A-Team vs. Wolfpack – You Make the Call…

13 07 2008

Remember as a kid when you used to guess which superhero could take the other one in a fight?  Spiderman vs. Aquaman,  Batman vs. The Lone Ranger, Underdog vs. Quick Draw McGraw….  The possibilities were varied, and dominated much schoolyard conversation between 2nd and 6th grade.  The latest Don Young rediculousness makes me wonder…who would win if the  A-Team took on the Wolfpack in a superlobbyist fight?  But then I realized that the nine lobbyists on the ‘A-Team’ were actually also IN the  29-lobbyist ‘Wolf Pack’.  So if you are on the A-Team, you are also in the Wolfpack, but Wolfpack membership doesn’t necessarily mean you’re on the A-Team.   So to have this hypothetical showdown,  the A-Team would have to defect FROM the Wolfpack, which could complicate things.  But still, it could be done.  After defection, the A-Team would still be outnumbered about 2 to 1, but they’re some heavy hitters with extra lobbyist superpowers…  I’m thinking it would be a close fight.

But of course, the greater issue here is that a 75-year old congressional representative, the one and only “Congressman for all Alaska” thinks it’s cool running around making up stupid names for his lobbyist buddies because….what….he’s frozen in time as a 12-year old?  What’s next, a handwritten sign on his office door that says “No Democrats Allowed”?  A secret Corrupt Bastards handshake?  A big Republican Treehouse in Washington?

Ooooo.  Maybe the Wolf Pack and the A-Team could reunite, and ambush John McCain’s “Truth Squad” on the “Straight Talk Express”!  They’d never see it coming.  A nickel says they could take ’em!  Are you in? (spits on palm)  Shake.

As we contemplate the new American “Bad Guy” (the lobbyist), in all its incarnations, enjoy this awesome offering from the satirical mastersite – The Onion.   You won’t know whether to laugh or cry, so do both.

And a note to Berkowitz, Benson, Begich and the rest of the Democratic lineup.  Please no ‘teams’, ‘packs’, or ‘squads’ – we’re all adults here.





I Pity the Intern! Don Young’s A-Team.

19 06 2008

Apparently a paid member of Don Young’s staff decided it would be a good idea to distribute a “Survival Guide” to interns on Capitol Hill. Frankly, I can’t imagine any survival guide getting me through being Don Young’s intern. Maybe if it came in a flask. But I digress…

This handy guide discusses phone etiquette, among other things, and refers to Don Young’s “A Team” a group of nine lobbyists with unfettered access, who are to be immediately connected to any member of the staff with whom they wish to speak. Seriously, it really did refer to these people as “The A Team”. Much to my dismay, fictional good-guy mercenary Mr. T, from the original “A-Team” was not on the list, but the following nine lobbyists were:

Rick Alcade, Colin Chapman, Randy DeLay, Billy Lee Evans, Jack Ferguson, Mike Henry, Duncan Smith, CJ Zane and Jay Dickey. “These people can talk to whomever they want.”

My favorite picks are Rick Alcade, the lobbyist at the heart of the infamous Coconut Road earmark, and Randy DeLay, brother of the equally infamous Tom DeLay. There’s also Jack Ferguson, former chief of staff to Alaska senator Ted Stevens – also under investigation. Please note that these nine get better treatment than “Other Members” “Government People” or “Other People”. You and I did get a mention, though. “Constituents – Call to voice their opinion.”

Other little gems discuss his wife Lu “Mrs. Y” Young’s interesting and sometimes bizarre idiosyncracies

  • Has good days and bad days, try to get people to warn you
  • Her orders are often disguised as offers, suggestions, or invitations – they are not. Do them.
  • Does not permit noise from computers
  • Don’t stand in her way – don’t stand anywhere I would suggest. Sit down or hide in the broom cupboard.
  • You should not put anything on her desk
  • You should not keep her waiting. She says you go – you go.
  • Eat when she tells you to eat
  • If you sneeze, it’s always allergies or pressure changes; stick strong to your case.

Apparently “Mrs. Y” has germ issues?

“The Boss” (Mr. Y)

  • Expects you to open doors for him (particularly tricky when he does not specify where he is going, make a guess).
  • Doesn’t like facial piercings
  • Doesn’t like people putting their hands in their pockets
  • Should always be referred to as “the Congressman” or “the Chairman”

The official response from Don Young’s office?

“Rep. Young has welcomed dozens of interns into his office over the years and finds their assistance in the office invaluable. But interns are not staff. This incredibly outdated “survival guide” was pieced together by several former interns and not by staff. This “guide” in no way reflects the official policies of Rep. Young’s office.”

So…..why was it being distributed to prospective interns by Mike Anderson, Young’s Chief of Staff?

The internets are all a-buzz. For more on this latest PR disaster, check out Talking Points Memo, The Anchorage Daily News, Politico, The Hill, Think Progress and The Wall Street Journal with many many more to come, I’m sure.

This little bombshell is certainly not going to help in the current primary race against Sean Parnell. But think about it, people…if we don’t reelect him, the good ol’ boy from Ft. Yukon is going to be forced to (shudder) open doors for himself! Oh, the horror.

I wonder what kind of phone calls those interns are taking today? Should we all call, pretend we’re on the A-Team and see what happens? Nah, they’re probably all in the ‘broom cupboard’.