Congressman Don Young on KFAR radio in Fairbanks, Alaska 5/1/2000 - Problem Corner, Michael Dresser, host

TRANSCRIPTION OF CARA RELATED DISCUSSION (revised 5/10/00 final version)

Glen: Hi Don!

Young: Hello

Glen: My name's Glen, you know me.

Young: Yes, I do

Glen: I've known you for about forty years, and you know, I've been a registered Republican all my life. I'm almost 80 years old, I'll be 80 in November, been in Alaska 59 years and I've always supported Republicans because they were for the property rights and people keeping things that were theirs, and I can't understand your switch since 1996. You made a statement on the National Public Radio, and that you didn't think that government should own any land, unless it's a communist government. What in the world has changed your mind? Have you made some kind of deal with Miller to get ANWR opened up or something?

Young: No, no, no, and if you're referring to my CARA bill please do me a favor Glen and have you read the bill?

Glen: I have read the bill, I've read...

Young: Where does...

Inaudible - not able to transcribe (both speaking)

Glen: I have read your reply to it too and it doesn't make any sense at all!

Young: Well, you tell me in that bill where it says that there'll be any more federally owned land than there is presently owned today.

Glen: Don, I have explained to you in my letters and in my ............(inaudible) copies........(Young tries to interrupt)... No, just a second please...

Young: Okay, okay, I'm listening.

Glen: Okay. When that bill finally passes this prohibition on condemnation will not be part of that bill. I have watched these things go through Congress too many times. They put it in there, they sell it with a bribe to all of the states, ...

Young: Glen, slow down, slow down, be quiet, slow down. Now let me answer your question because I know where you're coming from. In the first place, if it doesn't have that provision it will not become law. It's that simple. That's number one, and number two, under the present laws Glen, keep in mind what's occurring right now. Right now, last year the Congress without my help gave the President 600 million dollars to buy land and use the condemnation proceedings, without any input from anybody including the local governments or the state representatives, or the congressman, or the senators, or the committees in which I serve on, or the appropriations committee. The President has the authority to do that today, and he did it this year. Now next year he's asking for a billion four hundred million dollars to do the same thing. And I'm trying to explain to you under my system, it comes very clear, first they can't use condemnation, number two, the local governor, the legislator, the congressman, the senators, have to be notified and if they object to it, it will not occur because it comes back to my committee, if we don't approve it, it does not happen, if we do approve it, it goes to the appropriators and if they don't approve it, it doesn't happen but they can't buy land with the precedent  like they did for the last two years. That's better than we got now. Now, if you like what we've got now, fine, the bill won't become law and we'll forget it, but I'm telling you I've got a better system than exists today.

Glen: Can you tell me why every democrat on your committee voted for this bill, and about two thirds of the republicans voted against it? Can you explain that to me?

Young: First place, there's two things wrong. There's only twelve voted against on the line side, I had 22 republicans on my side. That's not two-thirds. Number three, and let me say just one thing, I actually had six more votes on my side. Now the democrats themselves, they gave up the provision I put in that bill. And if they had condemnation in it, it will not occur, because I will be chairman of that committee. But again, if you like what the President is doing, if you want the President to have that authority then that's your prerogative.   I don't want the President to have the authority, that's where he's misused this by the way, for the last six years he has in fact had more land purchased under his watch than any other time. Increasing, by the way, a little over seven million acres bought by this President, not by the Congress, by this President.

Host: Can I hold you both up for a second, before we go over everybody's debt, okay, Glen give me a very simple definition of why this shouldn't be. So we can understand it.

Glen: Because we are taking 4 billion dollars out of revenue that goes to the federal government and splitting it up... half of a bribe to the state government and half of it to four bureaucracies ...

Host: Glen, that's not telling me what's going on

Glen: That's what I'm opposed to

Host: Okay, but to what. Tell me what it is that... not the money.. What it is... where is there a problem, why shouldn't this change?

Glen: Because the, since 1989 they've been trying to get that one billion dollars, now this is 4 billion, 2 million...

