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John Taylor Doolittle
Update, Sept. 9, 2008: Kevin Ring, former aide to Doolittle, was arrested on conspiracy, fraud and obstruction-of-justice charges. He worked closely with Jack Abramoff in the alleged scheme to defraud Indian tribes. Authorities say Ring arranged campaign contributions for Doolittle, who is referred to as "Representative 5" in court papers, and lying to investigators hired by Ring's former employer about his knowledge of a lucrative consulting job that lobbyists had arranged for Doolittle's wife, Julie.
The Honorable John T. Doolittle (Republican-California) and his wife Julie have been in the news lately. A Washington Post study has shown that Mrs. Doolittle and her company, Sierra Dominion Financial Services which is based in their home, has been taking a 15 percent cut out of Doolittle's campaign contributions. For the 2006, she's taken over $100,000. Not illegal, but sure smells.
Her other clients: Jack Abramoff's former law firm, Greenberg Traurig to do "event planning" for Abramoff's Capital Athletic Foundation and his defunct restaurant, Signatures. Julie Doolittle also provided bookkeeping services for the Korea-US Exchange Council, founded by Edwin A. Buckham, former chief of staff of Tom DeLay. And to round things out, a good deal of money ($118,000) she is credited with raising for her husband came from Brent Wilkes. BadBody Duke Cunningham confessed that he received bribes from Wilkes. Doolittle helped Wilkes get $37 million in federal contracts. For other Honorable Members sweating out the Abramoff episode, click here. Buckham was also busy giving money to Tom DeLay's spouse, too. Check it out.
Update, July 11, 2006: Democracy 21, a watchdog group, harshly criticized the thousands of dollars spent by John Doolittle's leadership political action committee, and the nearly $140,000 collected by Doolittle's wife and her one-woman fundraising operation. Because it is a leadership PAC, there few regulations, and Doolittle is accused of stretching the limits. Doolittle's supporters, of course, claim that there's nothing wrong with what they're doing.
Update: Doolittle gave up his seat on the coveted House Appropriations Committee, April 20, 2007, the day after reports surfaced that the FBI had raided his Northern Virginia home.
Update, Sept. 7, 2007: Doolittle denounced GOP critics as "weasels". Meanwhile, his chief of staff, Ron Rogers, spent an hour and 20 minutes before a federal grand jury in Washington. Republicans have paid pollsters to see what public trouble Doolittle's in. That prompted this defiant response from Doolittle: "They really just want me to give up so they can get what they want and you know what? I'm not giving up."
Update, Sept. 28, 2007: Doolittle says he'll fight the Justice Department subpoena for 11 years worth of records, as part of DOJ's Jack Abramoff bribery investigation. Justice wants records on Doolittle and 5 of his staffers. Ain't gonna do it, says the Honorable Congressman.
Ain't it cozy in Washington: you pay me, I help you to lucrative federal contracts, my wife gets a cut, and tax payers get screwed. Check out other cozy family relationships in All in the Family.
Update, January 10, 2008: Doolittle announced that he would serve out his current term, but would not run for re-election. "The time has come for my departure," Doolittle quoted from the Bible, "I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith." But no word about his (or his wife's) legal problems.
Source: David Stout, "Lawmaker Tied to Abramoff to Retire," New York Times, January 10, 2008.