Tag Archives: don young

Video: Young twists congressional staffer’s arm, literally

A recent video, first tweeted by NBC News, of Rep. Don Young has surfaced, showing Young apparently violently twisting the arm of a congressional staffer who was blocking him from entering a GOP meeting on the border situation. Watch the video here:

In a statement to the ADN, Young admits that he was wrong and said that “I should have never placed my hands on the young man.”

It’s the latest in a string of negative incidents involving Young, including making faces on the House floor while a veteran who died in Iraq was being discussed, a recent run-in with the the Capitol Hill police for barging through a barricade.


Young far out raises Democrat Dunbar: Where are the national Dems?

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 Continue reading


Young: Caught on camera

U.S. Rep. Don Young, not known for always being appropriate, was caught on camera on Tuesday being particularly inappropriate as one of his colleagues, Rep. Scott Garrettwas talking about a bill to rename a post office after Joseph D’Augustine, who was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2012.  Watch the video here. 
Don Young yucking it up
Matt Shuckerow, Young’s spokesperson, sent a statement to The Daily Caller, which first had the story:

“ The House cameras caught Congressman Young in a light-hearted moment interacting with a colleague. As a veteran himself, his actions were obviously not related to the legislation being discussed on the House floor and he clearly meant no disrespect.”


More on the Young video blasting Begich

I found out a few things about the video of U.S. Rep. Don Young accusing U.S. Sen. Mark Begich of taking undue credit on projects that involved the entire congressional delegation. The voice on the video asking Young the question about Begich belongs to Fairbanks DJ Tim Palmer, who was working with Moving Images, a Fairbanks production company that has worked on Young’s campaigns in the past. Palmer said that he wasn’t at the airport, but spoke the question into the microphone from his computer and had not seen the final product until I pointed it out to him.

A recent fundraising letter from Young also appears to be attacking Begich. Here’s the relevant passage:

It is imperative we retain a Republican majority in the House and return the U.S. Senate to Republican control. I remind you the state’s junior senator has voted with this president 97% of the time. The president, along with cohorts like Harry Reid, has pitted Alaskan against Alaskan and American against American.

The active campaigning by Young against Begich is surprising given that about five months ago, Young had good things to say about Begich.

“Mark’s done a great job of very frankly representing people. He’s not always on my page, that’s for sure, but he’s done a good job,’ Young told The Hill in January.

The comment caused a stir in Republican circles, but Young didn’t back down. A few weeks later, he told the Alaska Dispatch that Begich has been “good in the energy industry, and I think that’s smart — that’s where we’re getting most of our income in the state.”

“So far so good,” Young said about Begich then.

When asked about the video, his campaign spokesperson sent the following statement:

In recent weeks, Congressman Young has received several requests to comment on Senator Begich’s statements regarding accomplishments in which he has taken sole credit. In the past, Alaska’s Congressional delegation has always prided itself on working together and Congressman Young believes that should continue.

Side note: Due to technical problems, comments on the blocked are for now. I’m working on it and trying to get the comment section back up, hopefully by tonight.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com


Young blasts Begich for taking undeserved credit

The video below was brought to my attention from a source who does not want Sen. Mark Begich reelected. I’m putting it up because it’s on Rep. Don Young’s official campaign channel and it’s in the public domain. Fair warning: I know it’s Young talking and I know his words are unaltered. I’m told that it was shot last week in Fairbanks while Young was campaigning. But I don’t know who asked the question or who’s holding the camera.

Young is referring to Begich’s claims in recent ads about a road in NPR-A, and about his role in other projects across the state. I’ve been hearing grumblings for years from some of both Young and Murkowski staffers about Begich taking full credit for things that he had but a part. And that might be true, but I’m not in D.C., and it’s nearly impossible to know which congressional member should get credit for what. I do know that contrary to what Young says in the video, Begich should get credit for getting the Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center built. As mayor of Anchorage, he fought tirelessly for the convention center. In any case, it’s the most explosive video yet of the campaign season. Young is popular in Alaska, and this will not help Begich’s campaign.

I also know that to the extent there’s been a détente between Young and Begich, that’s probably over, for now at least.

