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Don Young Brings Out the Big Guns

His reelection bid may be in trouble, but Rep. Don Young (R) isn't going down without a fight. In the last 24 hours, the embattled Alaskan's campaign has announced two big endorsements: one from the National Rifle Association and one from Huck PAC, the political action committee of former presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee (R). (Though Huckabee has apparently felt the need to explain to some disgruntled supporters just why he's backing Young. More on that later.)

Young faces a tough Republican primary on Aug. 26 against Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell, and if he gets through that, Democrat Ethan Berkowitz awaits him in the fall. The endorsement of the NRA's Political Victory Fund will help him in both contests, as courting the pro-gun rights vote is a bipartisan pastime in Alaska.

"Don Young has a perfect pro-gun voting record in Congress and he is a great friend to Alaska hunters and gun owners," NRA-PVF Chairman Chris Cox said in a release. "The NRA Political Victory Fund is proud to endorse Congressman Don Young for re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives."

The NRA's endorsement should help boost Young's fundraising, and he'll need the assistance, as the deep-pocketed fiscal conservative group Club for Growth is backing Parnell in the GOP primary.

While the NRA's backing will help Young appeal to hunters and outdoor enthusiasts, Huckabee's endorsement should assist the incumbent in reaching out to another constituency -- evangelicals and social conservatives. Young has never been closely identified with social issues, though his voting record is reliably conservative on that front. And because of his love of pork-barrel spending, Young has never been a favorite of fiscal hawks. Nor was Huckabee during his time as Arkansas governor or as a presidential candidate, when Young was one of the first members of Congress to endorse him.

In its initial release announcing the endorsement, Huck PAC said it was backing the "strong conservative" Young because of his devotion to: "1. Making America energy independent. 2. Improving our nation's infrastructure. 3. A strong military and defense."

But after some posters on the Huck PAC Web site responded negatively, Huckabee himself felt the need to tack on an update: "Don Young has been a consistent pro-family, pro-life vote in the Congress. Don also endorsed my campaign and stood by me in the public arena defending my record from false attacks when other members of Congress wouldn't be seen with me. I don't expect everyone to agree with each endorsement we make. I am thankful that we are able to talk about our differences openly and respectfully. Thank you for your comments."

By Ben Pershing  |  July 1, 2008; 3:55 PM ET
Categories:  2008 Campaign  
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My fellow Americans ,i think it is time for you to press your senators and change the constitution about GUN OWNership.If it doesnt work for you ,USA is not the only country in the world and you need to look at some european countries where there is no crime at all.Usa is the richest country in the world but also you have the biggest crime and people in jail in the world.Think about it.How come in canada we have 10 thousand people in jail and you have 4 milion most of them black and spanish.Maybe somthening is wrong with your constitution and your way of life ,where you dont care what is happening in a poor neighbourhood next to you.In Canada we dont have poor neighbourhoods,most of them are the on same developed level because our government is non-stop rebuilding all the neighbourhoods.

Posted by: Tim | July 2, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

If there is a hunter in Alaska that does not know Young is a member of the NRA and has been for more than a few decades, it is because that person has not moved to the state yet. So, all things being equal, the question becomes, do hunters want to re-elect a loud mouth crook, who thinks the US Treasury is his private stash to do as he pleases, represent them? The NRA is simply backing a loyal incumbent, knowing full well that if Young loses, the winner will not be anathema to the NRA. Even a guy named Ethan Berkowitz knows that much about Alaskan politics. As for Huckabee supporting a candidate knee high in graft, that will be for his future primary opponents to figure out. For everyone else, the endorsement speaks for itself: Huckabee does not want to offend the people filling Young's pockets with cash. Ole Huck may need that cash some campaign down the road.

Posted by: bookriver | July 2, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Hey Tim,

Here's the deal: if you quit trying to mess with our Constitution, we won't question the screwed-up foundations of your socialist, monarchy-obsessed, two-bit patch of tundra.

Notwithstanding that I can't exactly fathom your attempt to connect Second Amendment rights with the prison overpopulation issue, your complaining about the my Constitutional protections and the inadequacies of the U.S. justice system is kind of like me telling you that Quebec has the right to secede and start its country, because, otherwise, you're interfering with the self-determiniation of indigenous people. Wait a second, you mean I'm not a voting Canadian citizen so I don't have any say in the matter? My point exactly.

You can feel all the discontent you want that the U.S. isn't living up to your standards, but, until you are a tax-paying citizen of this great country, keep your mealy mouthed liberal whining to yourself.

Posted by: Huh? | July 2, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

What a shame. Here in Alaska the new state motto is "THANKS FBI" .Folks from both parties see the need to get rid of Young and his type. The Huck pac is just aiding corruption and keeping us from moving forward.

Posted by: Mike | July 2, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Don Young is about as close to being a cave man as anyone found walking erect in today's world.

He has ZERO respect for the natural environment and is one of the chief dispoilers of planet earth. I hope Alaska voters will finally sober up and realize they have have been supporting this cheap crook for way too long and give this scum sucker the well deserved boot.

Posted by: Bill Watts | July 8, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

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