the resource and jobs groups gave Sullivan 10 minutes to talk about his record of support for Alaska jobs, economy, including the opening of ANWR. After that, the debate became a congressional debate between Congressman Don Young and Alyse Galvin.
The next debate between Sullivan and Gross will be on KSRM, Soldotna radio on Oct. 21, from noon to 1. On Friday, Oct. 23, the two will be at the KTUU/APRN debate.
Check out the debate between Young and Galvin: