In a debate last week, Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) was asked about an incident in which he threatened to kill a reporter who dared to ask the lawmaker about some of his scandals. The New York Republican said last week that he was sorry, but it’s “a stressful job being in Congress.”
Of course, if the stresses of congressional work are this severe, even in a do-nothing Congress, it’s hard not to wonder why the other 534 federal lawmakers are able to cope without making threats of physical violence.
As it turns out, some don’t. In addition to Grimm, there’s Rep. Don Young (R) of Alaska, who reportedly had a heated confrontation with his 2014 challenger, Forrest Dunbar (D). The Alaska Dispatch News reported (via Jamison Foser):
Dunbar, reached Friday and pressed about the encounter, said the two were walking near each other backstage when Young said angrily, “You’re not from Cordova any more than I’m from Fort Yukon. I had you looked into.”Dunbar, raised in that Southcentral Alaska town after his family moved there from Eagle in the Interior when he was a child, said he tried politely responding to Young. Young grew up in California and moved to Alaska as a young man, not long after serving in the U.S. Army in the mid-1950s.Dunbar, who now lives in Anchorage, said he was puzzled and in a friendly gesture touched Young on his arm lightly and asked: “What are you talking about?” Then: “He freaked out,” said Dunbar. “There is no other way to describe it.”
According to Dunbar’s account, largely confirmed by a local journalist who was in the room at the time, Young told his challenger, “Don’t you ever touch me. Don’t ever touch me. The last guy who touched me ended up on the ground dead.”
Dunbar walked away before the situation escalated, but the alleged incident is reminiscent of another recent encounter involving the Alaska Republican.
Remember this one from July?
NBC News producer Frank Thorp V caught the late-for-the-conference-meeting Alaska Republican’s manhandling of an unsuspecting staffer on camera. Per Thorp’s Twitter feed, the aide had attempted to redirect Young to enter the already in-progress GOP strategy session through another doorway when things got physical.
Unlike last week’s alleged incident, there’s video of Young manhandling the aide.
There was video of this incident from June, too.
On Tuesday, The Daily Caller’s Mirror blog reported that Alaskan Republican Rep. Don Young was clowning around on the House floor during the naming of a post office. He stuck his fingers in his ears and made funny faces, much like Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble on The Flintstones. Post office namings, as you might imagine, are not terribly exciting legislative moments in Washington.But this one actually meant something. Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) sponsored the bill to honor a fallen solder.
Maybe the Alaska Republican has issues related to impulse control?