Thursday, December 1, 2005

Doolittle & Duke Cunningham - One Degree of Separation (if that)

Excerpt from article #2 from the Sacramento Bee:

WASHINGTON - A San Diego defense contractor linked to former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham's bribery conspiracy has been a major contributor to Rep. John Doolittle.

According to Federal Election Commission reports, the Roseville Republican has received $36,000 in contributions from executives associated with ADCS Inc. and its political action committee between 2002 and this year.

Doolittle is not the only California House member to take political contributions from the defense contractors, but he is second only to Cunningham in total receipts. Like Cunningham, Doolittle is a member of the House Appropriations Committee.


Doolittle's spokeswoman, Laura Blackann, said the congressman plans to keep the money.

"The congressman has done nothing wrong," she said. "He has no intention of returning any campaign contributions that were made in a lawful and ethical manner."


Brent and Regina Wilkes were large political donors, giving tens of thousands of dollars to primarily Republican candidates and political groups. In 2003, for example, Brent Wilkes sent the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee, the political arm of the House Republican caucus, $25,000.

According to FEC records, the Wilkeses personally contributed a total of $10,000 to Doolittle's Superior California PAC last year and Brent Wilkes wrote a $5,000 check to the PAC earlier this year.

ADCS's political action committee contributed $5,000 to Doolittle's 2002 re-election committee and then $5,000 to his leadership PAC in 2004 and again in 2005.

Another Wilkes associate, Joel Combs, contributed $1,000 to Doolittle's 2002 re-election and $5,000 to his leadership PAC last year.

Doolittle, the elected secretary of the House Republicans who has expressed interest in rising in the leadership ranks, uses his leadership PAC to give money to other Republican candidates.

MZM Inc. and its president, Mitchell J. Wade, who San Diego newspapers reported bought Cunningham's Del Mar home for far more than it was worth and also bought a yacht in Washington for the congressman's use, also are political contributors.

It does not appear from campaign records, however, that Doolittle has received any money from MZM's political action committee or corporate executives, although there is some crossover with ADCS. In 2000, for example, Wade's job was listed as consultant to ADCS on a $1,000 contribution to Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho.

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