Clear the air

A group of Republican women lawmakers are dusting off claims that U.S. Senate hopeful Al Gross’ campaign manager, David Keith, left his post as political director of the Progressive Caucus PAC after allegations of “sexual harassment, abusive behavior, and inappropriate language.”

The letter to the Alaska Democratic Party was signed by Sen. Shelley Hughes, R-Palmer and Reps. Colleen Sullivan-Leonard, R-Wasilla; Sara Rasmussen, R-Anchorage; Kelly Merrick, R-Eagle River; Sharon Jackson, R-Eagle River; Sarah Vance, R-Homer; Cathy Tilton, R-Wasilla; and DeLena Johnson, R-Palmer.

“As outlined in the letter, given our state’s unfortunate history with issues of sexual harassment and abuse, including within Alaska’s own political circles, we respectfully ask – as the Alaska Young Democrats did in August of 2019 –  for information pertaining to his hiring given the ‘serious allegations of inappropriate conduct and abusive behavior perpetrated by the U.S. Senate candidate’s current campaign manager,'” the group wrote.

The Alaska Democratic Party dismissed the letter as a “disappointing” political stunt in the waning days of the election campaign. Move along. Nothing to see here. But was it?

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, in a July 16, 2019, news article said Keith had been hired by the PAC in March last year to oversee strategy and House candidate recruitment. Keith previously had served as Wisconsin Democrat Randy Bryce’s campaign manager.

In the 2019 article, the newspaper reported:

“A staffer for the Congressional Progressive Caucus PAC who faced accusations of sexual harassment, inappropriate language and other abusive behavior has left the group.”

The story goes on:

“The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported last month that the Progressive Caucus PAC had hired a human resources firm to investigate concerns about Keith.

“Seven sources, including some former Bryce staffers, told the Journal Sentinel that Keith routinely made inappropriate sexual comments to and about female staffers and volunteers, used crude language and had angry outbursts — at times yelling and throwing things at his subordinates. 

“In one incident last year, sources said Keith screamed at staff and threw a water bottle during a meeting after learning some campaign workers left before 9 p.m., which is the time Bryce campaign staffers were required to stay to make fundraising calls. 

“Keith also frequently used crude and derogatory words to describe women and gay people, and threatened to punish staff who didn’t obey his orders, sources said. Several recalled him telling them, ‘If you cross me, I’ll destroy your career.’ “

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is not a blogger working out of his mother’s basement. It is a respected, 183-year-old newspaper. Do we believe it or Democratic staff members defending their own?

Maybe the Democrats’ “independent” standard bearer, Al Gross, could clear the air for Alaskans.

2 Responses to Clear the air

  1. Marlin Savage October 17, 2020 at 1:39 pm

    His ads gross me out. I think they even turn off democrats……

    Reply
  2. Jack October 16, 2020 at 7:38 am

    Gross, Al, gross!
    Enough said–cancel your obnoxious radio and TV ads.

    Reply

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