Don Young

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Don Young currently serves as the at-large Congressional Representative for Alaska

Donald Edwin Young, a Republican, has represented the state of Alaska, as the at-large member to the United States House of Representatives since 1973. (map)

Record and controversies

Iraq War

Young voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 that started the Iraq War.[1]

During the debate in mid-February 2007 of a nonbinding resolution opposing President Bush's troop "surge" in Iraq, Congressman Young, who opposed the measure, falsely quoted Abraham Lincoln, stating, "Congressmen who willfully take action during wartime that damage morale and undermine the military are saboteurs, and should be arrested, exiled or hanged."

Main article: Congressional actions regarding President Bush’s 2007 proposed troop “surge” in Iraq
For more information see the chart of U.S. House of Representatives votes on the Iraq War.

Environmental record

Documents Contained at the Anti-Environmental Archives
Documents written by or referencing this person or organization are contained in the Anti-Environmental Archive, launched by Greenpeace on Earth Day, 2015. The archive contains 3,500 documents, some 27,000 pages, covering 350 organizations and individuals. The current archive includes mainly documents collected in the late 1980s through the early 2000s by The Clearinghouse on Environmental Advocacy and Research (CLEAR), an organization that tracked the rise of the so called "Wise Use" movement in the 1990s during the Clinton presidency. Access the index to the Anti-Environmental Archives here.

For more information on environmental legislation, see the Energy and Environment Policy Portal

American Land Sovereignty Act

In 1997 Representative Don Young (R-AK) introduced the American Land Sovereignty Act (H.R. 901) to reign in what he termed the "growing power of foreign entities on US soil". Young used the Alliance for America's Fly-In for Freedom to promote his bill that year. He attended the annual anti-environmental conference and delivered a speech supporting his bill. A backlash to the designation of the Yellowstone National Park as a World Heritage Area, H.R. 901 required Congressional approval for any designation of U.S. territory under U.N. or international treaties. Young allowed some of the more fringe elements of the anti-environmental lobby to testify at hearings for the bill. Those testifying included Betty Beaver of Take Back Arkansas and Henry Lamb of the Environmental Conservation Organization.

Alaska conservation

Young came to the House as an advocate of the trans-Alaska pipeline, tenaciously promoting the interests of mining, oil, timber, loggers, drillers and developers seeking to open up Alaska to commercial interests. He fought against the 1980 Alaska Lands Bill, and although the bill was passed, Young managed to whittle down the wilderness acreage considerably and secured provisions for development. Nevertheless, Young complained the bill was unfair to Alaskans. "People can sit on this floor and say it is all right to take what is already the people's of Alaska. That is immoral . . . None of you has to go home to unemployment created by national legislation." Young reportedly broke down in tears following his remarks. (50 State Review: Alaska Clearinghouse on Environmental Advocacy and Research)

CLEAN Energy Act resistance

Young opposed the CLEAN Energy Act of 2007, which addressed royalties and tax breaks previously afforded to oil and gas companies. He stated, "If you want to do things right, let's tax foreign oil."[2][3]

Main article: CLEAN Energy Act of 2007#Support and opposition

Controversial earmarks

Gravina Island Bridge

In 2005 Young and Senator Ted Stevens earmarked $223 million for building a bridge from Ketchikan to Gravina Island (pop. 50). Critics assailed this as pork barrel spending at taxpayers' expense and dubbed it the "Bridge to Nowhere". After criticism from citizens and others in Congress, lawmakers defunded the bridge specifically, and instead funneled the money to the state of Alaska's transportation department to use as it saw fit.[1] [2]

Knik Arm bridge

Allegedly, in early 2003, while Young was the Chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, he began drafting a highway bill that would provide federal funding for a bridge to an uninhabited area outside of anchorage called Knick Arm. Young along with Sens. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) earmarked the project which was overlooked because of the provisions of the Gravina Island Bridge incident (see above). According to a Roll Call report on May 14, 2007, Young's daughter, who is a staff member of Sen. Murkowski's, as well as other Alaska congressional staff members, previously bought land in Knik Arm and stood to profit off of the proposed bridge and following land development. [4]

Main article: Earmarks

Coconut Road project


In a 2006 transportation bill, Young earmarked $10 million for a construction project for Coconut Road in Fort Myers, Florida, which would connect the road to Interstate 75. In August of 2007, a report by a former deputy assistant secretary for the Department of Labor revealed that the earmark allocating funds for the Coconut Road project had been edited after being passed by Congress, but before being signed by the President. During this time, someone deleted the earmark’s original language that would have given $10 million for widening and improvements to Interstate 75 and added the phrase "Coconut Rd. interchange I-75/Lee County," specifically directing the funds to Coconut Road.[5]

In April 2008, the Senate finally voted to direct the Department of Justice to investigate the controversial Coconut Road earmark.[6]

Main article: 2007 Coconut Road Earmark

Scandals and investigations

Abramoff scandal

Published reports have linked Young to the Jack Abramoff Indian lobbying scandal.

