Current weather

  • Overcast, light rain
  • 54°
    Overcast, light rain
  • Comment

Panel: Don Young violated U.S. House ethics

Posted: June 20, 2014 - 2:14pm

JUNEAU — The House Ethics Committee has found that U.S. Rep. Don Young of Alaska violated House rules by using campaign funds for personal trips and accepting improper gifts.

The committee called on the Republican to repay the value of the trips and gifts, totaling about $59,000, to his campaign and the donors, and to amend his financial disclosure statements to include gifts he had not reported. The committee also issued a “letter of reproval,” or rebuke.

Young, who is the longest serving Republican in the House and Alaska’s lone congressman, said in a statement that he accepted the report and regretted the “oversights.”

“There were a number of instances where I failed to exercise due care in complying with the House’s Code of Conduct and for that I apologize,” he said.

Young said he has made the recommended payments and taken steps to strengthen his office’s policies since rules changes went into effect in 2007. “It is through these actions that I show my colleagues and Alaskans that I fully respect the House Rules and will continue to comply with them now and in the future,” he said. Young’s attorney said by email that the financial reports were still being worked on.

But the committee said Young’s more recent efforts at compliance, “while commendable,” did not overcome the need for a rebuke, given that some of the violations occurred after 2007 and were only brought to its attention after the Department of Justice had started investigating.

The matter dates to 2010, when Young requested the committee review certain gifts he had received. He said Justice was also investigating the trips, but he considered the committee to be the proper entity for determining the propriety of the gifts he had accepted, according to a report from a special investigative panel formed last year to look into the matter. The report was among the information released by the committee Friday.

The special panel was charged with investigating whether Young had failed to report gifts on disclosure forms, misused campaign funds and lied to federal officials. It found no basis to conclude that Young had knowingly made any false statements to government officials. It also “did not find substantial reason to believe that Representative Young acted corruptly or in bad faith when he accepted any of these improper expenses,” according to its report, dated April 29.

But the special panel — whose findings were adopted by the Ethics committee — found that Young was careless and should have known better in a number of the cases.

The Ethics committee said that between 2001 and 2013, Young accepted gifts and expenses for 15 of the 25 hunting trips reviewed by the special committee that were not permissible, as well as non-trip gifts.

The committee said for seven of the 15 trips, only some of the expenses, like air travel provided by friends but not previously cleared by the committee, were improper, while the rest fell under exemptions to House gift rules. For the other eight trips, all expenses associated with travel were improper gifts or improper personal use of campaign funds, the committee said.

Melanie Sloan, executive director of the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, scoffed at the “non-penalty” issued by the committee.

“Just when you think the Ethics Committee can’t do anything more embarrassing, it does,” she said in a statement. “No wonder Congress has a lower approval rating than cockroaches.”


House Ethics Committee report:

  • Comment

Comments (6) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Raoulduke 06/20/14 - 06:38 pm

This is Don Young.The U.S. Representative from Alaska .He is only performing business as usual Alaska's politics. The House Ethics Committee demonstrated their lack of Ethics enforcement. Don Young should have been impeached.One would think.The time Don young has been in office.He would have learned the rules.

jford 06/20/14 - 09:41 pm
Donald Edwin Young knows the rules,

but like most Alaska Repubicans, he thinks rules only apply to the other guy.

We've known he is corrupt, he's been spending more money on legal fees avoiding prosecution than he spends campaigning.

VECO's Bill Allen testified to paying bribes to Young.

From Wikipedia

In 2006, Young added a $10 million earmark to a transportation bill for the construction of an interstate interchange for a short stretch of road (known as "Coconut Road") near Fort Myers, Florida. Some puzzled why a congressman from Alaska would earmark for a little road in Florida that the local community opposed. Young's spokeswoman Meredith Kenny initially said that the local Republican congressman, Connie Mack, had requested the funding. In fact, both Mack and local Republican politicians opposed the funding.

In August 2007, the Naples Daily News reported that the words "Coconut Road interchange" were not in the federal transportation bill as it was approved by Congress. Instead, the words were added after the votes in the House and Senate, but before President Bush signed the bill. The original language for the $10 million earmark specified it was for widening of and improvements to Interstate 75.

In April 2008, top Senate Democrats and Republicans supported asking the Justice Department for a criminal investigation of the $10 million earmark. Young's staff acknowledged that aides "corrected" the earmark just before it went to the White House for President Bush's signature, specifying that the money would go to the proposed highway interchange project. Young said that the project was entirely worthy of an earmark and that he welcomed any inquiry.

Young was stripped of his committee chair positions and is no longer an effective representative for Alaska. His own party leadership has stripped him of power which negated his lengthy incumbency.

Voted most corrupt.

This latest indictment confirms that Donald Edwin took campaign donations and spent the money on personal interests. All you who gave Don Young money for campaigning now know that Don took your money and thumbed his nose at you.

Alaska + Republicans = Corrupt Politicians the evidence is all too clear.

Dump Young. He belongs in prison, not Congress.

Norseman 06/21/14 - 01:33 pm
Don has got to go this

Don has got to go this election cycle.

Suss 06/21/14 - 03:49 pm
Disgusted with Young

No respect for decorum in the House Chamber.

Mouth breathing antics while showing no regard for a tribute to a young dead marine.

If someone acted like this to Young while he was speaking, he would have exploded in a rage.

Please watch this video. Then ask yourself what is wrong with this man?

jford 06/21/14 - 04:56 pm
No respect for the dead,

for those who don't click through to the links.

"He staged the clown act at the very moment a fellow congressman, standing a couple of feet away, uttered this sentence about a Marine from New Jersey: “Staff Sgt. D’Augustine was killed on March 27, 2012 in Helmand Province Afghanistan.”

The representatives gathered that day were about to recognize Joseph D’Augustine by advancing a plan to name a post office in his home town in his honor. Young's body was there, front and center, but his mind wasn't.

As the short and solemn tribute continued, Young remained oblivious to the topic at hand. He repeated his facial contortions, giving himself a good laugh while fellow representatives offered a tribute that probably means a great deal to the sergeant’s parents and his three sisters. In such circumstances, respect is called for.

That Young failed to show any is an embarrassment to Alaska."

Time for Young to be rejected at the polls.

Vote him out, he's nothing more than an embarrassment.

His actions are again, as usual, nothing short of disgusting and are unpardonable. There's no excuse for his disgusting behavior.

Raoulduke 06/22/14 - 05:00 pm
Way past Dementia.

One must have common decency to understand RESPECT,or an Embarrassing situation.Don Young recognized neither of these two.The shame is.I have heard Alaskan's call him "The Alaska's Alaskan". Now that is truly embarrassing.

Back to Top


Please Note: You may have disabled JavaScript and/or CSS. Although this news content will be accessible, certain functionality is unavailable.

Skip to News

« back

next »

  • title
  • title
  • title
My Gallery


  • 150 Trading Bay Rd, Kenai, AK 99611
  • Switchboard: 907-283-7551
  • Circulation and Delivery: 907-283-3584
  • Newsroom Fax: 907-283-3299
  • Business Fax: 907-283-3299
  • Accounts Receivable: 907-335-1257
  • View the Staff Directory
  • or Send feedback