Sunday, March 19, 2006

How to Get Rich in Congress without Really Trying: the John Doolittle Story

Who knew the Doolittles would be outed as the most ethically-challenged power couple in DC? They manage to make the DeLays look almost non-sleazy.

No one is going to look at Congressional wives the same way after today's story in the San Diego Union-Tribune.

A week before former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham was sentenced to prison, he stressed to the court that a number of other lawmakers also helped arrange federal funding for the defense contractors who bribed him.


And at least one of the lawmakers, Doolittle, received a direct monetary benefit from those contributions through commissions paid to his wife, Julie.

Acting as her husband's campaign consultant, Julie Doolittle charged his campaign and his Superior California Political Action Committee a 15 percent commission on any contribution she helped bring in.

As a member of two key committees in the House – Appropriations and Administration – Doolittle is well-positioned to help contractors gain funding through congressional earmarks. Between 2002 and 2005, Wilkes and his associates and lobbyists gave Doolittle's campaign and political action committee $118,000, more than they gave any other politician, including Cunningham.

The article goes on to examine all the implications of Julie Doolittle's fundraising, including the small scope of clients and the seemingly small amount of actual work.

Josh Marshall asks Is John Doolittle's free ride in the Cunningham-Wade-Wilkes scandal coming to an end? And Paul Kiel of TPM Muckracker has some questions of his own:
The more you look into this, the more it stinks, stinks, stinks. Just how much money was Julie Doolittle getting from Wilkes, Buckham, and Abramoff? And how much longer can Doolittle get away with not telling?
Doolittle's going down.

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