Fresh off winning two hotly contested Republican primaries on Tuesday, the anti-tax organization the Club for Growth is now setting its sights on defeating ethically embattled 17-term Alaska congressman Don Young (R).
The Club for Growth endorsed Alaska Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell, who is challenging Young in the state’s Aug. 26 primary. The group’s president, Pat Toomey, made the endorsement in a Wall Street Journal editorial today.
Parnell is an ally of the state's governor, Sarah Palin, a reform-minded Republican who unseated former Gov. Frank Murkowski in a 2006 Republican primary. An attorney, Parnell has served in both the state House and state Senate.
“The reason for the endorsement is simple. Mr. Parnell is a solid conservative who led the fight for lower taxes and spending in the state legislature, and joined Gov. Sarah Palin in pushing for reform in the state,” Toomey wrote in the Wall Street Journal.
“The man he is hoping to replace isn't economically conservative in the least. Mr. Young is actually a poster child for what has gone wrong with the Republican Party in Washington.”
He references Young’s support for the oft-parodied “Bridge to Nowhere,” a $223 million earmark to connect the town of Ketchikan, Alaska, with a small island where 50 people reside.
House Democrats and Republicans asked the Justice Department last month to investigate Young for his role procuring a $10 million earmark for the “Coconut Road interchange,” a Florida development project that would benefit a donor even though it was opposed by the local community.
One thing that Toomey doesn’t mention in his op-ed – and was a major impetus for Parnell’s decision to challenge him in the primary – is the ethical problems Young is facing.
Young is under investigation by the Justice Department over his ties to oil services giant Veco Corp. and has spent more than $1.1 million in campaign funds this election cycle on legal fees. He has denied any wrongdoing.
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