  • In September 2002 Young and Steven LaTourette (R-Ohio) wrote to the General Services Administration urging the agency to give preferential treatment to groups such as Indian tribes when evaluating development proposals.[3] In particular, the letter referred to a historic building, the Old Post Office Pavilion in downtown Washington, DC.[4]
  • The Marianas are a U.S. commonwealth, falling under jurisdiction of the House Resources Committee. The committee's chairman, from 1995 to 2003 was Rep. Don Young of Alaska. According to Joel Connelly of the Seattle Post Intelligencer, " One of [Abramoff's]] major legislative successes in 2000 was blocking legislation that would have put garment manufacturers in the Mariana Islands -- notorious for running sweatshops -- under federal labor laws," wrote (January 6, 2006).
  • "Young used Abramoff's MCI Center skybox in Washington, D.C., for fund-raisers. Lower 48 Indian tribes represented by the super-lobbyist gave about $20,000 to Young's campaign committee, according to the Anchorage Daily News," Connelly also wrote.
  • In April 2007, Mark Zachares, former Young staffer and Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands employee, was arrested and expected to enter a plea of guilty. The list of charges all stem from his involvement in the Abramoff scandal.[7]

Involvement in VECO scandal

In late July 2007, it was reported that Young, along with Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), was under criminal investigation for his ties to VECO Corp.[8]

Over the previous decade, former VECO Chief Executive Bill Allen had been famous for holding a yearly "Pig Roast," a fundraiser held in support of Young. From 1996-2006, at least $157,000 was given to Young's campaign from VECO employees and its political-action committee.[8] In January, Young's campaign-finance filings also paid out $38,000, labeled "fund-raising costs," to Bill Allen, the former VECO chief.[8] The investigation was centered on determining whether Young provided political favors in return for the contributions.

Main article: Members of Congress under investigation

Illegal campaign contributions

In June 2007, Don Young filed a report with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) admitting to unknowingly having accepted illegal campaign contributions amounting to more than $5,500 from the seafood industry between 2000 and 2007. In June 2007, Young agreed to pay back the contributions to the Pacific Seafood Processors Association given since 2004, about $2,400, in keeping with the FEC's statute of limitations, intending to keep the illegal contributions made between 2000 and 2004. However, in early August, by which time Young was under federal investigation, he reversed his earlier decision and chose to refund the remaining campaign contributions, amounting to $3,175.[9][10]

Clash with Rep. Garrett

On July 18, 2007, proposed legislation by Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) that would have cut funding in Alaska launched Rep. Young into an outburst, claiming "Those who bite me will be bitten back," as a threat to Garrett. Young continued, "This is supposed to be a house of honor; you didn’t tell me you were going to offer this amendment... We are a new state. I have poverties that you don’t even think of and yet you say you want my money — my money, for my students that need to be educated — to go to New Jersey. This is a sad day for this House." Young also called New Jersey a "a state that doesn’t have the greatest reputation," and suggested that they seek better representation.[11]

Other Representatives stepped in to support Garrett. Republican Study Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) wrote in a letter, "Rarely have I seen a member embody the principle, courage and caring for the people of his state as admirably as Scott Garrett... There is no more obvious indicator of a weak argument than one member personally denouncing another — or the people of his state — during a substantive policy discussion on the floor of the House of Representatives," Hansarling continued, criticizing Young's attack, "In addition, any member of Congress who confuses taxpayer money with their own has clearly spent too much time in Washington."[11]

Reparations for Japanese Latin Americans


Young cosponsored The Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Latin Americans of Japanese Descent Act in the 110th Congress which would establish a commission that would determine the facts and circumstances involving the relocation, internment and deportation of Japanese Latin Americans.

Main article: Redress for Japanese Latin Americans/ U.S. legislation#Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Latin Americans of Japanese Descent Act of 2007


Young was born June 9, 1933 in Meridian, California. He earned an associate's degree in education from Yuba Junior College in 1952 and a bachelor's degree from Chico State College (now California State University, Chico) in 1958. He served in the United States Army from 1955 to 1957.

