C.W. Bill Young yanks defense earmark
WASHINGTON - With questions swirling a day after the federal raid of Conax Florida Corp., U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young on Thursday withdrew support for a $4 million funding request for the St. Petersburg-based defense contractor.
The move puts some distance between Conax and Young, who has secured $28.5 million in federal “earmarks” for the company since 2005.
Young’s spokesman said he did not pursue the money during a key budget hearing because of the probe -- the scope and nature of which remain unclear. “They decided they would see what develops with what (investigators) are looking at,” Harry Glenn said.
Young is the ranking Republican on the House Defense Appropriations Committee, which met in private Thursday morning to work out details for the 2010 budget. His clout would have almost certainly ensured inclusion of the request, which he supported, had it not been for the investigation.
Young told the St. Petersburg Times on Wednesday that he was not sure what authorities were looking for but that the company had performed well in the past.
"I was a little surprised because we've never had any suggestion that Conax was not performing properly and not doing what they were contracted to do," Young said.