Campaign 2010

May 17, 2006

Rep. John Doolittle - The Latest GOP Crony of the Week

DCCC Press

May 17, 2006

Rep. John Doolittle - The Latest GOP Crony of the Week

Doolittle is Closely Tied to the Influence Scandals of Jack Abramoff and the Bribery Scandals of Duke Cunningham

Visit www.GOPAuctionHouse.org to Learn More

Crony of the Week: John Doolittle (R-CA)

  • Indicted former Republican leader Tom DeLay has given Doolittle $19,375.
  • Admitted felon Jack Abramoff has given $14,000 to Doolittle during his career.
  • Admitted felon and DeLay/Abramoff associate Tony Rudy has given $11,250 to Doolittle.
  • Doolittle votes with President Bush nearly nine out of ten times.
  • Doolittle votes the GOP party line 97% of the time.

    (Washington, D.C.) – Today, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced that California Congressman John Doolittle (CA-04) is the newest GOP “Crony of the Week.” Doolittle was named “Crony of the Week” for being the only member of Congress tied to both the Abramoff and Cunningham scandals. Jack Abramoff, a former Republican super-lobbyist, recently pleaded guilty to charges of influence peddling and corruption, while former Rep. Duke Cunningham resigned from Congress and pleaded guilty to accepting $2.4 million in bribes from defense contractors and failing to pay over $1 million in taxes. Congressman Doolittle will be featured for his cronyism for the next seven days on the DCCC’s website: GOP Auction House (www.GOPAuctionHouse.org).

    “John Doolittle is inextricably connected to two different scandals involving members of Congress and influence peddling. American families are sick and tired of corruption in the halls of power and Doolittle is just the latest example of the Washington, D.C. culture of corruption,” said Congressman Chris Van Hollen. “After witnessing the fall of former Rep. Cunningham and the influence peddling schemes of Jack Abramoff, California families have seen enough. Californians deserve better than another member of Congress embroiled in unending scandal and in November, voters will reject the status quo politics of corruption and embrace new priorities.”

    Doolittle’s Cronyism
  • Doolittle was a close friend and associate of Jack Abramoff. He used Abramoff’s skyboxes, accepted free meals at his restaurant, took Abramoff campaign contributions and voted in the best interests of Abramoff’s clients.
  • Doolittle has taken money from defense contractor Brent Wilkes and ADCS, his contracting firm. Wilkes is a co-conspirator in the Duke Cunningham bribery scandal.
  • Doolittle has publicly admitted that he worked to throw money to Wilkes’s firm. He helped Wilkes’s firm get $37 million in earmarked federal money.
  • John Doolittle’s wife Julie runs a fundraising and consulting firm that raises money for clients, including her husband’s campaign. Clients of her firm include Jack Abramoff, Abramoff’s clients and Abramoff’s Washington, DC restaurant. Julie Doolittle was subpoenaed in the grand jury investigation of Jack Abramoff.
  • The Doolittles take a 15% cut from any campaign donation that Mrs. Doolittle’s firm brings in for her husband. (Federal and state campaign records show that the Doolittles have taken in $180,000 in commission off of John Doolittle’s campaign fundraising.)

    Doolittle’s Office Described Abramoff as a “Close Friend,” Took $14,000 from Abramoff and Used His Skybox and Restaurant. According to the Sacramento Bee, “Doolittle’s office has described Abramoff as a ‘close friend’ of the congressman.” John Doolittle took $14,000 from Jack Abramoff on 5/29/00, 11/27/00, 5/23/01, and 12/28/01. As recently as December 24, 2005, Doolittle said that he would keep the money. In 1999, Doolittle used the luxury MCI sports box of Jack Abramoff for a fundraiser and neither paid to rent the box or reported its value as an in-kind contribution. Six years later, the undisclosed fundraiser was revealed which then prompted Doolittle’s office to file the fundraising event. According to the New York Times, former employees of Abramoff’s restaurant signatures, “Say Representative John T. Doolittle… was given free meals at the restaurant. But his spokeswoman, Laura Blackann, said Mr. Doolittle did nothing wrong. ‘To his recollection, any meal the congressman had at Signatures was either paid for personally or paid for in compliance with House rules by someone with whom the congressman was dining,’ Ms. Blackann said.” The Sacramento Bee, also reported that, “Doolittle also used a popular Capitol Hill restaurant that Abramoff once owned, Signatures, for fundraising events.” [Sacramento Bee, 12/24/05; www.tray.com; Sacramento Bee, 12/24/05; Sacramento Bee, 2/9/05; New York Times, 7/6/05; Sacramento Bee, 11/30/05]

    Doolittle Received Contributions From Wilkes and ADCS. Doolittle had a close relationship with defense contractor Brent Wilkes who has been implicated in the Duke Cunningham lobbying scandal. According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, “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.” Wilkes held a fundraiser for Doolittle at the headquarters of his company, ADCS. According to the Union Tribune, “The 15 guests on Wilkes' invitation were all ADCS employees or partners on projects Wilkes was trying to get funded, together with their spouses. Over the next four months, members of the group gave a total of $50,000 to Doolittle's political action committee.” According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, “Doolittle has publicly admitted that he helped Wilkes get the $37 million in federal contracts for PerfectWave through the ‘earmark’ process, in which legislators pencil in funding for specific projects. In October 2002, as Doolittle pushed for funding for PerfectWave, Wilkes and his associates donated $7,000 to his campaign and $10,000 to his political action committee." [San Diego Union Tribune, 3/19/06] For more information about John Doolittle and his ties to special interests and other ethically challenged individuals, visit our website, found at www.GOPAuctionHouse.org, or at www.dccc.org.