Email Shows Don Young Requesting Use of Abramoff’s Skybox

We’ve been banging the Don Young drum for a little while here at TPM, because it’s just not clear to us that Rep. Young (R-AK) really had “no personal or professional relationship” with Jack Abramoff, as he has claimed.

Now, it’s been reported already that Rep. Young used Abramoff’s skyboxes for fundraisers before Abramoff’s fall from grace. But to date, Rep. Young or his office has sort of muddled the significance of those ties by claiming that his campaign didn’t know in whose suite those events were held. (Never mind that the plaque at the door to the MCI Center suite said “Jack Abramoff”).

Today, however, we’re publishing a Team Abramoff email which puts those claims into further doubt.

The email is from Jennifer Calvert to Jack Abramoff and his then-assistant Susan Ralston.

At the time, Calvert was a member of Team Abramoff at Preston Gates, the law firm where Abramoff ran his operation until the end of 2000. In the email, Calvert tells Abramoff, “Don Young has asked for the use of our suites for some upcoming fundraisers”. (You can read the actual email here.)

That email seems pretty straightforward to us. Young apparently asked Calvert to ask Abramoff if he could use one of his skyboxes for his fundraisers. And that seems like some sort of a relationship.

We went back to Young’s office to get comment on this latest revelation. But the response seemed a bit off-point.

Young spokesman Grant Thompson emailed us back this reply:

“Mr Young does not feel it appropriate to comment on emails that are generated within a corporation. When you find communications from Mr Young or his staff, we will consider responding.”

We’re not sure what the problem is with commenting on emails “that are generated within a corporation.” And, as a response, it’s not exactly a denial – it’s more of a challenge. In fact, we appreciate Rep. Young’s confidence that we will ultimately find these communications. We’ll do our muckraker best not to let him down.