Today's editorial in the Sacramento Bee utilizes Doolittle's interaction with a San Diego company, PerfectWave (think Duke Cunningham) to illustrate the problem of earmarks in Congress:
Here's a local example. Rep. John T. Doolittle, R-Rocklin, helped win earmarks worth $37 million for PerfectWave, a San Diego company peddling a defense technology not requested by the military. The company is far from Doolittle's district and the earmarks do nothing to benefit his constituents.Anyone still believe that Doolittle has not yet retained corruption defense lawyers?
Doolittle and his leadership political action committee received at least $85,000 in campaign contributions from the businessman/lobbyist promoting the project, his relatives, employees and business partners. The San Diego Union-Tribune has reported that the timing of the donations closely paralleled the approval of earmarks. One week after the House passed a budget containing the first PerfectWave earmark in 2002 (totaling $1 million), company officials and associates made a $2,000 political contribution to Doolittle. The day after President Bush signed the budget, the chief promoter of the project gave $10,000 to a Doolittle PAC. PerfectWave received an $18 million earmark in 2004 and another $18 million in 2005.
Doolittle admits steering money to PerfectWave but denies wrongdoing. This is what business as usual has become in Washington.
[Graphic: Mark Stivers]