The Blog

Old Don Young Had a Farm

An accomplished porker tries to buy himself the chairmanship of the House Homeland Security Committee.

12:00 AM, Sep 21, 2005 • By SCOTT GLABE
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Chris Cox resigned the committee chair this summer to become chief of the Securities and Exchange Commission. According to The Hill, Young was "competing for the gavel against Reps. Peter King, Curt Weldon, and John Linder and Rep. Dan Lungren is also said to be interested in the post." If there's any doubt how Young would have run things when in charge, just take a look at his bid for the chairmanship.

Cox's successor was chosen by the House Steering Committee, and its members rank just behind Alaskans as beneficiaries of Young's largesse: According to Taxpayers for Common Sense, Steering Committee members received an average of nearly $25 million in earmarks from Young's highway bill, almost twice the $12.8 million bestowed on rank-and-file members. House Speaker Denny Hastert, who controls 5 of the Steering Committee's 33 votes, received the third most pork. Thankfully, Peter King was named committee chairman last week.

Shortly after the highway bill passed, NTU's John Berthoud wrote a column in Human Events comparing the recent behavior of House Republicans to George Orwell's Animal Farm, in that they have adopted the profligate spending of the Democrats they replaced--and denounced. On this farm, there's no doubt that Don Young is the head hog.

Scott Glabe is an intern at The Weekly Standard.