Thursday, March 23, 2006

John Doolittle - "Bribe Me Here"

It may be a sign that the end is near for Representative John Doolittle (CA-4). Conservative talk radio and blogs are now joining the chorus that is roundly condemning Doolittle’s 15% commission arrangement with his wife that insures that a nice chunk of every political contribution to Doolittle’s PAC goes directly into the family bank account.

According to Dump Doolittle, conservative Sacramento radio talk host, Eric Hogue, is seriously questioning Doolittle’s ethics.

I'm a defender of raising as much campaign cash (free speech) as a candidate can collect, but it is somewhat unethical in my eyes - the voters too - to have a novice spouse performing as the professional consultant, just so you can gather 15% commission of off thousands of donated dollars. It may not be illegal, but it doesn't pass the 'smell test' in my opinion.

When a guy broadcasting in the same town where Rush Limbaugh’s got his start begins to question the ethics of a senior congressional Republican, you know that there is blood in the water.

Not only is Doolittle hearing about his ethical issues from righty radio, but the right side of the blogosphere is finding fault with Doolittle’s family plan regarding his campaign contributions. The conservative Captains Quarters went after Doolittle earlier this week.

I don't really care whether a politician has a D or an R after their name when this kind of nonsense occurs; all I know is that this stinks to high heaven. Perhaps the law and the ethics rules of Congress allow this kind of arrangement, but if they do, they need changing -- and damned fast. There should be no way for a politician to put money in his own pocket from contributions made to his/her PAC or political campaign, and setting up a questionable consultancy firm (Julie Doolittle went into this business two months after her husband got named to Appropriations) to channel commissions from donations to one's wife or children is nothing more than a cheap dodge. It's one thing to pay them a salary for work done, but to actually pay "commissions" on contributions is nothing more than putting up a sign that says, "Bribe Me Here".


I'm a conservative and I support the GOP, but I'm an American first -- and I don't cotton to politicians who stuff money in their pockets by giving away millions of our hard-earned money to crooks with a willingness to pay for the privilege. It's too damned expensive and it makes it harder for honest politicians to serve the public, regardless of which political party is involved.

In January, Doolittle went on the offensive. He took aim at the “liberal media” and highlighted the plot between radicals and their lap dog media. Doolittle’s problem now is that it isn’t just the liberal media or lefty bloggers holding him accountable any more. It is his former allies on the right who are raising tough questions regarding his ethics and apparent willingness to sell his services to the highest bidder.