Don Young's Pitch to the Lobbyists
It's not exactly a revelation that lawmakers often look for ways to raise campaign money from lobbyists who might have reason to seek their support someday. But it is somewhat unusual for an explicit e-mailed pitch to the lobbyists to surface publicly.
McClatchy Newspapers says it has obtained such an e-mail showing that U.S. Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) last year turned to the "AK Wolfpack," a group of more than 20 lobbyists, including former Young staffers and retired former congressmen, to help his re-election campaign.
The newspaper chain's Sean Cockerham and Erika Bolstad report that Young's chief of staff, Mike Anderson, sent the group the e-mail, telling them that national Democrats planned aggressive fundraising and claims of misconduct by Young to topple the 35-year incumbent congressman.
If they succeed, Anderson warned, "you and your clients will be impacted."
Since the e-mail was sent on June 8, 2007, Young has received more than $90,000 from its recipients, their lobbying firms or clients of their firms -- nearly a quarter of the roughly $400,000 raised by Young and his political action committee over the same period through the first quarter of this year, according to federal reports.
Young has been in the spotlight in recent months after top Senate Democrats and Republicans endorsed taking action in April in connection with a $10 million earmark that Young, the former chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, inserted into a huge 2005 highway funding bill.
Young's staff acknowledged that aides "corrected" the earmark just before it went to the White House for President Bush's signature, specifying that the money would go to a proposed highway interchange project on Interstate 75 near Naples, Fla. Young also sponsored a now-infamous $223 million measure to build a "Bridge to Nowhere" in Alaska, a project that was killed in 2005 after it sparked widespread outrage.
By Derek Kravitz |
July 7, 2008; 5:56 PM ET
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