This just in from Begich’s spokesperson Max Croes:

Congressman Young and Senator Begich had known each other for a long time and have a strong working relationship.  Along with Senator Murkowski, they have been able to rack up big accomplishments for Alaska. The combined seniority of Alaska’s team will continue to bring new jobs, oil and gas development, and infrastructure investments for Alaska.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com


Congressional candidate Forrest Dunbar wins creative-video-of-the-season award

Democrat Forrest Dunbar is only 29 years old. But he’s clerked for former Sen. Frank Murkowski. He’s been in the Peace Corp, has a Yale Law degree, a master’s from Harvard Kennedy School, is a first lieutenant in the Alaska National Guard, and is now running against Rep. Don Young. And he’s made the video below, which has to be the campaign season’s most creative so far.

Note: The song which Dunbar’s playing off is the 1986 hit “Your Love.” A hit in frat houses all across the country, it is sung from the point of view of a lout trying to get a girl to cheat with him while his girlfriend “Josie” is out of town.


Quote of the day: Don Young also gags

As hoped for, Rep. Don Young weighs in on Gina McCarthy’s comment that a gift of Alaska moose given to her by an Alaska child “could gag a maggot.”

Do you know what makes me gag? The EPA’s continuous assault on our state; whether it be blocking offshore air permits in Alaska for years, making it difficult for our power plants to operate, harassing our fishing fleet over deck wash and fish waste, or attempting a grab of Alaska’s lands. This just goes to show the EPA truly doesn’t understand our state and the people that live here. Gina McCarthy’s words sound like they come from someone who has contempt for, rather than an appreciation of, the rich customary traditions of Alaska’s people. Maybe the placer miners in Chicken, AK will invite her in for dinner during the EPA’s next raid and she’ll like what they’re serving a little better.


Don Young gets some love from the mainstream media

Stick around for long enough, and everyone loves you. Even if you’re U.S. Rep. Don Young, who’s hasn’t historically been a media darling. A reporter from the Washington Post visited U.S. Rep. Don Young recently, however, and came away seemingly smitten. The piece, entitled “5 incredible stories from 21-term Rep. Don Young,” is a photo essay taken in Young’s office, where he regaled the reporter with stories about cigars, bathrooms, and strangling bears with his own hands.

His goal, he said, is to stay in office until he’s 90. He’s been there since 1973. That’s another decade’s worth of Don Young stories for us. Read the story here. 


Liberal activists organizing against Young?

From a fundraising letter from U.S. Rep. Don Young:

“It appears I’ve drawn some early and aggressive opposition so I’m reaching out to ask for your immediate assistance. They are vigorously soliciting from liberal activists for what they call long term planning.”

Liberal activists can organize? And they’re doing so to get rid of Young? Maybe sensing the stretch here, the letter goes on to say, “Some might scoff that this is not a formidable threat.” Who’s running against Young again?


Don Young upbraids Park Service comptroller

Whatever you say about Rep. Don Young, he upbraids well. On Thursday, Bruce Sheaffer, a comptroller with the National Park Service, was on the other end of it. The subject was a hearing on H.R. 3294, a bill which would allow states to control management of federal lands for states willing to pay 50 percent of the costs associated with that management. The federal government would retain ownership. Skip to minute 1:13 to see how Young weaves in King George, the Taj Mahal and Chevys.



Don Young: Alive and kicking

Below is a press release from U.S. Rep. Don Young about chest discomfort he experienced while traveling in Southeast Alaska earlier this week:

Rep. Don Young standing with veterans.

Rep. Don Young standing with veterans.

“While traveling in Southeast Alaska this week during the Congressional state work period, Alaska Congressman Don Young experienced some minor chest discomfort and out of caution went for examination at the Wrangell Medical Center. After observation, he was advised to seek further diagnostic tests, which he undertook Saturday afternoon in Anchorage.

Following tests, Congressman Young was given a clean bill of health and is in excellent spirits. Saturday’s tests are standard procedure for someone who has had major heart surgery, which Congressman Young underwent in 1997.

Congressman Young thanks the medical personnel and staff who assisted him in both Wrangell and Anchorage for their professionalism and excellent care, and encourages anyone experiencing this kind of discomfort not to hesitate to seek medical attention.”


Why is Joe Miller being so quiet?

