During Rep. Don Young’s (R-AK) six years chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the number of earmarks to the annual highway spending bills have more than tripled. A look at how Young has profited in return:
— Of the $6.5 million in contributions that Young collected — $5.5 million for his campaign and $1 million for his leadership political action committee (PAC) — about 85 percent came from people who didn’t live in Alaska and couldn’t vote for him.
— How many donors got earmarks is hard to determine. But an analysis of Young’s campaign finance reports show that beneficiaries of just seven earmarks carrying a total price of $259 million — none for a project in Alaska — gave the veteran congressman at least $575,000.
— As hundreds of lobbyists sought to influence the massive highway-spending bill from 2003 to 2005, Young accepted at least 20 trips aboard private aircraft provided by corporations currying favor with the powerful congressman. He also stayed at such luxury hotels and resorts.