Young shows off his softer side while working with Cao in 2010. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Adjectives such as “kind,” “caring,” “fatherly” and “honest” wouldn’t prompt most people to conjure up an image of Rep. Don Young.
Indeed, anyone familiar with Capitol Hill lore connects the Alaska Republican with tales of bad behavior — pulling a knife on a colleague, tracking asbestos through the halls of Congress and allegedly violating House rules for 12 years.
But Young has a softer side, according to a former colleague, two ex-aides and even a one-time political adversary who talked with CQ Roll Call as we profiled the ornery congressman.
Ex-Rep. Anh “Joseph” Cao, a Louisiana Republican ousted after just one term in Congress, spent nearly every vote series seated beside Young on the chamber floor. “I found him to be a very warm-hearted individual, a very straightforward individual and an outspoken individual,” Cao said about Young.
Cao said he never heard one complaint “about Young from any of his colleagues” — except, he conceded, for the story “about how he maybe pulled a knife, something along those lines.”