Saturday, September 12, 2009

How Much Does Don Young Have To Grab Before He'll Accept That His Work For The State Of Alaska Is Done?

--- by Howie Klein

[Howie Klein, one of the most important fundraisers (the PAC he inspired, Blue America, raised more for Alaska Sen. Mark Begich in 2008, than any other Begich contributor) and political commentators in the USA, has long been on the case of Alaska Rep. Don Young]

Last night the Anchorage Daily News reported that blogger and former Alaska state Rep. Andrew Halcro will be challenging ethically-challenged Don Young in the Republican Party primary for that state's sole House seat.

"I'm running for Congress because I agree with Don Young, and he said seniority matters," Halcro said later. "And right now, after the last election, he was stripped of his committee chairmanships. He's basically become an 18-term freshman."

"The Republicans look like they're going to pick up significant seats in 2010 and 2012. And here's the question: Does Alaska want a seat on the bus, or do we want to get left on the curb?"... Young issued a statement Thursday emphasizing he remains in the race, saying that "my work is not done for the state of Alaska just yet."

Young (a.k.a.- Mr. Pork) has been forced out of his committee chairmanship-- since he was using it to enrich himself-- while his legal problems are under investigation. It is unlikely the 76 year old legislator will outlive the investigations of his tangled and determined criminality.

Young has hit upon the novel idea of campaigning on the memory of his recently departed wife, Lu, hoping for some sympathy from Alaksa voters:

"I love this State and have loved representing you for the past 36 years and because of that I am running for another term and I am running hard. Lu and I made the decision to run for re-election together, and I will continue to fight for her and for all Alaskans... Through my seniority, my long-seeded friendships with many of the current chairman, and your support, we have been able to accomplish great things and together we can accomplish so much more."

It is widely estimated that Young was, in his heyday, among the half dozen most corrupt members of the House. He has taken in nearly $6 million from PACs and has been a particular darling of Big Oil and Gas, whose interests he has served most slavishly. Among current House members, he's one of the top 10 all-time recipients of thinly-veiled direct bribes from lobbyists ($545,342).

In 2008 Young barely managed to win-- with a 304 vote nargin-- his primary against Palin-back Lt Gov (now Governor) Sean Parnell. He went on to beat an ethically suspect Rahm Emanuel puppet, Ethan Berkowitz, 158,939- 142,560.

Young still hasn't been indicted although the FBI claims his investigation is still active. Meanwhile, the Democratic Party is coalescing around a run by state Rep Harry Crawford of East Anchorage. The congressional district, by far the biggest in America, is the entire state of Alaska. Despite Palin's presence on the Republican ticket, Obama did significantly better against McCain than both Kerry and Gore did against Bush. He only lost by 38-59%! What is it that makes meth users vote Republican in such great numbers?

image at top - Dennis Zaki
image near bottom -


Anonymous said...

I am interested in the ethically suspect Rahm Emanuel puppet, Ethan Berkowitz comment..What the hell?

Philip Munger said...

anon @ 11:33 am - this is a guest post by the person who helped organize the largest out-of-state grassroots support for progressive Democratic Party candidates for the 2008 election in the USA Howie Klein.

His views on Rahm Emanuel's negative role in progressive Democratic Party politics echo my own. I am far more supportive, at this time, of Ethan Berkowitz than is Howie, though.

Anonymous said...

Want to know about who got bailout funds?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, what the hell ?

Ethan Berkowitz may not be a lot of things, but ethically suspect isn't one of them.

That's the problem with these cranks from outside of Alaska who know nothing bout the local lay of the land here.

Anonymous said...

"What is it that makes meth users vote Republican in such great numbers?"

Pretty funny cheapshot, Ta Ta., PA just can't help themselves sometimes.

PA has a reputation as a no holds barred, passionate, thoughtful progressive blog, with an occasional barb.

The day PA goes politcally correct is the day I stop reading this blog.


Anonymous said...

Berkowitz may be an arrogant weenie (I wouldn't want to see him as governor), but there is certainly no evidence to indicate that he is ethically challenged. Cheap shot...and seemingly inaccurate.

Philip Munger said...

again, this was a guest post by Howie

Anonymous said...

Is that supposed to be Andrew Halcro in the picture?

If so, why did you post that?

Anonymous said...


Please tell Celtic Diva to make her blog READABLE! I would like to read what she has to say but DAMNIT!!! She could do 2 THINGS to make her blog infinitely more readable.

1. Dump the white text on dark background. Makes my eyes and head hurt. USE THE OLD STANDARD DARK TEXT ON WHITE BACKGROUND!!!

2. Most readers do NOT have a 24" monitor. That is what is required to read Linda's blog without having to scroll left to right ON EVERY GODDAMN SENTENCE!!! DIVA: MAKE YOUR BLOG SMALLER!!!

Thanks for allowing me to rant...

Anon2 said...

I agree with you, Anon. Celtic Diva's website format is horrible. I like reading her stuff, but I can't stand going there. It should be used as an example of what NOT to do.

Anonymous said...

Ditto on the Diva's site. Too difficult to read. And too difficult to leave a comment.

PA is the most user friendly in terms of making comments.

Immoral Minority best for looking for updated posts from other blogs.

My two cents...

Anonymous said...

a guest post by Howie, but you have promoted this notion for quite a while on this blog. It is very apparent that you do not like Berkowitz. I started reading during the primary season and I think we all get it, you don't like Berkowitz...time for a new topic?

Philip Munger said...

I post most of Howie's columns from Down With Tyranny, about Alaska politics. I don't agree with the other Alaska bloggers on some fairly important issues, and I don't agree with Howie on everything. But Howie does know a lot about Alaska politics, and is VERY critical of the non-progressive funding of many Democrats, in their campaigns. He has an abiding distrust of Rahm Emanuel's machine and methods. I do too.

The three out-of-state bloggers who influence my writing and views the most are, in descending order, Jane Hamsher, David Neiwert and Howie Klein.

I am, at this time leaning toward supporting Ethan in the Democratic Primary, but am hoping to be able to fairly evaluate all the candidates for the Governor race.

I learned a lot from being TOO partisan toward Diane Benson last year, and have spoken with Ethan, Bob Poe and Hollis about this. I'm looking forward to getting to know Rob Rosenfeld too.