Don Young releases financial report

Posted: Tuesday, June 17, 2008

JUNEAU - Alaska's lone member of the U.S. House, Don Young, reported a relatively modest income compared to many of his colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Annual disclosure forms were released Monday for House members. Those documents did not include Young's mounting legal fees - more than $1 million - which are being handled by his re-election campaign and not subject to these reports.

For personal finance, Young listed a mutual fund, a retirement account and life insurance as his major assets in 2007 with his total assets amounting to between $232,000 and $566,000.

His lone transaction was the reinvestment of between $15,000 and $50,000 into the mutual fund. His unearned income included $5,014 from a state legislative and teaching pension.

But separately, Young's campaign has spent about $1.1 million in legal fees over the last year, the purpose of which he has refused to disclose.

Young is under investigation by the Justice Department over an earmark for a Florida highway interchange sought by a developer who gave him campaign contributions.

Federal investigators are scrutinizing his campaign finance practices, and a former aide pleaded guilty to conspiracy in the public corruption probe of former lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Mark Zachares acknowledged accepting tens of thousands of dollars worth of gifts and a golf trip to Scotland from Abramoff's team in exchange for official acts on the lobbyist's behalf.

Young has refused to comment in the past on the mounting legal fees and federal investigation.

Young is facing what may be the toughest challenge of his career from a member of his own party as he seeks a 19th term.

Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell, with the backing of the popular Gov. Sarah Palin, is seeking to unseat the 35-year veteran in the Aug. 26 primary.

The race between two high profile Republicans may be the most visible sign of a rift in the state's most dominant party between up-and-comers and the old guard, a faction beleaguered by an ongoing federal corruption investigation.

Three former state lawmakers were convicted in 2007 of bribery and other corruption charges.

The FBI and the IRS also searched the Girdwood home of U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens. The structure was expanded and renovated under the direction of former VECO chief Bill Allen, who pleaded guilty last year to bribing Alaska lawmakers, including Stevens' son, Ben, he claimed in testimony. Neither Stevens has been charged and both deny wrongdoing.

In documents filed Friday, Stevens reported owing up to $50,000 to a Washington law firm representing him in the investigation.

Stevens reported an earned income of $165,200 - his salary as a U.S. senator. They also showed his assets are worth between $900,000 and $2.1 million, with about half of that in a blind trust.

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski's assets are worth between about $850,000 and $2.6 million, according to the documents. More than $1 million is tied to the sale of a building on E Street in Anchorage.

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