Rep. Don Young (R-AK) praising earmarks is hardly news. After all, the Alaska lawmaker, whose “generous appetite for legislative pork,” was once noted by the New Republic, is a co-sponsor of the Bridge to Nowhere, and bragged of an appropriations bill that he had “stuffed it like a turkey” with homestate spending items.
But these days, Young’s pro-earmark position isn’t jibing too well with the image the GOP caucus wants to project. Eager to present themselves as more restrained than House Democrats and the Obama administration, House Republicans last week announced a one-year earmark hiatus.That prompted Young, to issue a statement reassuring his constituents that he wasn’t going along with the no-pork diet.
“I am elected to serve my constituents, and as long as they continue to request federal funding for their projects of interest, then I will continue to do my best to accommodate them,” he said.
Young was reportedly the subject of a federal investigation into whether he took illegal bribes from VECO, the oil-services company at the center of the case against former Alaska senator Ted Stevens.