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Don Young Picks Up Another Opponent

Embattled Rep. Don Young already faced a steep climb in Alaska's GOP primary, as he battles a challenge from popular Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell. Now Young has another key opponent -- Club for Growth.

The fiscally conservative group is now officially backing Parnell over Young, who is under federal investigation as part of a broad political corruption probe in Alaska. Lest there be any confusion about where Club for Growth stands in the race, the group's president, ex-Rep. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) made things pretty clear today in a Wall Street Journal op-ed titled: "Don Young Embodies What's Wrong With the GOP."

"The reason for the endorsement is simple," Toomey writes. "Mr. Parnell is a solid conservative who led the fight for lower taxes and spending in the state legislature, and joined Gov. Sarah Palin in pushing for reform in the state. The man he is hoping to replace isn't economically conservative in the least. Mr. Young is actually a poster child for what has gone wrong with the Republican Party in Washington."

Toomey actually barely mentions the corruption allegations against Young; the bulk of the piece is devoted to excoriating the Alaskan for his love of pork-barrel spending, particularly on transportation projects. Given Young's legislative record, it doesn't seem surprising Club for Growth would oppose him. Except the Club, with only rare exceptions, doesn't actually go after lawmakers as high-profile and seemingly entrenched as Young very often. The fact that the group is doing so now is a testament to just how weak Young has become and how viable Parnell is, since the incumbent has been pro-pork for years without drawing the Club's anti-endorsement before.

Club for Growth can now start running ads against Young, and it can steer its largely wealthy members to donate to Parnell. Young's no slouch in the fundraising department himself -- he had more than $600,000 in the bank as of March 31 -- but he'll need all of that cash to hold on to his seat. And even if he does survive the primary (most Republicans in D.C. privately hope he doesn't) he'll have to face formidable Democrat Ethan Berkowitz in the fall.

By Ben Pershing  |  June 6, 2008; 2:00 PM ET
Categories:  2008 Campaign  
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Comments

"Club for Growth"?

I don't know what kool-aid these Red Bushies have been drinking, but if they call these past eight years of continual FAILURE growth, then they've got the chart upside down.

America has had enough - there are no more Red States - this year every state is going under the Blue Tidal Wave.

Posted by: Will in Seattle | June 6, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

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