In the state of Alaska, the word "Veco" has raised its ugly head again, and that cannot be good news for longtime Alaska Congressman Don Young:
An Alaska businessman admitted to giving gifts to Republican Rep. Don Young, the state's long-serving sole congressman, in a confession made public this week as part of an ongoing federal investigation into political corruption in the state.
The confession, signed in 2007 by Bill Allen, the former chief of Veco, an Alaska oil services company, was released as part of Allen's upcoming sentencing on charges that he bribed state lawmakers.
In the document, which outlines criminal activity Allen was involved in, the 72-year-old executive admits to 13 years of gift-giving to public officials. They include former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens and Young, whom the document referred to as to "United States Representative A."
Of course, there had been stories emanating all the way back to 2007 that there was some potentially unethical connectivity between Veco and Young. The confession written by Allen, however, lay out the most explicit details of the illegal benefits Young derived from the relationship.
Despite the fact that Young reported receiving no gifts on his disclosure forms from the mid 1990s until 2008, Allen claims that in 2007 his firm purchased a $1000 set of golf clubs for the Congressman (a dollar value almost triple the minimum required amount for federal disclosure)
Recall that it was failure to disclose gifts from Veco that led to Alaska Senator Ted Steven's conviction of seven counts last Fall (a conviction eventually set aside due in April of this year due to prosecutorial misconduct).
Young is being challenged in 2010 by Democratic state legislator Harry Crawford. The 76 year-old Congressman had his toughest electoral battle to date in 2008, when former state legislator (and current gubernatorial candidate) Ethan Berkowitz held him to a five-point margin of victory (50-45).