Friday, January 27, 2006

Doolittle: Up to His Earmarks in the K Street Project

Both the Washington Post and The Hill have stepped up their reporting on John Doolittle's connections to Jack Abramoff. Here's an excerpt from the WaPo story, K Street's New Ways Spawn More Pork:

In the latest example of these backstage dealings, Rep. John T. Doolittle (R-Calif.) told The Washington Post that he helped steer defense funding, totaling $37 million, to a California company, whose officials and lobbyists helped raise at least $85,000 for Doolittle and his leadership political action committee from 2002 to 2005.


Doolittle said in a statement this week that as one of three California Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee, he frequently supports "well deserving projects throughout the state." The statement added that his support of PerfectWave Technology "was no exception and based completely on the project's merits and the written support of the military."


Shortly thereafter, individuals related to Wilkes and PerfectWave made large campaign donations to members of the GOP leadership, Doolittle and Lewis, who was then chairman of the Appropriations defense subcommittee. PerfectWave is housed in Wilkes's office building in Poway, Calif.

Doolittle and his leadership PAC received at least $85,000 from 2002 to 2005 from Wilkes, PerfectWave associates and their wives, and from Alexander Strategy lobbyists Edwin A. Buckham and Tony C. Rudy and their wives.

Wilkes was successful. Congress approved the first earmark for PerfectWave as part of the fiscal 2003 defense bill, which was passed in October 2002. That $1 million earmark was followed by an installment of $18 million in 2003 and another $18 million in 2004. Doolittle, whose district is in Northern California, was a guest at a fundraising dinner at Wilkes's office in San Diego in the fall of 2003.

Doolittle's office released a letter from a Marine Corps official dated last Feb. 25 that praised the PerfectWave technology. A spokesman for the House Appropriations Committee said there are no additional funds for the project in the fiscal 2006 budget because the Marines have not spent all the money that was earmarked.

Ney may be Rep. #1 but it's looking like Doolittle could emerge as the poster boy for the Republican Corruption Scandals of 06.

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