Don Young Intern Initiation Memo Calls for Special Treatment of Lobbyist ‘A-Team’

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Rep. Don Young (R-AK) has had his share of federal investigations, scandal and legal bills, but he may now have a new problem: “The A Team.”

In a document obtained today by TPMmuckraker.com, entitled ‘An Intern’s Survival Guide,’ new interns in Young’s office are given various instructions on how to thrive and excel working in Young’s office. The document was distributed to new interns by a paid member of Young’s staff.

The advice and rules range from the jocular to the mundane. But the most striking is the section on phone duty. The ‘Guide’ refers to an “A-Team” of nine lobbyists who should immediately be connected to any member of the staff they ask to speak with.

The A Team: Rick Alcade [sic], Colin Chapman, Randy DeLay, Billy Lee Evans, Jack Ferguson, Mike Henry, Ducan Smith [sic], CJ Zane or Jay Dickey. These people can talk to whomever they want, normally Mike or Sara. Tell them who it is and transfer over unless they say otherwise. I recommend looking up who they are.

Most notable on the list is Rick Alcalde, the lobbyist at the center of the “Coconut Road” earmark scandal, which the Senate, in an unprecedented move, has formally asked the Justice Department to investigate.

For readers (and interns who may have fallen behind on their duties), we’ve done the work for you. What do these nine all have in common besides being the perfect number for a baseball team? They’re all transportation lobbyists.

Young was Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee from 2000 to 2006.

As we mentioned, there’s Rick Alcalde who besides organizing the Coconut Road earmark debacle for Young, is a lobbyist for wealthy Florida developer Daniel Aronoff.

Jack Ferguson, is the former Chief of Staff for Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK), another of Alaska’s scandal ridden representatives, and an Administrator for Midnight Sun PAC.

Randy DeLay, lobbyist brother of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.

Billy Lee Evans, the former Georgia congressman turned lobbyist.

Mike Henry, a former Young legislative assistant turned lobbyist.

Jay Dickey, a former Arkansas congressman turned lobbyist.

Duncan Smith, a former Young staffer and Alaska Fisheries Marketing Board member turned lobbyist.

CJ Zane, a former Young Chief of Staff, turned lobbyist.

and Colin Chapman, another former Young Chief of Staff, turned lobbyist.

At first glance, seems like an All-Star lineup.

A statement release late this afternoon by Young’s congressional office claims that ‘Guide’ was unofficial and “outdated”:

“Rep. Young has welcomed dozens of interns into his office over the
years and finds their assistance in the office invaluable. But interns are not staff. This incredibly outdated “survival guide” was pieced together by several former interns and not by staff. This “guide” in no way reflects the official policies of Rep. Young’s office.

“It’s always interesting to see how students view their intern experience. It appears that some of what they have written is tongue in cheek, some to help relieve the daily stresses of working on Capitol Hill. At the end of the day, our goal is to ensure that all interns have the best experience possible.

“As for those listed, they include either former staffers (who represent Alaskans) or close friends and former colleagues of Rep. Young, whom he has known for many years.”

Contrary to this account, TPMmuckraker.com has learned that the ‘Guide’ and other initiation materials were distributed by a paid member of Young’s staff.