Sunday, February 26, 2006

Question to John Doolittle - What About the People Who Elected You?

The Sacramento Bee asks a couple of tough question of Representative John Doolittle (CA-4).
Where does zeal to help friends from all corners of the nation leave the mass of his constituents - people who aren't his friends, but are owed his time and representation? How does he square his notions of limited government with his willingness to open the federal trough to a favored few?
Today's editorial describes how Doolittle was unfailing in his support of "friends" such as Jack Abramoff and Brent Wilkes. In fact, considering Doolittle's crusade for limited government, the Bee editorialist admits confusion over Doolittle's willingness to lavish federal tax dollars on his "friends."

Two things stand out in Doolittle's Feb. 18 interview with The Bee's David Whitney. One is his view of politics as a matter of friends helping friends. The other is that while he professes a "philosophy of limited government," he is willing to help his friends prosper through congressionally earmarked government contracts.


He is particularly revealing about his friendship with Jack Abramoff, who has pleaded guilty to fraud, public corruption and tax evasion: "And if you had a friend who was a lobbyist like that and he liked you, he was able to procure quite a bit of support for you from the clients he represented. So I was in the fortunate position then of benefiting from his friendship and his willingness to help me."


Doolittle is shameless in going out of his way to seek federal government handouts for his friends. Here's an example from the interview. Through lobbyist Ed Buckham, Doolittle met Brent Wilkes, who specializes in using his lobbyist and congressional connections to seek defense contracts. Doolittle was impressed that Wilkes was "quite the Republican" and toured Wilkes' new business headquarters in San Diego.


Doolittle has been the beneficiary of political contributions from Wilkes, his family and business partners. Doolittle has supported government appropriations for Wilkes' projects. For one of Wilkes' companies, PerfectWave, Doolittle helped win earmarks worth $37 million for a technology not requested by the military. Doolittle tried to get a House contract for digital document conversion for another Wilkes company, ADCS.

On Friday Doolittle announced his intention to run for his 9th term in congress. If he is lucky, not all of his "friends" will have been indicted by Election Day.