Young moved to Alaska in 1959, not long after it became a state. He eventually settled in Fort Yukon, a 700-person city on the Yukon River, 7 miles above the Arctic Circle in Alaska's central interior region. With a lifelong taste for adventure, he made a living in construction, fishing, trapping and gold mining. He captained a tugboat and ran a barge operation to to deliver products and supplies to villages along the Yukon River. During the winter, he taught fifth grade at the local Bureau of Indian Affairs elementary school.

Young began his political career in 1964 when he was elected mayor of Fort Yukon. After only one term, he was elected to the Alaska State House and served two terms before being elected to the Alaska State Senate in 1970.

Young is the 8th-longest serving House member, and the 3rd most senior Republican (ranked only by Bill Young of Florida and Ralph Regula of Ohio). Due to his long tenure in the House and that of Senator Ted Stevens, Alaska is considered to have clout in national politics far beyond its small size (it has long been one of the smallest states in population and is currently 48th, ahead of only Vermont and Wyoming). He is often called "Alaska's third senator."

Young's voting record is relatively moderate by Republican standards. However, he vigorously opposes federal control of Alaska's land and resources. He is also a strong proponent of opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling.

According to The New Republic, Young is "well-known for his sharp elbows and generous appetite for legislative pork."[5] His reputation for steering federal dollars to Alaska is almost as legendary as that of Stevens. For example, in the 2005 Highway Bill, Young helped secure "$941 million for 119 special projects," including a $231 million bridge in Anchorage which a rider in the bill would name for Young himself[6].

Congressional elections

Alaska's congressman, Democrat Nick Begich, disappeared in a plane crash on October 16, 1972. He was reelected to the House that November, but was declared dead on December 29. Young, who had been the Republican candidate against Begich in November, ran in the special election in March 1973 and won, just barely defeating Democrat Emil Notti. He won a full term in 1974 in another relative squeaker, largely due to his role in fighting for the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline. He didn't face another serious opponent until 1990. That year, John Devens, the mayor of Valdez, nearly defeated him. Devens ran another close race against Young in 1992, but Young was reelected in 1994 with 57 percent of the vote and has not faced serious opposition since. He was reelected to his 16th full term in 2004 with the most votes ever for a single candidate in a statewide election in Alaska.

2006 elections

In 2006, the Democrats nominated Diane E. Benson, the Libertarian Party nominated Alexander Crawford, and the Green Party nominated Eva L. Ince to face Young in his November 2006 bid for reelection.[16] (See U.S. congressional elections in 2006). Young defeated Benson, 57% to 40%, with the Libertarian and Green candidates each receiving 1% of the vote. [17] Young's margin of victory was the smallest in at least eight years (since 1998) [18] and he outspent Benson 10 to 1, spending $1,959,806 to Benson's $192,484 in the race. [19]

2008 elections

In 2008, Diane Benson again ran for the Democratic nomination to face Young in the general election. [20]

Main article: Diane Benson

Although Young is being investigated for countless charges relating to bribery, he has decided to run for re-election in 2008. If elected, this will be his 19th term being the sole Alaskan representative in the House. [21] [22]

Don Young narrowly defeated challenger Sean Parnell in the Republican Primary. The results of the close race were delayed almost three weeks while absentee ballots were counted. Young secured victory by a 340-vote margin.[23]

More Background Data

Wikipedia also has an article on Don Young. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.

Committees and Affiliations


Committee assignments in the 109th Congress (2005-2006)

Coalitions and Caucuses

  • Executive Committee on Committees
  • Republican Steering Committee

Board and other Affiliations

Young serves on the advisory board of National Wilderness Institute, an organization that claims to be the "voice of reason on the enviornment." NWI is dedicated to weakening the Endangered Species Act and other environmental protections. [7]

Young is a board member of the National Rifle Association.


DC Office:
2111 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-0201
Web Email

District Office- Anchorage:
Peterson Tower Building
510 L Street, Suite 580
Anchorage, AK 99501-1954
Phone: 907-271-5978
Fax: 907-271-5950

District Office- Fairbanks:
101 12th Avenue, Suite 10
Fairbanks, AK 99701-6275
Phone: 907-456-0210
Fax: 907-456-0279

District Office- Juneau Delegation:
Federal Building, Room 971
Post Office Box 21247
Juneau, AK 99802-1247
Phone: 907-586-7400
Fax: 907-586-8922

District Office- Kenai Delegation:
110 Trading Bay Road, Suite 105
Kenai, AK 99611-7716
Phone: 907-283-5808
Fax: 907-283-4363

