Tuesday, March 28, 2006

John Doolittle - It's All About Money and Power

Columnist Rex Bloomfield of the Auburn Journal reminds us that when a senior member of congress puts out a “Government For Sale” sign he isn’t advertising for just himself. A Republican rainmaker like John Doolittle (CA-4), who routinely raises far more money each election cycle than he spends on his own campaign, can insure that substantial dollars are distributed to loyal candidates for a variety of local offices.

Doolittle has been financing local political elections and pulling the political strings on every level of government from the county board of supervisors to local school boards. He still holds the single campaign record of giving $64,000 to one supervisorial candidate.After taking some heat for trying to buy elections with Washington, D.C. money, Doolittle has assumed a lower profile and avoids writing large checks, if possible. Nowadays Doolittle endorses candidates, holds fundraisers for his chosen ones, and puts the word out to contributors to open their wallets. Opposition candidates never match the financial prowess of Doolittle's anointed ones, who routinely expand the cost of running for office out of the reach of the average citizen.

To know where all this is going, all you have to do is follow the money. The big contributors locally are developers, who want to buy cheap ag land and have it rezoned for houses or condos. Doolittle joined forces with one of the largest developers in the Sacramento area years ago. Our congressman even attended a meeting with the planning department in an attempt to hasten the development of the Kalorama project in Applegate. Recently, the Doolittle acolytes on the board of supervisors pushed for the re-zoning for the same developer in West Placer. The developer now showers the Republican Central Committee and Doolittle candidates with campaign contributions.

For politicians like Doolittle it is all about money and power. Using Jack Abramoff or Brent Wilkes’s contributions to buy local elections so that more money flows into Republican coffers so that more elections can be bought is acceptable practice to corrupt politicians like Doolittle. Money and power, the public be damned.

Hat tip to nite swimming - as always first with the story.