Earmark Under Investigation

Michael B. Mukasey headshot, as US Attorney General, on US Department of Justice seal, drawing, partial graphic AP / file

CBS News Producer Chris Scholl wrote this for cbsnews.com.


Rep. Don Young, R-Ark., said today he will support a call for the Justice Department to investigate a controversial earmark he authored and CBS NEWS Investigative Correspondent Sharyl Attkisson first reported on in January. An earmark is a grant of money without the normal public review.

In this case, then powerful Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in 2005, Young had set aside the money to pay for a study into a road interchange in Florida - some five thousand miles away from his Alaska district. It's the subject of calls for an investigation because it became law without any Congressional review. A staffer for Young slipped it into a bill after Congress had voted on it, but before the President's signature.

Local officials raised questions about the money, with some arguing it would mostly benefit a nearby landowner who also happened to be one of Young's campaign supporters. Young disputes that the money would benefit any one person and says the study was supported by local officials.

Bu Chris Scholl
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