Federal Politics

Published — April 18, 2008 Updated — May 19, 2014 at 12:19 pm ET

Don Young, representative for Florida?

Alaska Republican facing investigation was frequent traveler on special interests’ dime

Introduction

May 1, 2008 Update: The House voted 358-51 yesterday to agree to the Senate’s demand for a federal criminal investigation of the $10 million earmark. Young defended his actions, claiming “these accusations have little, if any, connection with what actually occurred,” but eventually joined many of his colleagues in voting for the bill to “clear this up once and for all.”

Alaska Republican Don Young, currently under fire for possibly illegal earmarking for a project near Naples, Florida, was one of Congress’s most frequent fliers, racking up more than $20,000 in special-interest sponsored travel to the Sunshine State over a five-and-a-half-year period.

In a rare move that targets a sitting member of Congress, the Senate voted 64-28 Thursday to ask the Department of Justice to investigate a $10 million earmark added by Representative Young’s staff, after the legislation was already approved by Congress.

The earmark, which called for funding a highway interchange project, was reportedly changed to benefit real estate developer Daniel Aronoff in Florida, 3,000 miles or more from Young’s district. Aronoff, who had tried for years to go ahead with the development project, raised $40,000 for the congressman’s campaign in 2005.

An analysis of congressional travel records by the Center for Public Integrity shows that Young was a frequent jetsetter before this year’s travel reforms, taking $83,706.95 worth of trips — 21 excursions in all since 2000. These include trips sponsored by the National Rifle Association to Greensboro, North Carolina, as part of a speaking tour, as well as his most expensive venture to San Diego for about $8,950, which was sponsored by Totem Ocean Trailer Express, Inc., an Alaska-based shipper. Young also traveled to Ruidoso Downs, New Mexico, for “fact finding” at the Hubbard Museum of the American West — a trip that cost $1,483, for which no sponsor is listed.

Of these 21 trips, seven were to Florida, ranging in cost from $1,050 to about $5,863. Among the list of sponsors are several interest groups, including the Association of American Railroads, American Maritime Officers, and the American Federation of Labor – Council of Industrial Organizations. All totaled, these seven jaunts cost $20,388.60.

Young’s office, including his staff, was one of only a few Congressional offices to accept more than 200 trips and more than $350,000 in travel during the January 2000 through June 2005 period covered by the study.

Meredith McGehee, policy director at the Campaign Legal Center, told the Center that these trips provide special interest organizations the opportunity to build face time and a personal relationship with a policy maker. “This gives them a leg up on everyone else in terms of access,” she said. Instead of giving money to buy votes, which is illegal, “it’s more common that money is given and access is bought.”

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SOUTH JERSEYTed SiroisMark SullivanTom LarkinAnonymous Recent comment authors
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Mark Sullivan
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Mark Sullivan

Trump needs to conduct these activities because the entire MSM media, excluding Fox, is campaigning against him 24/7/365.

Didn’t Monica’s boyfriend’s wife and various criminal enterprises outspend Trump by almost 2-1?

CapitalistRoader
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CapitalistRoader

Why wouldn’t he get an early start on fund raising? Hillary outspent him two-to-one in 2016. The Dem’s are the party of big money. The President knows this and is attempting to get a jump on it. Of course the Dem candidate will outspend him in 2020 so it’s only rational that he starts fund raising now.

George Young
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George Young

Oh brother. We just 8 years of the Campaigner – in – Chief. Where was this journalistic rectal thermometer then. Just another article about 2000 words too long that merely takes another slap at Trump for something he far from initiated.

j stevenson
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j stevenson

The big difference between Trump and all the rest is his refusing to accept funds from lobbyists, so they don’t have the White House access they are used to. These are the donors who buy the presidency and are as pixxed off that he won the election as are the media and the Dems. Lobbyists have never been shut out of the WH and Trump has told them he is not for sale.

jan v
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jan v

all the lobbyists are running all our government agencies and all the career civil servants who know how to run the country have been fired. YOU think this is a good thing ? what a crock…

thomas alessi
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thomas alessi

I am for Trump

Martin Shellabarger
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J. Stevenson, what are you drinking? Trump has more lobbyists in his administration than probably any other president. Trump is totally “for sale”, and the corporations know it. Grow a brain!

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Trump needs to be impeached and tossed in prison. Then have the key thrown away so he will never be free. Then he can see how it feels not to have freedom.

Mark Sullivan
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Mark Sullivan

Thank you for the usual insightful leftist low IQ Snowflake response.

barney
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hes not imprisoning them hes sending them back to their country chill tf out

SOUTH JERSEY
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SOUTH JERSEY

WHY DONT YOU HAVE FREEDOM?

Tom Larkin
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Tom Larkin

First, something positive. I was happy to learn of empirical information in article. BUT, the article was so slanted against President Trump as to be deemed fake news (“Perhaps Trump just lied.” (Two different issues)). The article mentions that President Trump raised over $67 million, but ended 2018 with $19 million. President Trump spent over $40 million 2016 and 2017. President Trump conducted 57 political rallies. The article notes the hats and T-shirts sold, but NEVER MENTIONS THE INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF REPUBLICAN SENATORS during a mid-term election that lost the House and the number of political rallies in… Read more »

Ted Sirois
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Ted Sirois

At least Trump is getting donations from willing donors. Fresh from his first election, Obama used billions of our children’s tax dollars to save thousands of union jobs in the car industry and bailed out the banks and many Wall Street businesses. This secured his source of reelection funds for his reelection four years later.

South Jersey
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South Jersey

TRUMP 2020; IS AN AMAZINGLY SMART MAN! VERY ORIGINAL & CREATIVE. I AM HAPPY TO HAVE HIS AS POTUS.

SOUTH JERSEY
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SOUTH JERSEY

THIS ARTICLE WAS OBVIOUSLY WRITTEN BY, A TRUMP-HATE-GROUP. THAT FEELS; IT IS NOT NORMAL TO BE SUCCESSFUL WITH YOUR OWN BRAND NAME. WHEN, IF FACT, IT IS NORMAL! >>>>> THIS IS >>> FAKE NEWS!!! <<<< ie: A PACK-OF-LIES; SPUN INTO; DEFAMATION OF CHARACTER. FOR A SINISTER-AGENDA OF; FASCIST DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST, COUP D'ETAT

David
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David

Are you on some kind of drugs? Writing in caps makes me think that you are grumpy old fart or a uneducated hillbilly.