Gruening: Experience and accomplishment beat dishonesty every time



Alaska’s 2020 U. S. Senate race has turned into one of the most negative I’ve ever seen. Alan Gross, the Democrat nominee, has set a new low bar in his attempt to spend the millions of dollars pouring into his campaign from Outside dark money groups.

Those asking for the privilege to represent Alaska at the very highest levels of elected office should be the most qualified and most deserving of the honor.  I don’t want someone representing Alaska who stands proudly proclaiming after countless outright false and misleading attack ads,  “I’m Alan Gross and I approved this message.”

Gross’s campaign ads accuse his opponent, incumbent Senator Dan Sullivan, of secretly pushing the Pebble Mine (Sullivan opposes it), voting against lower-priced prescription drugs (Sullivan voted against a Bernie Sanders amendment allowing non-FDA approved drugs), and in favor of denying insurance coverage of pre-existing conditions (Sullivan has never supported that).  Gross’s accusations are all demonstrably false, but they continue day-in and day-out because he apparently doesn’t care about the truth or running an honorable campaign, only winning.

Gross claims to be an “independent” but this is more deceit.  He has changed his party affiliation numerous times including changing from a registered Democrat just months before filing for office. On a private call with Democrat donors, now made public, Gross admitted his “values are to the left” and that he will “caucus with the Democrats.”  Democrats have told him his best chance to get elected is to pose as an “independent.”

Gross lacks experience in any kind of leadership position, elected or otherwise.  With no accomplishments or recognition to cite, he has resorted to attacking his opponent hoping no one will notice he hasn’t earned the respect and recognition that comes with community involvement and public service.

Most stunning is the total absence of grassroots support for Gross in his hometown.  After earning up to $2.5 million annually during his 20-year career as an orthopedic surgeon in Juneau, one must wonder two things: First, where is his legacy of philanthropy?  There seems little evidence of any significant contributions to the fundraising campaigns of his community’s many arts and cultural organizations or social service agencies.  Second, where are the legions of classmates, colleagues, patients, and hospital personnel who would presumably step up to attest to his character, judgement, generosity, and record of community service?


Weigh that against Senator Sullivan’s experience and record.

Senator Sullivan served under President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Economic, Energy, and Business Affairs and as a Director on the National Security Council, where he worked to dismantle terrorist finance networks. He also served as Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources prior to being elected to the U. S. Senate. Dan holds a B.A. in Economics from Harvard University and a joint Law and Master of Science degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.

Dan Sullivan’s extensive expertise in military, national security and international affairs is critical, not only to Alaska but to the nation.  

Since his election to the U.S. Senate, Dan Sullivan has been a leader in rebuilding our country’s military, promoting responsible resource development, opening markets for Alaska fishermen and cleaning up our oceans.  He has worked to expand benefits for our veterans and to help society’s most vulnerable, especially survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence and those recovering from addiction. Now, in the face of unprecedented challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Senator Sullivan continues to fight for Alaska’s health and economic future.

We deserve a senator whose roots in the state are deep.  We need someone who has demonstrated he genuinely cares about Alaskans and will fight for all of us, not just for the political party aiming to capture Alaska’s U. S.  Senate seat.

Sen. Dan Sullivan has earned re-election on November 3. 


  1. Well written, thanks Win!! And thanks to MRA for finally publishing the fact that Sen Sullivan opposes the Pebble Mine project. Suzanne, are you also going to label Dan Sullivan as a greenie environmentalist from the East?

  2. You convinced me Win….I am going to be voting for Dan Sullivan….and think my wife and son will do so as well….and both my wife and I have voted for Don 24 times over the years and see no reason to change this year either.

