Young refused to hold hearings on the conditions for CNMI garment-industry workers despite complaints over their treatment, and he also blocked a proposal by House Democrats to boost the minimum wage on the islands. Young visited the CNMI in 1999 along with a number of Resource Committee members.
While Young received considerable financial backing from Abramoff clients, the former lobbyist never donated directly to Young’s re-election campaigns or his leadership PAC. All together, Abramoff’s tribal clients gave $20,000 to Young.
In 2000, the firm Preston Gates Ellis Rouvelas & Meeds, then Abramoff’s employer, held a tribute to Young during the Republican convention in Philadelphia.
Young also used Abramoff’s skybox at the MCI Center in D.C. for two fundraisers, events he did not report to the Federal Election Commission until after the Abramoff scandal broke.
Anderson dismissed the overlap between Young and Abramoff as “mere circumstance.”
“If Abramoff is lobbying for Resources-related issues, which he did, what is the likelihood that Mr. Young and [Abramoff’s] clients are going to be in a nexus sometime?” Anderson asked.
LaTourette, a former member of the House ethics committee, received no campaign contributions from Abramoff or his clients during the 2001-02 cycle, and neither the lawmaker nor his staff ever took any trips paid for by an organization tied to Abramoff.