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October 27, 2021

Headlines:

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.

Hirono, Burner, and Warren on stage at Netroots 2012 in Providence

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.

The ad discusses how Hirono and Young worked together in congress to preserve educational opportunities for Alaskan and Hawaiian Natives, and how Hirono is the best choice if Hawaiians want a senator who can work across the aisle to get things done. Frankly, it’s as close to adorable as Don Young is ever going to get.

He even gets to playfully bash Nancy Pelosi, whose name he has apparently now learned how to pronounce. (No Congressman, it’s not “Paloosie”)

Alaskans commenting in the Daily News article have mixed reactions to the ad:
“If Maize Hirono can bring out Don’s best side, then more power to her.” watchman

“how much quid pro quo did Young get?  He never does anything for free.” jwb1957

“This is the first time that Don Young hasn’t irritated me. Good for him.” ak81

“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

Hmm. If she’s literally joined at the hip with Daniel Inouye, they must have done some fancy film editing.
We’ll pay attention to see if Mazie Hirono gets the “Don Young bump.”  Or if there is any such thing as the Don Young bump. We live in interesting times.

 

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12 Responses to “Don Young Endorses Dem. What the… ?”
  1. Lani says:

    It’s about the lack of support for the newer states – infrastructure problems and indiginous rights that other areas don’t understand. In Hawaii, this bizarre alliance makes sense.

  2. the problem child says:

    I hope this does not hurt her in Hawaii.

  3. Zyxomma says:

    Huh? Anyway, it’s good to get back to the ‘flats.

  4. The Lawman says:

    Or this woman has “intel” on Don Young and “lets make a deal or else” came into play…seems that is the game of Alaskan politicians…now they lay down with anyone to push the agenda or under the rug deals…

  5. mike from iowa says:

    BTW-former Georgia Guv and Senate Dem-turned-rwnj is apparently having some late in life regrets about turning his back on so many Democrat friends. He has been having health issues and is probably glad for his cadillac insurance plan that the rest of us don’t have access to. OT and I apologize profusely.

  6. mike from iowa says:

    I thought your Congressional representative didn’t like other pols meddling in Alaska’s affairs. Isn’t that what he said about Sen. Cantwell from Washington?

  7. Valley_Independent says:

    There have been times Young has pleasantly surprised me by taking stands I agree with. When I’ve disagreed, I’ve respected him for doing his own thinking, saying what he thinks even when it isn’t what people want to hear, standing behind it, and not caring who likes it.

    Good for him for endorsing the person who he thinks is best for the job, even though he had to know it wouldn’t make his own party happy.

    Thanks to Ms. Lingle and her campaign staff for showing us exactly why she is not well-suited for the job and why she should not receive Young’s endorsement or Hawaiian votes.

    I’m fed up with those who are making it clear that they care only for party power, and not one whit about the issues or what’s best for Americans.

  8. Somehow that news makes me happy today. Can always use some happy.

  9. juneaudream says:

    The man..may be becoming a..mature fellow..and quietly rereading his life history. Let us hope that he continues..educating himself..for the benefit of the wider world, and the Family of Mankind.

  10. sj says:

    Don Young has been doing some really strange endorsement things lately…and making sure that they are seen by the public or the public hears about them. I seen him recently on PBS in one of their supporting PBS ads which frankly is a bit weird considering he votes to cut their funding most of the time and more recently in a news story about restoring the military’s ability to deliver unused food to the local food bank in Fairbanks. I have to wonder if somewhere, somehow his silliness and/or his “kick-and-degrade-anything-not-blessed-by-the-crazy-extreme-right” is catching up with him…bringing him more than the usual bad PR. I can’t imagine the fact that he has associated with Cox and endorsed some of things proposed by Cox helps him much these days.

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