Young PAC spreading wealth to Republican candidates

Posted: Tuesday, October 24, 2000

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A political action committee formed two years ago by U.S. Rep. Don Young has spread at least $44,000 to other Republican candidates the last two years.

The Midnight Sun Political Action Committee takes the lead in sending Young's fund-raising proceeds to other needy Republican candidates, according to Federal Election Commission reports and Young's re-election campaign finance chairman.

Midnight Sun PAC money has gone to lawmakers in tight races around the country. Contributions include $5,000 to GOP Rep. Rick Lazio, who faces Hillary Clinton in the New York Senate race, and $2,000 to GOP Rep. George Nethercutt, who faces a close race in Spokane, Wash.

The PAC is well positioned to share more. The organization still had $69,000 cash on hand as of Oct. 1, according to an FEC filing from the treasurer, Washington lobbyist and former Young aide Jack Ferguson.

The PAC this summer qualified as a multi-candidate organization. That means it can donate up to $10,000 to individual candidates in an election cycle -- $5,000 for the primary election and $5,000 in the general. Previously, it was limited to $1,000 contributions for each primary and general.

Young's personal campaign also has deep reserves. As of Oct. 16, the campaign had $323,000 -- and no well-funded challenger.

Young's personal campaign sent $25,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee this election cycle.

Young continues to raise money despite the accumulation in his personal campaign. He had scheduled a fund-raising trip to the West Coast last week but was stuck in Washington, D.C., because votes on budget bills had not been completed.

Those fund-raisers included events in Seattle, Las Vegas and Los Angeles both for his campaign and others, said Curtis Thayer, finance chairman for Young's personal campaign.

''If they don't campaign and ask for people's votes, people take the office for granted,'' Thayer said. That could lead to a strong showing from a challenger, Thayer said.

He said some money raised by Young will be bankrolled for the 2002 election.

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