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Panel: Don Young violated US House ethics

Posted: June 22, 2014 - 12:08am
In this Oct. 20, 2011 photo, Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska speaks in Anchorage. On Friday, the House Ethics Committee announced that they have found that Young  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.    Dan Joling | The Associated Press
Dan Joling | The Associated Press
In this Oct. 20, 2011 photo, Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska speaks in Anchorage. On Friday, the House Ethics Committee announced that they have found that Young 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.

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.”

___

Online:

House Ethics Committee report: http://1.usa.gov/1npCfLC

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Haily George
1081
Points
Haily George 06/22/14 - 09:03 am
11
3
Don Young - step down

The problem with our Government is people like Don Young
He is 81 years old and in his 20th term.
He knows the rules.

Don Young is the longest serving member in the US House of representatives he is the senior House Republican and has no committee chairmanship or leadership position to show for it. Time for this slacker to go.

If you vote for him then YOU are the problem with our Goverrnment

Forrest Dunnbar is the leading Democratic contender for Don Youngs seat

Brad Fluetsch
1402
Points
Brad Fluetsch 06/23/14 - 07:03 am
1
7
Haily Don gets bills past

The work of a Congressman is not to collect chairmanships or positions within the rank and file. Their job is to represent their constituents not seek personal glorification.

In fact Haily, I would argue folks like yourself are the problem, you don't even know how our system of government is suppose to work.

Thanks for your years of service to Alaskans Congressman Young, let us hope we can get a few more out of you.

Brad Fluetsch
1402
Points
Brad Fluetsch 06/23/14 - 07:03 am
2
8
Haily Don gets bills past

The work of a Congressman is not to collect chairmanships or positions within the rank and file. Their job is to represent their constituents not seek personal glorification.

In fact Haily, I would argue folks like yourself are the problem, you don't even know how our system of government is suppose to work.

Thanks for your years of service to Alaskans Congressman Young, let us hope we can get a few more out of you.

Karl Ashenbrenner
2729
Points
Karl Ashenbrenner 06/25/14 - 11:08 am
2
1
Brad I

would beg to differ. Don Young has become addicted to the power. He now believes that he knows best and that Alaskans should be beholden to him. The point being, he has forgotten that he works for US. The people of Alaska first and the people of the U.S. second. Once you have been overcome by the power you need to step down. Remember the adage...power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. He has forgotten that he works for all of us, not just those that agree with him!

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