Rep. CW Bill Young (left) tells a man to "get a job" after being asked about raising the minimum wage.
ST. PETERSBURG, Florida -- People protested Tuesday evening outside a waterfront mansion in St. Petersburg, where Republican Congressman C.W. Bill Young is attending a fundraiser. They accuse of Young of being out of touch.
Young is running for his 22nd term and he says the tenor of this year's campaign is more combative. What activists call questioning Young calls "harassment," and an interaction in July caught on videotape was widely viewed. On the tape, a man asked about a proposed hike in the minimum wage and Young responded, "How about getting a job?"
Now, an article in the Tampa Bay Times raises more questions. The article outlines Young's belief that his Indian Shores condo was broken into last July and that a police report blames not burglars, but the wind and a faulty lock.
However, on Tuesday, in an interview with 10 News, Young continues to disagree with police findings. "An item (a small ring pillow used at weddings) was placed in a very strategic place in our house," said Young. "Obviously, it was a message to us, that somebody had access to our home."
Young and his family have made other calls to police agencies and he said they were encouraged to do so by security experts. "Anything out of the ordinary, anything that appears to be suspicious, report it," Young said he's been advised.
Young's opponent, Democrat Jessica Ehrlich, has complained about Young avoiding debates and other candidate forums. At a recent event in Gulfport captured on tape by Patch.com, the congressman sent his son Billy Young. Ehrlich left the stage announcing, "Unfortunately, my opponent is not here this evening."
The 81-year-old Young said refusing Ehrlich's debate invitations has nothing to do with his age or his skills. "Every candidate should run his own campaign," he said.
And despite a slow recovery from back surgery in 2010, Young said he still has what it takes to get the job done in Washington. "Anybody who would say I'm not aggressive or up to the task isn't telling the truth. I am very much up to the task."