The problem with lying to voters is that eventually they’ll find out. They always do. In this case, Alaska Senate candidate Al Gross found that out early. According to the Washington Free Beacon, Gross told Democratic donors last week that his “independent” claim is a front. It’s all fake, he admitted.
“I will caucus with the Democrats. I’ve been an independent since I was 18, but if you look at my platform, you’ll see that most of my values are to the left,” Gross reportedly said to a group of high-dollar Democrats last Wednesday. “I’ve met with leadership in the Senate and they are very understanding that my best pathway to win is to remain as an independent.”
Gross made his admission during a meeting with California and New York donors at the Democratic National Convention’s “virtual happy hour.” Of course, that is not what he is telling Alaskans. To them, he’s a rugged independent who once killed a bear.
Even that was not quite the truth. He told Alaska Public Media last year that he had been registered as nonpartisan for much of the past 25 years, but had registered as a Democrat in 2017, and then switch back to nonpartisan a year later.
“Gross’s admission may harm his ability to distance himself from national Democrats in historically red Alaska, which President Donald Trump won by nearly 15 points in 2016,” the Washington Free Beacon wrote.
Some 58 percent of the state’s voters are registered as either nonpartisan or undeclared, which is why more and more Democrat candidates are ditching the D after their names and trying to appear independent.
For Gross, it’s a charade he is willing to endure. He won the Democrats’ primary in Alaska last week, with the party’s endorsement, funds, and best wishes. Now it’s on to the big show — and to persuade nervous donors elsewhere that Alaskans will believe the “independent” label, but that he’ll actually put Sen. Chuck Schumer in place as Senate Majority Leader.