Don Young Endorses Dem. What the… ?
Ever have one of those moments where you literally can’t believe your eyes? Well, here’s one for you.
Imagine my surprise when I clicked on the Daily News headline “Young blasted for endorsing Democrat in Senate race.” Then my eye fell on the word “Hawaii.” At first, my mind went to Hawaiian Democratic Senator Daniel Inouye. He was a great friend of the late Senator Ted Stevens, who called Stevens “brother” and even came to Anchorage for his funeral and delivered a very moving eulogy. “Why would they blast Don Young for endorsing Inouye?” I thought to myself. And while the page was loading, I wondered, “…and why is he endorsing Inouye when he’s not up for re-election until 2016?”
So, imagine my surprise when his endorsement turned out to be for Democratic candidate Mazie Hirono. You can’t imagine my surprise, because it is unimaginable. I’d seen her speak recently at the Netroots convention in Providence, Rhode Island. I attended a luncheon panel where she appeared with Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren of Massachussetts, and House candidate Darcy Burner of Washington.
When she was only 8 years old, she and her mother fled an abusive father, and sailed to America in steerage, from Japan. She spoke about how grateful she was for her mother’s courage, and the risk she took in starting a new life. Neither knew a word of English, and when her mother got a job, she worried that if she ever got sick and couldn’t work, there would be no more money, and she would be alone in a strange new land.
“I know what it’s like for struggling families, and I know aabout strong women,” she said.
“I believe the Senate could stand more diversity and I bring quadruple diversity – I am a woman, I would be the first Asian woman ever, I am an immigrant, I am a Buddhist. People say, ‘yes, but are you gay?’ and I say, ‘Nobody’s perfect.’” The audience erupted in laughter.
Hirono is definitely not the more conservative of the Dems running in the primary. She’ll be up against Blue Dog Democrat Ed Case.
If she wins, she’ll be running in the general against former governor, Republican Linda Lingle. She is the one who seconded Sarah Palin’s nomination to the Republican VP slot, and is apparently none too pleased with Young’s endorsement of her potential rival for the Senate seat, and is actually using it against Hirono.
“It should be troubling to the people of Hawaii that Mazie Hirono’s first attempt to convey any example of bipartisanship is a video advertisement with one of the House of Representatives’ most controversial members, who even Mazie’s fellow Democrats have criticized on a range of ethics and spending issues,” the statement said.
Young was under investigation by the FBI starting in at least 2006 for connections to corrupt oil field contractor Bill Allen and the way federal money was steered to a Florida interchange sought by a Young campaign contributor. The FBI closed the case in 2010 with a memo saying ‘there was ultimately not evidence beyond a reasonable doubt to ultimately convict Congressman Young.
That’s a double “ultimately” in his explanation of innocence, in case you missed it. So, you know it has to be ultimately true.
Young issued a statement after getting blasted by Lingle.
“Having worked together on several issues important to both Alaska and Hawaii, Congressman Young and Congresswoman Hirono have developed a close personal friendship and working relationship. … At the end of the day, Rep. Young surveyed the candidates running in Rep. Hirono’s primary and decided to endorse her because he believes she will be best for Alaska,” the Young statement said.
He even gets to playfully bash Nancy Pelosi, whose name he has apparently now learned how to pronounce. (No Congressman, it’s not “Paloosie”)
“how much quid pro quo did Young get? He never does anything for free.” jwb1957
“Interesting. No one blasted Ted Stevens when he supported Democratic Hawaiian friends, or when Democrats supported Ted Stevens or Lisa murkowski. But when Young supports a friend, the Republicans, as the Quitter would dsay, get their panties in a wad. Young’s the real rogue. And he did it with great humor- and grace.” ratfishtim
“Wonder what side deal he made to endorse a deomcrat. Hawaii waterfront development maybe? Young is one of the smarmiest characters out there.” Raven_33
“Hirono is worthless as they come…your classical tax and spend Democrat that Hawaii is curse with. Literally joined at the hip with Daniel Inouye.” lordhoot