Tea party favorite Joe Miller, who’s supposedly running in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate, has been uncharacteristically quiet. His campaign spokesman will send out an occasional press release and will occasionally be quoted. But Miller himself hasn’t yet given any public speeches. He hasn’t appeared to be actively fundraising. He’s only raised $31,900 from individuals this year.

In fact, although Miller filled out the required paperwork to run for Senate, he has yet to make a formal announcement. He can be a little edgy, but Miller, who won the 2010 primary against Sen. Lisa Murkowski, is no shrinking violet. So why the low profile? What’s he up to?

For now, he seems content to sit back and let the other candidates—former DNR Commissioner Dan Sullivan and Lt. Mead Treadwell—scramble for the money and the attention. He’s also probably enjoying the fact that the Republican National Committee is opening at least three offices in the state and planning to spend more money here than ever before. The RNC won’t pick sides in a primary, but it’s clear that the Republican establishment doesn’t like Miller and is scared that he’ll mess up a race that they consider competitive.

I’ve been told that Miller is considering running as an independent candidate. His spokesperson, however, denied that he’s actively considering it.

I don’t have inside knowledge of this, but it seems more likely that if he’s going to change anything about his race, it will be what chamber he’s after. Although Rep. Don Young has a reputation among liberals as being a staunch conservative, tea party groups don’t see him that way. His “conservative” ratings, conducted by the Heritage Foundation, and Americans for Prosperity, are near the bottom. And in 2008, the Club for Growth sunk money into now Gov. Sean Parnell’s race to unseat Young. The group would likely do so again.

Miller would also have more like-minded companions in the House and would get a lot more attention running against Young than he will if he continues to run for Senate. And Miller likes attention.

It makes sense. Besides, it would be fun to see the two debate.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com


Washington’s Doc Hastings hunts for big bucks in Alaska

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski recently said that she’s not actively fundraising for her 2016 run in Alaska because there isn’t enough money in the state to go around for others who are running. U. S. Rep. Doc Hastings, who isn’t even from around here, apparently doesn’t view Alaska’s potential campaign contributions as such a limited resource.

On Tuesday, Hastings, representing central Washington’s 4th congressional district, will be in Anchorage to raise funds for his re-election efforts at an event from 12 – 1:30 pm at the Ginger Restaurant. The requested contribution is $500; however, the invitation does point out that individuals can give $2600.

What would be the draw? Hastings is the chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee. As such, he has jurisdiction over most federal land use and water policies, which include wilderness areas, BLM lands and national forests. In other words, he has a huge say over stuff Alaskans are concerned about, namely oil and gas development, water rights and access to federal lands for hunting, fishing and recreation. And the host committee reflects these interests: Portia Babcock (Conoco Phillips); Deantha Crocket (Alaska Miners Association); Jim Jansen (Lynden Transport); Cam Toohey (Shell): Drue Pearce (federal lobbyist); Randy Ruedrich (former chair Alaska Republican Party); and Tara Sweeney (ASRC).

It’s also not surprising that so far in the 2013 – 14 election cycle, the oil and gas industry has topped Hastings’ list of contributors. ExxonMobil, among others, has given Hastings the maximum allowable PAC contribution.

Also, it’s interesting to note, that according to Heritage Action, the conservative arm of the Heritage Foundation, Hastings has a conservative rating of 62 percent. By comparison, that makes him almost twice as conservative as Rep. Don Young.

And if you’re not wired Doc’s way, or if you want to hedge your bets, on Nov. 7th there’s a fundraiser for state Reps. Harriet Drummond and Andy Josephson at Rep. Les Gara’s house on the Parkstrip.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com


Alaskan politicians playing games with our money and our health

19392277_mAs of October 1, the federal government is shut down. Driving the shutdown are some Republicans intent on repealing or delaying the Affordable Care Act. Come January roughly 66,000 Alaskans, some even with preexisting conditions, will be able to buy affordable health insurance on the private market for the first time ever.

That includes me. According to a broker, I’ll probably be paying about $500 a month for a plan with a $1200 deductible.

For me that’s a great deal. If not for the new health care law, I would be paying about $1500 a month for such insurance.

That’s a $1000 a month difference. That’s real money. That’s a mortgage. That’s money that can be used to support private Alaska businesses.

