Pack Mentality

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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."

Young is counting on big money from the "Wolfpack" - a list of lobbyists and former staffers with many ties to Young -- to salvage his re-election bid and install him for yet another term, even as he battles bribery and corruption allegations.

From McClatchy:


Anderson e-mailed the fundraising appeal on June 8, 2007. Since then, according to federal reports, Young has received more than $90,000 from the e-mail recipients, their lobbying firms or clients of their firms. That is nearly a quarter of the roughly $400,000 raised by Young and his Midnight Sun Political Action Committee over the same period through the first quarter of this year.

Of the 27 individuals to whom the e-mail was addressed, 23 are registered federal lobbyists, and some of them are prominent figures whose firms have long lists of well-heeled clients. Many of their clients have ties to Alaska or businesses elsewhere that operate under the jurisdiction of congressional committees that Young has chaired or on which he has been an influential member.

They include Rick Alcalde, the lobbyist at the heart of a Young earmark that is under federal investigation. They also include lobbyists Colin Chapman, Anderson's immediate predecessor as Young's chief of staff, and Randy DeLay, the brother of former Republican House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas. Randy DeLay lobbied on a Virginia highway project before Young's transportation committee.

A third of the names -- including Alcalde, DeLay and Chapman -- also showed up recently in an informal "guide" produced by interns working for Young's office. According to the interns' guide, the nine named lobbyists were to have unfettered access when they called Young's office, better access even than other members of Congress.