Wednesday, January 4, 2006

Howard Dean Asks Bush to Return Tainted Money

An article in today's Sac Bee by David Whitney and Margaret Talev, Abramoff Pleads Guilty in Scandal gives an excellent run down on implications of Abramoff's plea agreement. Most of the focus is on Ney and Doolittle. There was one tidbit of information that particularly captured my attention.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean issued a statement calling Abramoff "an example of the abuse of power and culture of corruption that the Republicans have brought to Washington."

Dean called on President Bush to return more than $100,000 Abramoff raised for his 2004 re-election.
Scott McClellan didn't seem to care for Dean's idea.

Back to Doolittle:

Doolittle's office said again Tuesday that the congressman has not been contacted by the Justice Department, hired a lawyer or returned any of the political contributions. "We are encouraged that this investigation is finally moving forward because the faster the truth is revealed the faster our constituents will know that Congressman Doolittle has done absolutely nothing wrong," said his spokeswoman, Laura Blackann. Doolittle was a close friend of Abramoff's and received tens of thousands of dollars in political contributions from Abramoff and his clients. His wife, Julie Doolittle, operates a business that was employed as a fundraiser by a charity that Abramoff admitted Tuesday he used to evade income taxes. Her business records were subpoenaed by a federal grand jury last year. Doolittle also used Abramoff's skybox at a Washington sports arena for a fundraiser. In addition, a former aide to Doolittle, Kevin Ring, was hired by Abramoff to be a lobbying associate. Ring cited his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination when questioned by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee last summer.

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