  3. It’s hard to know what to make of this article. Dan Sullivan, when he was head of the DNR, moved Pebble forward. We have it on tape that Collier believed Dan was in the corner. Now he comes out against Pebble. Who is the real Dan, anyway?
    Dan has expressed support for just about everything Trump has proposed, including repealing “Obamacare.” Trump says he has a replacement in place, but no one has seen it, not even Trump.
    Repealing Obamacare would eliminate the pre-existing exemption, ergo, Sullivan was in support of removing pre-existing conditions from health care plans. He might argue that he didn’t mean to do that, but that would be the result. I don’t know if Win is confusing “non-FDA approved drugs” with Canadian drugs, the purchase of which Al Gross favors, but Al is definitely working toward decreasing the outrageous cost of prescriptions drugs in the US.
    Win’s argument that Al isn’t an independant doesn’t hold water. He is running in the Democratic slot because they would take him, not because he is a member of their party. If he identifies as an independent, he’s an independent.
    Win argues that Al doesn’t have a rush of co-workers in the medical profession coming forward and attesting to his character. Again, a baseless point. Where are the legions of military, native, governmental, resource using, and veteran proponents rushing to speak for Dan. I applaud Dan’s support for clean oceans and for the victims of sexual assault, but I have yet to see anything tangible come forth as a result of his support. We still have tons and tons of ocean delivered plastics piling up on our beaches, and we still have disturbingly high levels of sexual and domestic violence, both while on Dan’s watch.
    Let’s look at what Dan has actually accomplished. He has managed to push funding through congress that has bolstered Eielson AFB and its F-35 base, but that’s about it. The F-35 has been one of the most expensive and problematic programs of the entire US military, and its location here in AK is more of a money rich boondoggle than an actual improvement to military preparedness. I’d love to see what Win has to support his contention that Dan has done anything to improve on our response to the Covid crisis.
    Dan’s roots in Alaska are not all that deep. He’s from Ohio. He lives in D.C. I’m curious as to whether he owns a home in AK and applies for a PFD. Sounds like Al does, and he’s been accused of being a California outsider. Is Al getting a bogus PFD? I’d like to know.
    So many questions. So little time. So many lies.

    • Greg, I’m not sure what to make of your comments.

      Apparently, one would need to oppose a mine project the day it was proposed, before any plans were vetted or environmental studies were completed. After that process was completed, Dan Sullivan stated that he opposed the mine project.

      Sounds like Dan was willing to reserve judgement until the evidence was in.

      As far as prescription drugs go, Dan voted against a Bernie Sanders amendment that would have allowed the importation of foreign prescription medications (including Canadian). But the amendment was defeated by a Senate majority vote that included 13 Democrats. One of them, Cory Booker, D-NJ, released a public statement saying that “any plan to allow the importation of prescription medications should also include consumer protections that ensure foreign drugs meet American safety standards. I opposed an amendment put forward last night that didn’t meet this test.”

      Sounds like Dan also believes that protecting the safety of Americans is as important as lowering the cost of prescription drugs.

      Your comment that Dan’s opponent is an “independent” because he “identifies” as an independent doesn’t hold water when Gross has been caught on tape saying just the opposite.

      Sounds like Dan was telling the truth on that one too.

      I could go on but it’s seems your mind is made up regardless of the facts.

      • Sounds like Dan was willing to wait until he saw which way the wind was blowing before he made his mind up on the mine.
        You certainly must be aware that many, many drugs used daily to preserve life in this country are made in India and China. They do not make these drugs here because it isn’t sufficiently profitable for American companies to do so. These are the same drugs that cost 1/3 of the US price in Canada. They meet the same standards as those of the FDA. I fail to see how this does anything other than show Dan is willing to make us pay more for drugs because we’re forced to buy them here. G. W. Bush certainly was. There’s nothing in this statement to say that they shouldn’t or don’t meet American standards. They do.
        We can argue about Independent v. Democrat and RINO v. Republican till the cows come home. And leave and come home again.

    • “when he was head of the DNR, moved Pebble forward. ”

      Not really a problem. A mine the size of Pebble requires several rounds of permits before mining can actually start. Permits to perform geotech work, permits to do hydrological studies, permits for any number of things associated with an Environmental Impact Statement. Dan Sullivan OK’d the permits to get the EIS done, some preliminary engineering, etc…

      Only an idiot would decide to deny a permit for something as innocuous as geotech work in preparation for an EIS. Doing so would actually provide the Pebble Partnership legal power to sue the state.

      It is called doing his job.

      BTW. Do you have anything that was not already fully covered in Al Gross’ commercials?

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