Feds Tapped Calls between Corrupt Exec and GOP Rep Young

Things get worse for Rep. Don Young (R-AK). The feds are chasing Young for his ties to the corrupt oil company Veco (among other things), and he’s already blown $450,000 in campaign funds on criminal defense lawyers. But it looks like investigators pulled out all the stops.

FBI agents recorded former Veco president Rick Smith’s phone calls with Young, the AP reports today. In September, the AP reported that Veco’s CEO Bill Allen had recorded his calls with Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK).

Young was close to Smith in a couple ways. Smith, who pleaded guilty to bribing a number of lawmakers, arranged Young’s annual mega-fundraiser pig roast (see picture above) at a cost of about $10,000 to $15,000 for a decade. But the feds are investigating whether there was another, shall we say, more informal arrangement, according to the AP:

The Justice Department is investigating whether an Alaska oil contractor used golf tournaments to funnel cash to Rep. Don Young, people close to the corruption investigation said….

…[T]he events at the Moose Run Golf Course just outside Anchorage were informal and the prizes were cash. There is no record of them on the campaign or personal financial reports that federal lawmakers are required to file.

“That tournament had nothing to do with the campaign or anything official. It was just people getting together to play golf,” said Young’s campaign spokesman, Mike Anderson, who declined to discuss the tournaments or how often Young won.

So was Young unusually lucky? It’s unclear. The piece doesn’t say how much cash Young took away, only saying that between sixteen to twenty-four people generally played in the tournament, each paying $100 each. But for some reason people tend to get suspicious when executives hand large amounts of cash to politicians.