Host: Glen, Glen, please, to do what?

Glen: To condemn lands and to buy-off in-holders. To buy out in-holders. Now, I'm an in-holder. I've lived in the park for twenty years.

Host: Okay, wait. Now, let me make sure I've got this. Money is being allocated to buying people out that live on government land?  Is that what you're saying?

Glen: Off the budget money...

Host: Okay, wait, wait. We're taking budget money, buying people out that own property in government land so it's 100% government owned, is that what you're saying?

Glen: That's what they've been trying to do for 10 years.

Host: Okay, now hold it. Don, is that how you see the bill?

Young: That is not how I see my bill. Number one is, right now I go back to what is being asked by this President when he was given last year. Last year the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which is the only part of the bill that Glen is talking about, in fact had that money given directly to him without any safeguard at all.

Glen: No, American Heritage, land trust is what I'm talking about.

Young: That's the Land and Water Conservation Fund, Glen. That's what the land trust fund is...

Glen: Then the money would have gone into that....

Host: Okay, Glen, one at a time...

Young: Let me make it clear to you. That money was given to him by the Congress, now we're taking the money from offshore oil development - which was originally intended for this - originally intended. In 1985 we put it into the general treasury to spend on all kinds of other programs. My idea is to take that non-renewable resource and put it into renewable resources. Now, the only part of this about purchasing is in the Land Water Conservation area, which they get the money now, with no safeguards. Now the rest of the money, and you say 4 billion dollars, it's 3 billion now, the rest of the money goes into historic preservation, without condemnation by the way, which it fetches down, it goes into what we call land easement areas. It goes into fish and wildlife habitat, which is to me crucial to this nation as a whole if you believe in that. It goes into payment in lieu of taxes, which does affect the State of Alaska because we've lost a lot of land that was tax based right now, because of what we call classification of the agencies. At least the local communities can get some dollars back so they can run those communities, such as Ketchikan and Sitka..

Host: Let me ask you a question, Don.

Young: Yes?

Host: Let's just whittle it down to one sentence(?) So, I want to make sure I've got this right. My tax dollars go to pay your government...

Young: Your tax dollars aren't touched here.

Host: Okay, so, so it's offshore money...

Young: Offshore money.

Host: ...to buy out properties...

Young: No!

Host: Okay

Young: No, right now the money is appropriated to buy that property without any safeguards. That's why...It means the President can use condemnation by any one of the agencies, condemn your land and to buy it as the money is appropriated for it. This year he's asked for a billion four hundred million dollars, to buy land period. In my bill the most we've got in that bill is 900 million max.

Host: So, Glen's real complaint then is the way it stands not the way you want it. Now, I want to make sure I got this...

Young: No, he's complaining about what I want because he likes the position the govern...the President uses now.

Glen: May I speak now?

Host: Sure Glen, go ahead.

Glen: Alright. It has nothing to do with what you say Don. Now, you are pretty slick with words. But, now, you want to use this for land conservation instead of acquisition, but they have to acquire the land to conserve it. Babbitt had a real good example of what can happen. They have taken...they put down some money and tried to give it to the anti-hunting and anti-fishing groups...

Young: Glen, Glen, you're off on another subject...

Glen: No, I'm not!

Young: You're off another subject. You know what I did with Pittman-Roberts. What did I do with Pittman-Roberts?

Glen: It was passed a long time before you ever was there...

Young: What did I just do this year?

Glen: I don't know what you did this year...

Young: Then you should be reading. You should read your Outdoor Life. I just passed a bill with two votes against to stop that nonsense and Babbitt and the Interior Department were doing it. And I did that...

Glen: They don't pay any attention to you Don. They don't pay any attention to me. They do what they want to do...

Host: Hold it....we're just getting into one of those contests.

Glen: Alright.

Host: Let me do this. Before I let you go, listen to me. I'm going to get a hold of the complete CARA bill, and we will break it down step by step on the air and go after those points that you don't feel are right. What I'm hearing right now it has to do with acquisition only, and that may be a small piece of the entire thing. Let me do this...

