- Associated Press - Friday, June 13, 2014

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - In a recently released video, U.S. Rep. Don Young says Democratic Sen. Mark Begich is taking credit for achievements that Alaska’s congressional delegation accomplished together.

The Republican Young is shown in a video (https://bit.ly/1l91Qvk ) orchestrated by political consultant Art Hackney and released this week on Young’s campaign YouTube page. Hackney is a strategist for the Karl Rove-affiliated American Crossroads, which is running ads against Begich as he seeks re-election. The video was first reported by blogger Amanda Coyne.

Hackney tells the Anchorage Daily News (https://bit.ly/UzAuUg ) that the video and his work with American Crossroads are “two different things.”

He said the idea for a video arose after Young told him he was “ticked off” by Begich taking credit for certain projects in recent ads. Young’s comments are “typical, extemporaneous Don,” Hackney said.

Young, in the video, said he doesn’t “appreciate the ads that are being run on his behalf right now. Don’t take credit for something you did not do. And when we do something together, say, ‘We did it.’ I think it would be a lot better.”

He takes exceptions to Begich’s taking credit for “the road,” an apparent reference to a crossing aimed at improving access to the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska; Begich’s role in construction of Anchorage’s Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center; and a safety project at Anchorage’s Merrill Field airport.

“The road? Nah. Let’s look at it,” Young said. “The Denai’na Center? Nah. Merrill Field? I don’t think so.”

“‘We, we, we, we.’ Not ‘I, I, I.’ When you start saying ‘I, I, I,’ I think people ought to start looking at that,” Young said.

Begich spokesman Max Croes said the campaign is happy with its ads and their content. Among other things, he pointed to a newspaper story that gave Begich credit for pressing regulators to approve the road project. He cited a pledge from Begich’s inauguration as Anchorage mayor to revitalize downtown with a new convention center, which was built by 2008, before Begich left the mayor’s office for the U.S. Senate. He said the Merrill Field money came from the federal stimulus package, which Begich was the only member of the delegation to vote for.

Earlier this year, Young praised Begich in a Washington, D.C., publication for doing a “great job” of representing the people. At last month’s GOP convention, he said his desire to see a Republican replace Begich wasn’t personal but had to do with his desire to see Nevada Democrat Harry Reid replaced as Senate majority leader.

The video comments don’t necessarily reflect a shift in Young’s position, Young spokesman Matt Shuckerow said.

“In recent weeks, the congressman has been asked his position on Sen. Begich and some of the things that he’s been saying and taking sole credit for,” Shuckerow said. “He wanted to get it out there for those to see.”

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