Having been working on opposition research on Congressman Don Young (R - Pork) for the past 21 months, I have to say that watching him finally unravel between now and August will be one of the more rewarding periods of my life. I'm not wringing my hands in glee, though. I'm satisfied that this man's incredibly complex karmic past is catching up with him.
As I wrote on January 5 to Washington D.C.-based Alaska correspondent Robert Dillon, "When [Young] was responsible for the welfare of the citizens of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, he sold their and the guest workers there into a criminally-connected slave regime that will take years to undo. For that alone, he's the worst bad act our state has inflicted on the national soul."
Young has been the most frequent target of Progressive Alaska's wrath over the past five and a half months. And for good reason, to say the least. PA has actively sought more information on Young through that time. This blog was instrumental in keeping Young from being elevated to a higher degree in the Masonic order at an Anchorage ceremony, by making public Alaska Masons' concerns that no Mason under investigation by the FBI had been so elevated here in the past. PA has been there whenever Young has stumbled. And PA is helping those whose quest is to bring Young's questionable activities to light, whoever or wherever the investigators might be.
I'm a supporter of all three Democratic Party candidates for Don Young's congressional seat, in that all three are far, far more suitable to represent all Alaskans than is Young. I've been a Diane Benson volunteer for the past 21 months. Some of my closest friends are Jake Metcalfe or Ethan Berkowitz supporters. Lately, some of my close friends who support Ethan and I have gotten into it - in a friendly way, to be sure. But when they try to diminish the role Benson has played in bringing Young's borderline (or over-the-border) criminality to light, it strikes a nerve, because Diane's role in this process has been, to say the least, pivotal.
As the U.S. Senate attempts to force the House to investigate in a joint select committee the unconstitutional changes Young and his staff made to the 2005 omnibus transportation bill (the Coconut Road insertion), don't expect the Anchorage Daily News to mention that Diane Benson was the first person in public life to ask for an investigation in this matter. Almost eight months ago.
Benson's campaign presented this great TPM Veracifier video to the Alaska public back in September, 2007:
Don't expect the local media to mention that the Benson campaign was the first to note that Young's legal expenses would go over $1,000,000 in early 2008.
Don't expect the media to note that one of the supporters of the Ethan Berkowitz campaign already, is the Alaska chief of Veco's Alaska successor, CH2M Hill. That's the CH2M Hill that last summer negligently spilled hundreds of thousands of gallons radioactive sludge waste on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, and then tried to hide the facts of the case. Berkowitz was also a recipient of Veco cash up until at least 1998.
Progressive Alaska calls upon all Democratic candidates in Alaska to return any contributions given them by CH2M Hill, or from the company's employees, until the company fixes the mess they made at Hanford.
image of Don Young by Dennis Zaki