District Office- Ketchikan Delegation:
Currall Office Building, Suite 101
540 Water Street
Ketchikan, AK 99901
Phone: 907-225-6880
Fax: 907-225-0390

District Office- Mat-Su Delegation:
851 East Westpoint Drive, Suite 307
Wasilla, AK 99654
Phone: 907-376-7665
Fax: 907-376-8526

2008 Campaign Contact Information

Young for Congress website

Alaskans for Don Young, Inc.
2504 Fairbanks Street
Anchorage, Alaska, 99503

Campaign Manager
Steve Dougherty
(907) 563-4314

Campaign Spokesman
Michael Anderson
(907) 382-9177

Articles and resources




  1. Roll call vote, Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002.
  2. Josef Herbert. "House Rolls Back Big Oil Subsidies," CBS News. January 19, 2007.
  3. "Democrat backlash against US oil industry," Telegraph. January 20, 2007.
  4. John Stanton, "Alaska’s Friends and Family Plan," Roll Call, May 14, 2007.
  5. Julio Ochoa. "Report shows someone edited federal transportation bill," Naples News. August 8, 2007.
  6. Susan Crabtree, "Senate calls for probe of Coconut Rd.", The Hill, April 17, 2008.
  7. Susan Crabtree, "Former aide to Young likely to plead guilty," The Hill, April 23, 2007.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Laura McGann. "Don Young Under Federal Criminal Investigation," TPMmuckraker. July 24, 2007.
  9. Laura McGann, "Young Turns Leaf, Gives Back Illegal Contributions," TPMmuckraker, August 6, 2007.
  10. Jill Burke, "Young thinks twice on returning illegal campaign contributions," KTUU NBC 2 News, August 4, 2007.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Jackie Kucinich. "The bitten says he will bite back," The Hill. July 19, 2007.
  12. 1998 election results - Alaska's at-large House seat, CNN.
  13. 2000 election results - Alaska's at-large House seat, CNN.
  14. 2002 election results - Alaska's at-large House seat, CNN.
  15. 2004 election results - Alaska's at-large House seat, CNN.
  16. Alaska Congressional Races in 2006,
  17. 2006 general election results for Alaskan congressional district, CNN.
  18. See the previous vote totals under Don Young#Congressional elections.
  19. Total raised and spent, 2006 Alaska congressional race,
  20. Diane Benson's official 2008 campaign website
  21. Don Young actually files for re-election
  22. Talking Points Memo
  23. Don Young Just Barely Edges Out Parnell


Corresponding article on Wikipedia and Cause Caller. (If Cause Caller link does not work, pick from its list of senators and representatives.)

Current Office: U.S. House of Representatives
111th Congress
Leadership Position:
Committees Chaired:
Ranking Member On:

110th Congress
Leadership Position:
Committees Chaired:
Ranking Member On:

House Committee on Natural Resources
Executive Committee on Committees, Republican Steering Committee
Committees: House Committee on Natural Resources, House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure/Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure/Subcommittee on Highways and Transit
Congressional Career
First Elected to Current Office:
March 6, 1973
First Took Current Office:
March 6, 1973
Next Election:
November 2, 2010
Term Ends:
Freshman Member?
Previous Political Work?
State House of Representatives 1967-71, State Senator 1970-73,Republican Nominee for U.S. House 1972, Fort Yukon City Council 1960-64,Mayor of Fort Yukon 1964-68
Other Party Membership:
District Offices:
1. Peterson Tower Building 510 L Street, Suite 580 Anchorage, AK 99501-1954
Phone: 907-271-5978 / Fax: 907-271-5950
2. 101 12th Avenue, Suite 10 Fairbanks, AK 99701-6275
Phone: 907-456-0210 / Fax: 907-456-0279
3. Federal Building, Room 971 Post Office Box 21247 Juneau, AK 99802-1247
Phone: 907-586-7400 / Fax: 907-586-8922
4. 110 Trading Bay Road, Suite 105 Kenai, AK 99611-7716
Phone: 907-283-5808 / Fax: 907-283-4363
5. Currall Office Building, Suite 101 540 Water Street Ketchikan, AK 99901
Phone: 907-225-6880 / Fax: 907-225-0390
6. 851 East Westpoint Drive, Suite 307 Wasilla, AK 99654
Phone: 907-376-7665 / Fax: 907-376-8526

Campaign Contact:

Webform Email: / Email:

Campaign Offices:

1. Alaskans for Don Young, Inc. 2504 Fairbanks Street Anchorage, Alaska, 99503
Phone: / Fax:

Zip Code Affiliations:

Date of Birth: June 9, 1933