U. S Rep. Don Young reported raising $131,258 in the 2nd quarter of this year, which runs from April until the end of June. He spent $236,784, leaving him with $589,812 cash on hand. His challenger, Democrat Forrest Dunbar, raised $36,500 during the same time period and has $30,603 cash on hand.
Dunbar, a first-time candidate, mined the numbers for some good news. Most of his money has come from 303 individual donors, and about 90 percent of it from Alaska donors, his campaign said. In contrast, Dunbar says that only about 20 percent of Young’s money has come from Alaskans and that “the vast majority” has come from lobbyists and federally-registered PACs.
It’s not surprising that Young would out raise Dunbar. What might be surprising about the numbers is that so far at least, the national Democrats haven’t donated or seemed to have taken an interest in the 29-year old Dunbar, who, for such a young candidate, has a good, solid resume though you might not know if from the videos he’s released. He’s clerked for former Sen. Frank Murkowski. He’s been in the Peace Corps, has a Yale Law degree, a master’s from Harvard Kennedy School, and is a first lieutenant in the Alaska National Guard.
Young recently received a “letter of reproval” from the House Committee on Ethics, which combed through his records since 2001 to look for evidence of misuse of campaign funds. The committee said that Young did not act “corruptly” or in “bad faith” and ordered him to pay back contributors and his campaign fund about $60,000. It’s pretty weak brew, considering the thousands of reports they went through. But add that to the faces Young made during a hearing on the House floor while an Iraq war vet was being discussed, and now reports that Young might be in trouble with the Capitol Hill police for barging through a barricade, and a pattern that’s potentially ripe for his opponents begins to emerge.
However, it takes money to get traction on such things, and Dunbar doesn’t have much of that.
Amanda Coyne at firstname.lastname@example.org