I got a robo-call from Don Young at 12:07 p.m. At 12:08, I pressed the button indicating I wanted to participate in his monthly telephone forum, and ask to him a question. At 12:09:30, Don's assistant Mike Anderson got on the line with me. He asked me what I wanted to ask Don.
I told him, "Lots of things! But right now, I know a couple of guys who donated to Don last ear. They're concerned about their donations being spent on Don's attorneys. Has he been doing anything to reassure contributors that their money isn't going to well-dressed DC attorneys in Gucci loafers?"
I stayed on the line for the next hour. Don took mostly fluff questions from people who think he's someone somewhere between Ronald Reagan and Jesus. He did take two questions from critics, though.
One, from Homer asked if Young supported retroactive immunity for telecom companies who broke the law at the behest of the Bush administration. Yep, Don favors enabling those lawbreakers, and setting a precedent that will go God only knows where in future court cases.
The other critic, I believe from Anchorage, questioned the logic of Young's continuing support for funding our longest, most ineptly managed, most costly war in recent years. He said that the surge is working, and questioned the loyalty of the female caller. She stood her ground, and was asking a further question when she was cut off.
I waited until the 70-minute chat with constituents was over. I was allowed to stay on-line to have my question recorded for Young. I also asked the recorder whether or not Don intends to show up for next month's Fish Expo in Kodiak. I'll let you know if he calls back, in an update to this post.
Overall, my impression was that Young and his staff manipulated the set-up to his advantage, but not to a totally egregious degree.