Campaign 2010

Feb 24, 2009

Why did Representative Don Young hightail it out of town?

Hypocrisy Hall of Fame Member missing in action last week


After voting against the landmark American Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act, estimated to create or save 8,000 jobs in Alaska and cut taxes for 220,000 Alaskan families - then taking credit for it and touting its benefits, Representative Don Young skipped town.


"With our nation's economy facing a serious crisis, Congressman Don Young voted against legislation to create jobs, help struggling families and communities and provide an economic shot in the arm," said Andy Stone, Western Regional Press Secretary for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.  "Then he joined a growing list of hypocritical Republicans who voted against the economic recovery package, only to tout its benefits to his constituents.  And last week, as Members were in their districts for the work period, where was Don Young?  Apparently, he hopped a plane for Puerto Rico.  Maybe he didn't want to answer questions about his two-faced stance on the economic recovery package."


On February 13, Young posted a press release on his web site entitled, "Rep. Young wins victory for Alaska small business" which went on to say, "Alaskan Congressman Don Young won a victory for the Alaska Native contracting program and other Alaska small business owners last night in H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act."


A McClatchy story from the same day reported that Young later released a statement "blasting the overall measure" but "...wouldn't return a request for comment on the apparent contradiction of his press releases."


Then, according to a February 20 Anchorage Daily News story, "Unlike [Senators Begich and Murkowski], Rep. Don Young didn't send out a list of public appearances to the media.  No schedule was posted on his official Web site and his staff couldn't be reached for comment Friday."


Although it doesn't appear that he announced it, a bit of googling reveals several Spanish newspaper accounts of Young's multi-day Puerto Rican excursion.


So, why did Don Young go MIA?  Maybe the questions about his hypocrisy just became too much.