Young campaign pays thousands for lawyers

Representative spent $446,845 on legal fees this year, records show

Posted: Wednesday, October 17, 2007

ANCHORAGE - During the past three months, U.S. Rep. Don Young has continued to funnel tens of thousands of dollars from his campaign chest to attorneys, according to financial reports filed by his campaign on Monday.

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The reports to the Federal Election Commission, show the Alaska Republican has spent $446,845 on legal fees this year, $184,708 of that in the past three months.

Like several other Alaska lawmakers at the state and federal levels, Young has been under federal investigation for his ties to the oil field services firm VECO Corp.

Young has not said what kind of legal work or defense the campaign money is buying and has not spoken publicly about the investigation.

In the three-month period ending Sept. 30, Young paid the Washington D.C.-based firm, Akin Gump Strauss and Hauer, $177,607 for legal services, according to the report. In the same period, Washington D.C.-based firm Tobin, O'Connor, Ewing and Richard earned $6,784 and Holmes Weddle & Barcott of Anchorage got $315.

Federal election law allows lawmakers and candidates to spend campaign money on legal fees, as long as the bills are connected to their role as an elected official or candidate.

Young has been Alaska's only delegate in the House since 1973.

Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, who is also under investigation for his close ties to VECO, has hired a criminal lawyer. His campaign treasurer, Tim McKeever, said those attorneys fees are not coming out of the senator's campaign fund.

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