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Florida returns Young's $10 million phony Coconut Road earmark

August 19, 2007

Lee County, Florida - A Florida planning organization has returned a controversial $10 million earmark personally engineered by Alaska Republican Congressman Don Young in exchange for a $41,000 campaign contibution.

A Florida planning organization has returned a controversial $10 million earmark personally engineered by Alaska Congressman Don Young in exchange for a $41,000  campaign contibution.

Young took $41,000 in return for securing $10 million for construction of a proposed Florida highway ramp that would benefit a local real-estate developer, a source familiar with the inquiry said Friday according to a report on naplesnews.com.

The FBI's interest in the earmark stems in part from its timing. In the two weeks before and after the earmark was inserted in the spending bill, Young's campaign and political-action committee collected contributions from Florida developer Daniel Aronoff, his lobbyist and several other Florida business executives according to the McClatchy news service.

Don Young in serious trouble

Young is under multiple criminal investigations in Alaska and Washington, DC for bribery and corruption.

Young's significant ties to imprisoned former lobbyist Jack Abramoff have drawn investigator's interest and Abramoff has reportedly given information to the FBI regarding payments to Young in the Indian lobbying scandal. Republican Bob Ney and two aides to Tom DeLay (R-TX) were indicted in that scandal. Young falsely claimed in February of 2006 "I have never had any personal or professional relationship with Abramoff." Documents have proved that he or his staff met or had discussions with Abramoff or his agents at least 11 times before February of 2006. A grand jury is currently working that case.

Another grand jury has been investigating Young taking over $20,000 in campaign contributions from indicted Wisconsin executive Dennis Troha, his family members, and company executives just after Young inserted an item in the 2005 federal highways bill that helped JHT holdings owned by Troha. An amendment sponsored by Young allowed 97-foot multi-truck combinations on the highways; it was included in a highway spending bill that became law in August 2005, at the time Young chaired the House Transportation Committee. Campaign records show that Young received $25,000 from the Troha family and associates, with most of those dollars coming on May 23, 2005, the Journal Sentinel reported.

Young lost his influential post as chairman of the House Transportation Committee when Democrats took control of Congress in January.

Congressman Young's office did not return repeated e-mails from AlaskaReport.com seeking comment.

© AlaskaReport News


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