Politics & Government

Alaska Rep. Young's GOP opponent wants answers on Coconut Road earmark

Republican congressional candidate Sheldon Fisher on Thursday called on the Justice Department to disclose the results of its investigation of Rep. Don Young's Coconut Road earmark because Congress itself took the unprecedented step of seeking the inquiry.

A day after Young announced that the Justice Department had dropped its corruption investigation of him, Fisher said he had no intention of easing off his pressure to get answers about the case.

Young, 77, has been Alaska's sole representative in the House since 1973. He's facing Fisher in the Aug. 24 Republican primary.

With Young no longer facing the possibility of criminal charges, Fisher said, the congressman has no reason to remain silent about the earmark or his ties to the defunct oil services company Veco Corp. and two of its executives now serving prison time for bribery and tax violations.

The Justice Department, as is typical in investigations that end without prosecution, has declined comment on Young's assertions. But Fisher said the Coconut Road matter is different because it was requested by a vote of Congress in 2008. With the earmark being inserted into the bill after it passed the House and Senate, it also represents a grave violation of the Constitution, he said.

Fisher also said in a press conference Thursday that he was filing a Freedom of Information Act request to the Justice Department seeking verification of Young's assertion that the investigation is over.

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