By Yaël Ossowski | Florida Watchdog

ST PETERSBURG — Imagine a congressman who has been in Washington, D.C,. long enough to witness the drawing down of theVietnam War, the shake-up of Watergate, the perilous Iran hostage situation, and the fall of the Berlin Wall — not to mention every significant political event of the 1990s and 2000s.

Republican U.S. Rep. Bill Young, of Florida’s 10th district, has been in the House of Representatives for 42 consecutive years, making him the longest-serving GOP member of the House.

And now, as a veteran of 20 congressional elections, he’s ready to compete for yet another term in the 2012 fall election. This time, though, because of redistricting, Young is seeking election in  the newly created 13th Congressional District.

Like many of his veteran House colleagues, the congressman from Indian Shoreshas become quite familiar with the legislative process, finding a comfortable seat at the Committee on Appropriations, responsible for allocating the trillions of dollars the federal government spends throughout the country.

He was chairman of the committee from 1999-2005, and now chairs theDefense Subcommittee, where he is the last fiscal authority for allocating billions in defense funds to builders of jets, tanks, bombs, and communication gear, a fact well known by the key players of defense companies.

Reports compiled by the Federal Election Commission and the Center for Responsive Politics show Young has received the majority of his campaign contributions from companies directly involved in defense and military inventory — that also have benefited directly from Young’s directed earmark, or “pork-barrel,” spending.

In fiscal year 2010, Young sponsored or co-sponsored more than $128.8 million in earmarks for many companies that directly contributed to his re-election campaign, including two of which currently employ his own sons.

Read more: Florida Watchdog