McClatchy is reporting that Congressman Don Young, R-Alaska, is under investigation for earmarking millions in funds for a road project in Florida that wasn’t even wanted by the local community but could have been something of a gold mine for one of his campaign contributors. The Justice Department is also investigating potentially unsavory behavior on the part of Republican Sen. Ted Stevens and other Alaska legislators.
McClatchy Washington Bureau:
WASHINGTON—A Justice Department corruption task force is investigating whether Alaska Congressman Don Young took campaign cash in return for securing $10 million for construction of a proposed Florida highway ramp that would give a windfall to a local real estate developer, a source familiar with the inquiry said Friday.
The controversial funding, which was to pay for a study of the potential highway interchange abutting environmentally sensitive land, was slipped into a massive 2005 Transportation Department bill, congressional aides say.
It is among a number of congressional “earmarks” for specific pet projects drawing scrutiny from the Justice Department and an FBI team investigating alleged influence peddling on Capitol Hill, said the source, who insisted upon anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter. As the powerful chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee from 2000 to 2006, Young added earmarks worth tens of millions of dollars to transportation spending bills.