For over two years, Dennis Greenia has been the main source of information on Don Young's contacts with Jack Abramoff, and on Young's role in turning the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands into a slave empire. His research was key to my October 16, 2006 article on this for Down With Tyranny.
Cited in my article from 19 months ago, was also the research on some of Young's Abramoff contacts mentioned in articles for the Anchorage Daily News by Liz Ruskin.
Since October, 2006, I've written over 20 articles for Down With Tyranny, Daily Kos and Progressive Alaska on Young's ties to Abramoff, and about the continuing research being done by Greenia and by the Diane Benson campaign in this area.
Today's Anchorage Daily News has a very comprehensive article on this by Richard Mauer. Mauer, like me, has been in direct contact with Greenia on deepening the research. Dennis, or Dengre, as he is known to DailyKos readers, pays very generous tribute to Mauer in a diary he's written this morning on Mauer's article over at DailyKos. And Mauer cites the importance of Dengre's research in his piece.
And I'm very happy that Richard's dedication is paying off here. His Young-Abramoff article today is the best research article at the ADN since Mauer teamed up with Tom Kizzia to write an article publshed February 10, about some of the shady aspects of Ted Stevens' relationship to the Seward Sea Life Center.
It is important to note, though, that over 80% of the information in Mauer's article was already out there, in very similar format, in my October 16, 2006 Down With Tyranny article on the same subject. At the time of that article's publication, Diane Benson's 2006 campaign manager drew it to the attention of editors and news directors of all major Alaska media outlets, Nobody called back. The lack of response upset me enough then, that, upon the urging of Aaron Selbig, I wrote an appeal to the Alaska MSM, for Insurgent49. I'm going to reprint that appeal now, to give a little bit of historical perspective:
October 27, 2006
Media Coverage of Young's Corruption Seriously Lacking
by Philip Munger, insurgent49
The past two weeks have seen the publication of several articles about Don Young that clearly show him unfit for continued service in the U. S. House of Representatives.
I documented twenty contacts between Young and convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff in an article published at two web sites. The Anchorage Daily News has written three times in the past week about aspects of Young’s arrogance and questionable campaign practices. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner covered most of the points about the Young-Abramoff ties in an article published Saturday that asks more questions about those ties.
On Tuesday, the Juneau Empire featured a story by Pat Forgey that highlighted Young’s highly questionable contributions to the legal defense funds of Representatives Randy “Duke” Cunningham, Tom DeLay and Bob Ney. Of those three, Cunningham is now serving time, Ney about to begin serving, and DeLay soon to go to trial. Also on Tuesday, a high traffic web site posted an article about Abramoff that questions how long Young and several other Abramoff-tainted congressmen can remain free, even should they win re-election on November 7.
The last article raises interesting questions about how Young’s future is tied to the pace of revelations coming from Jack Abramoff’s cellblock desk. The article’s author, Howie Klein, a retired recording industry executive and co-founder of ActBlue, an organization which has raised over $14,000,000 on-line for progressive candidates this cycle, writes “FBI insiders, or at least those with inside info from FBI employees familiar with the Abramoff case, are betting that almost instant indictments are looming for Alaska's Don Young, Florida's Tom Feeney, John Doolittle, Jerry Lewis, Duncan Hunter, Ken Calvert and Dirty Dick Pombo of the Golden State and Phil English and Don Sherwood of Pennsylvania, as well as for former GOP Crime Boss Tom DeLay.”
Klein further states “there are a whole lot of GOP solons from low information districts who will be re-elected only to face almost immediate indictment and the same eventual fate as former GOP congressmen/current prison inmates Duke Cunningham and Bob Ney.”
Don Young is the number one recipient of political funding from Veco, a firm being investigated by the FBI. Our sole congressman didn’t even attend his own committee’s September hearings into BP’s business failures in Alaska. When he returned to Alaska for the October congressional recess, a time during which most incumbents of both parties are campaigning furiously, Young has chosen to campaign for one hour only – at Wednesday’s KSKA/KAKM debate. The rest of the time, he claims, he’s “traveling as a congressman.”
He has refused to participate in public forums across the state with Democratic Party nominee Diane Benson, who has turned into a highly credible candidate who resonates with our serving military and their families, with veterans, with the Native community at large, and with the growing number of voters here who have “had enough.”
Meanwhile, Young defends his threats, cancellations, and contributions of donor funds to questionable criminal defense organizations in an imperious manner.
This has been handled rather poorly, in most part, by Alaska media. Alaska editors and reporters need to begin connecting the dots very, very soon in a responsible and comprehensive way on the patterns of abuse of power by our sole representative in Congress. Should Young be re-elected and then indicted for his activities without a deeper coverage of his shortcomings by the Alaska press, Young’s indictment will also be an indictment of the Alaska media’s inability or unwillingness to fully do it’s job.