Some of Parnell's contributions technically originate from the Club for Growth's Political Action Committee, but he isn't required to label that as PAC money on his Federal Elections Commission's disclosures because the contributions are coming directly from individuals.
Yet Parnell has boasted that he hasn't received PAC money as a way to separate himself from his Republican opponents in Tuesday's primary election.
In an Aug. 5 KTUU Channel 2 News debate, Young called the Club for Growth one of the most "extreme groups in Washington." The group is staunchly economically conservative and favors reducing the size of government.
In an interview Tuesday with Alaska Dispatch, Parnell disputed Young's assertions. He said that what really hurts Alaska is "Young's response to special interests that give to him by putting earmarks and funding in bills like Coconut Road and gaming in Michigan."
In the KTUU debate, Parnell, who has criticized Young for his mastership of the earmark, was asked to name three examples of earmarks requested by Young that he considers unworthy for Alaska. Parnell declined to answer the question. He did the same again on Tuesday.
"There's nothing that I'm prepared to name at this point," Parnell said. "I'm not going to do that. It's not individual earmarks, it's the whole system that needs to be reformed."
Parnell also said that donations coming from the Club for Growth shouldn't be labeled as PAC money because the contributions are coming from individuals who choose freely to donate to his campaign, rather than a group making the decision on which politician the money is spent.
Alaska Dispatch talked to five people living out of state who have donated to Parnell through the Club for Growth and would fall under his definition of individual donors. Two hung up when asked about Parnell. The other three didn't know who he was running against, let alone recall Parnell's name.
"We researched the issues," said Jane Beneke, of Dallas, who made a $200 donation to Parnell a few weeks ago. When asked what issues she supported and who exactly she was supporting, Beneke replied, "I get a lot of stuff. I can't remember off hand."
Norma Ellis, who lives in Fort Worth, Texas, gave $1,000 to Parnell last month. "I just sent the checks. They [Club for Growth] decides how to spend the money."
She recognized U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens's name, but when asked about Young, Ellis said, "I don't know anything about Don Young. Is he in trouble too?"