porkbustersnewsm.jpgPORKBUSTERS UPDATE: Here’s more on Alaska porkmeister Rep. Don Young:

As chairman of the House transportation committee, Alaska Congressman Don Young flew at least three times to upstate New York aboard a jet owned by Robert Congel, an ambitious shopping mall developer seeking federal highway money.

With Young’s help, Congel got millions of dollars to boost his dream of building the largest mall in North America. The veteran Republican congressman got something, too: more than $33,000 in political contributions from Congel, his family and his associates.

For Young, the Congel story was hardly unusual. Time after time in recent years, Young approved millions of dollars for highway projects for people who in turn fattened his campaign treasury. . . . During his six years as chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Young transformed the massive 2005 highway spending bill by dramatically increasing the use of earmarks, which set aside billions in federal money for pet projects.

With Young in charge, the number of earmarks more than tripled — from 1,850 projects worth $9.35 billion in 1998 to 6,371 projects valued at $24.2 billion in 2005. Federal auditors have found that thousands of these new earmarks weren’t priorities for state transportation officials.

A McClatchy Newspapers investigation has found just how lucrative Young’s earmarks were.

Read the whole thing. Remember, it’s not just the waste. It’s the corruption.