U.S. Rep. Don Young voted on Monday yet again to delay the program for a year. Senate hopeful Joe Miller would go further. He would repeal the whole thing. The other Republican hopeful, Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell has indicated that he would do the same.

For decades, Young has been the beneficiary of the best health insurance available, which has been highly subsidized by the tax payers. He’s now on Medicare. However, in 2009, the plan most favored by members of Congress was Blue Cross Blue Shield, which covered a family for about $1,030 a month. Taxpayers paid $700 of that.

Young, and all the members of Congress, also have government-funded private doctors on the Hill available to them.

As a veteran of our armed services, Miller is eligible for tax funded healthcare.

As a state of Alaska official, Treadwell doesn’t have to pay anything for his insurance. The state health insurance plan is better than almost any plan available on the private market. And, it’s all funded by the citizens of Alaska.

Let me repeat that: As a state worker, Treadwell doesn’t have to pay any monthly premiums for a plan that’s better than nearly any plan normal Alaskans get or can buy themselves.

Funny how politicians always seem to know how to get theirs.

If the health care act is delayed and I can’t sign up for it, I’ll be spending roughly more than $12,000 than I would otherwise. And if only 10,000 Alaskans of comparable health, age and income sign up under ObamaCare, it will save us a collective $120 million.

That’s more than Alaska makes off of taxes from mining, cigarettes and alcohol combined.

The federal government shut down at midnight while the House continues to leverage the budget continuing resolution as a means of delaying ObamaCare. Federal workers all across the state will be affected. So will the elderly and the disabled. The stock market has already fallen as the result of instability. Most of Alaskans who have retirement accounts have at least some of it in the stock market. We’ve all lost money that we’ll probably never get back.

The health care law will not be delayed. Obama will not allow it.

So what’s happening is this: Some Republican politicians are playing partisan games with our money and our health.

I’m going to go to a broker tomorrow and sign up for health insurance through the exchanges, which will be available on January 1. For the first time, I’ll be able to buy affordable, private health insurance. I won’t be getting as good of a deal as Young, Treadwell or Miller.

But I won’t complain. I’m going to have better and more affordable health insurance. And I’ll pass on some of what I’m going to save to Alaska businesses.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com


Will the government shut down? Who knows.

partisanshipWith the federal fiscal year quickly coming to an end, the U.S. House and Senate are still jostling to figure out what kind of continuing resolution it will pass. A continuing resolution is a type of appropriations legislation used by Congress to fund government if a formal appropriations bill hasn’t been passed by Sept. 30.

A group of very vocal, very conservative House Republicans wants so badly to kill the Affordable Care Act, that they are willing to allow a government shutdown on Oct. 1 by forgoing a continuing resolution that would provide funding to keep government operating.

For awhile, it looked like House Speaker John Boehner wasn’t going to capitulate to his right flank and take any chance of allowing that to happen. On Wednesday, however, he announced that he’s going to allow a vote on Friday that will provide funding to keep the government open, while stripping away money to implement portions of the Affordable Care Act, or ACA.

This is what the House conservatives were demanding.

It’s a risky move because the Senate has made clear that any measure it passes will retain funding for ACA, and Obama himself said he would not sign any measure that did not include funding for ACA.

The Senate intends to pass its own continuing resolution that includes funding for ACA.

Some pundits believe that Boehner hopes that sending the stopgap measure to the Senate might be enough to placate the right wing members of his caucus. Those members can then say they’ve tried and some sort of stopgap measure will then be passed that keeps government open.

According to Rep. Don Young’s office, this is exactly what some of the Republican right wing turks in the Senate — namely Sens. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz — have asked for.

“(T)here is a vocal group of Republicans in the Senate that are demanding we use passing the CR (continuing resolution) as a vehicle to defund Obamacare,” Young’s spokesman Mike Anderson said. “House Republicans intend to give the Senate that chance.”

Anderson then goes on to point out that the House has voted more than 40 times to defund some or all of ACA. “(F)or the first time since it was forced through Congress without a single Republican vote, the Senate will finally be forced to show the American people where they stand with regards to this awful law,” he said.

Partisan politics will likely continue to play out for the remaining days of the fiscal year. The political showdown has just started. While some political observers believe that a continuing resolution will be passed to avert a shutdown, others aren’t so sure.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com