Glen: I have another question. What are you going to replace this four billion dollars that goes into the pot every year when, if it doesn't come out of my pocket...

Young: It doesn't come out of your pocket.

Glen: The four billion...

Young: ...it does not come out of your pocket Glen, you know that...

Glen: ...how you going to balance the budget?

Young: We're balancing the budget right now. We don't need this money. They're just .....I just about said something... on programs they're not even authorized by the Congress.

Glen: Yeah, well, you make my point. They do what they want to do and you guys in Congress sit there and cry and scream about it but let ╬em do it, let them get away with it.

Host: Glen, here's the shot, I'm going to let you go , but, wait, here's what I'm going to do before you hang up. I'm going to get this bill and then you come on the air with me and we'll break this thing down.

Glen: Well, my sister is in the final, terminal stages of cancer and I'm leaving here Wednesday to go out and see her...

Host: When do you come back?

Glen: ...and I won't be back til the 27th of May.

Host: When you come back is good enough.

Glen: Alright then, bye.

Another caller - unrelated to CARA - not transcribed

EDUCATION

Caller: What ever happened to the promise made by Republicans to abolish the Education Department?

Young: Well you know this is a good question. I voted for the education department but I will not vote for it again, because next to the draft that you go back to where we begin to lose some of our standards in our education system, productively, when it became more nationalized. I have to tell you that, I know I'll be criticized for making that statement. But, do me a favor, go back and look at what has occurred. It goes back to what I said to begin with - money doesn't solve all the problems. I've encouraged people to understand that when you receive money, you have to start following their steps instead of individual steps...

Caller: Don, Don...

Young: Yes?

Caller: I have looked into this. I know what's going on with education. The Republicans promised to abolish it in 1994. I wish you guys would get onto that because the people...

Young: We don't have the votes by the way...

[Rest not transcribed, not related to CARA]

CARA

Hoch: Hi Don! This is Ed Hoch.

Young: Hello Ed Hoch!

Hoch: You haven't talked to me in a long time and I haven't talked to you because I haven't had any reason to.

Young: God bless you!

Hoch: But, by golly you got me confused here. It looks to me -and just clear me up on this thing - but it looks to me that the 3 billion that is coming in from the ocean, is going to go into a form we call entitlement.

Young: A trust.

Hoch: Okay, now, explain to me what is going on. We got right now almost 60% of the money needed in entitlement .

Young: 60% of the offshore oil money in entitlement.

Hoch: I mean, all the money in Congress now. We've got social security, we've got all the other entitlement money, this is going to become entitlement money. What are we electing Congressmen for? They will only...(?)... have about 20% of the money that's collected that they have any control over.

Young: Again, if I can suggest one thing. That's my big problem. What's wrong with an entitlement is the fact that Congress is probably mismanaging the money. Entitlement has never put us into debt as much as spending money, very frankly, that I don't think we had the authority to spend. This money comes from offshore oil, and I'm going to stress that again, and it is money that is coming from a nonrenewable resource. Now, why should that money go into Congress and spend it on other things other than resources. That's what I can't understand. You know...that is...my philosophy is if you're going to take something that's going to be finished in time, we ought to reinvesting it in something that's not finished and I'm a big believer in fish and wildlife and ___(??) fish and wildlife habitat, and having those things available for the future generations of our country, because, I'll go back to what I said about people being put in the city, working in a group of.. I mean our society now has really been educated to the media, and they don't think the kind of things, they look at that computer - by the way which does not educate you - and you don't have availability for people to go out into the woods and have the availability of fish and game so people can go fishing and hunting, you're going to lose the thinking people of America. And I...it goes back to the freedom to control my own destiny, and own my own firearm. If I don't have something out in the field, the use of that firearm decreases and the training on that firearm decreases and pretty soon they're willing to give up their firearm. This is a bigger problem than just this little bill of mine... I'm just trying to get people thinking about...in Alaska we don't see it as much, but in the lower 48 I see it all the time. There is no place for people to go and there is the game available and should be available, under my bill I think it would be available. But you ask me what about historical preservation, what is this good for? Well, I tell you, if you don't know your history, you'll never know your future. I keep arguing that point. There's a lot of things in this legislation I think has great bearing. Again, I stopped the condemnation proceedings which occurs today under present law and, Glen doesn't agree with me, but I wish he would just read the bill and if I don't keep that in the bill it won't become law. He could always come back to haunt me on that one.

