Don Young

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Not This Time

I'm sorry to report that Alaska's Clean Elections ballot initiative did not pass yesterday -- in fact, on the primary ballot where both Sen. Ted Stevens (R) and Rep. Don Young (R) faced primary challenges none of the ballot initiatives got much love. But as they say, Rome wasn't built in a day. This is only the beginning of Alaska's fight for Clean Elections.

Hometown Hijinks

The Anchorage Daily News gives us their take on the news that lobbyists are bailing out Rep. Don Young's (R-AK) election campaign with thousands in campaign contributions: "It's sleazy. It's wrong. It makes ordinary citizens cynical and saps their faith in the integrity of their government and the officials who are supposed to represent them." Hey, don't hold back there ADN!

 

Pack Mentality

Remember that story a couple of weeks back about a memo instructing staffers in Rep. Don Young's (R-AK) office to give unrestricted access to certain "A-Team" lobbyists? Well, some of those same names are showing up again on the list of people who've donated to Young after his chief of staff reminded them in an email that if Young loses his re-election bid amid accusations of corruption, "you and your clients will be impacted."

More on the "A Team"

Yesterday, Katie pointed to an "intern guide" leaked out of Rep. Don Young's (R-AK) office. The guide listed an "A Team" of lobbyists who were to be given access to any Young staff member they wanted.

 

It's of course no surprise that big corporate lobbyists get special treatment in Washington.

 

Young's "A Team"

Lobbyists who gave thousands to Rep. Don Young (R-AK) over the course of his career were on an "A Team" granted special access to Young and his staff, according to an unofficial "survival guide" for interns in Young's office obtained by The Hill. In addition to explaining the preferences and quirks of Rep. Young and his wife, the guide lists the lobbyists who were given access to any staff member they wanted.

Protecting the Young

On the one hand, three cheers for investigations into lawmakers abusing their positions to reward themselves and their contributions, on the other hand thumbs down for recent court rulings that are deterring public corruption investigations in favor of granting special privacy privileges to members of Congress. Go the Politico for more on the Rep. Don Young (R-AK) earmark controversy and the Speech and Debate clause that might save him.

Institute Change

Ray Metcalfe writes at the Alaska Report that the state is the victim of "institutionalized corruption" on the part of its legislators that has put money in the pockets of a few, at the expense of honest public servants. The Goodfellas poster mock-up is pretty funny.

A Crab in Every Coffer

I am shocked -- shocked! -- to discover that concerns have been raised that an obscure earmark Alaska Rep. Don Young (R) inserted into a fishery regulation bill was designed to benefit three of his campaign contributors. Three fishing companies, Yardarm Knot, Blue Dutch, and Trident Seafoods may turn a handy profit off the earmark that gives them new crabbing rights in the Bering Sea.

In One Earmark, Out the Other

Not a good day for Rep. Don Young (R-AK) in the press. The Anchorage Daily News digs into him for a long history of taking generous campaign contributions from interests for whom he earmarked millions upon millions in federal money.

Young, and more specifically his campaign accounts, benefited tidily from his position on the House Transportation Committee:

 

You're on Crooked Camera

The Alaska bribery scandal makes the front page of the Washington Post today in a story that includes several colorful excerpts from the secret taping of VECO Chairman Bill Allen's conversations with Alaska legislators -- like this, uh, candid admission from convicted Rep. Pete Kott about working against a bill opposed by oil interests: "I had to cheat, steal, beg, borrow and lie. [...] Exxon's happy. BP's happy.