Hoch: Right, well, okay. That part we can agree on, however...

Young: But you've got do it kinda quick ╬cause we've got to get out of here.

Hoch: Okay, I understand. It seems like the hearing that we're going to have is after the fact, if it's going to pass on the 20th. We see this as going to create additional tax ╬cause every bit that goes to the state requires matching money, so its going to have to come from somewhere there. Money that's coming in...

Young: No, let me tell you something. Pittman-Robertson - and this is the deal, I worked with Pittman-Robertson - you do not have to have matching money with Pittman-Robertson, you have to make an application that decision is made by an independent board, which I also set up, and if the program merits, sometimes jurisdictions the bill, you get the money. I mean those are the things...this is very clear...the money is raised by the sportsmen of Alaska, and you know, that's the thing people don't quite remember, the sportsmen, every time you buy a box of ammunition, or you buy a rifle or a pistol or fishing rod or fishing line, that's the thing with the Johnson bill which is under the same program, that money comes back to the state of Alaska. If the Alaska... if the state government applies for it, and they have to apply for it...

Hoch: It's not the same as what your bill is doing here with offshore money though.

Young: Yes it is, the same exact thing. I'm taking the money offshore, putting in the Pittman-Robertson funds is what I'm doing.

Hoch:  The money is coming in now where will it go?

Young: It goes to the general fund and it is appropriated for other programs, such as, God knows what.

Hoch: I understand that. But it is still being appropriated?

Young: It's being...not under law...it's being appropriated under appropriators, being misspent by the appropriators what we need to do...

Host: Hold on, hold on, they got to go. Let me just do this real quick, Royce, can I get you...I know you've got a bunch of  questions...can I get you to come back on the show and let's break this thing down?

Inaudible - not transcribed

Host: Okay, I will bring somebody else, and we will break this thing down piece by piece by piece, and then if there's still argument maybe Congressman Young could get you on the telephone, and be specific.

Young: And closure. Because I know where most of these questions are coming from very frankly, Chuck Cushman and Private Property Rights group, which I'm the biggest supporter of, he came tonight... I'm still gong to have 91% rating because of this bill I got 91 instead of 100% and I would do nothing to hurt the private property rights group. And I asked him, and I asked his group to work with me in the very beginning of this bill and they just declined to do so.  And I don't particularly appreciate somebody that says no to everything without understanding what I'm trying to do, and very frankly, they declined, because they'd rather fight this bill and live with Al Gore's green legacy, which is fifty times worse than my bill. And I said "why don't you take and oppose Al Gore?"  "Well, you're an easier target because you're a private property rights person." Now can you imagine that? Now that doesn't make sense to me. Why would anybody support Al Gore's program?

Hoch: Right. Why don't we stop this?

Young: That's what...this is what my bill does. It stops it...

Hoch: It puts a different spin on it. I don't think it stops it.......

Inaudible - not transcribed

Host: ................the bulk of the audience .....(?)... myself, have no idea really what the bill is so let's break this thing down and go after the specifics and maybe..........

Young: That's a good suggestion, I'm willing to listen to it.

Host: And let's leave it at that. Thank you for the call.

Hoch: Thanks Don!

Young: Thank you!

Host: Don Young, thank you for talking!

Young: My pleasure, I mean, I enjoy this. I like playing the talk shows, I appreciate your hospitality and we hope to do this again, and we'll see who's right then and this bill, when it comes out on top, I think the Alaskans are going to come out on top and I'm confident it will be the best thing for this nation. Thank you!

 

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