Friday, June 30, 2006

Just Pals: John Doolittle and Jack Abramoff

The immediate cause of all the mischief of misrule is, that the men and women acting as the representatives of the people have a private and sinister interest, producing a constant sacrifice of the interest of the people. William Leggett

Here is an interesting story about Do Little and his pals, written by the Associated Press and reported in the Washington Post on 6/20/2006. After reading it, I would like to know:

1. What did Doolittle give his pal Jack in return for the sports box?

2. Why did Doolittle not report this "gift" from his pal?

3. When did Ms. Doolittle work for John's pal, Jack Abramoff?

a. For how long?

b. What did she do?

c. How much was she paid?

4. What did Doolittle give his pal, Jack Abramoff in return for giving Ms. Dolittle work?

5. What influence does Ms. Doolittle's employment by John's pal, Jack Abramoff have over Congressman Doolittle's decisions regarding the public interest?

6. If I do not provide Doolittle with luxury sports seating, corporate jets, nannies and employment opportunities for Ms. Doolittle, will Congressman Doolittle give me the same opportunity to be heard and my interests cared for just as his pal, Jack, receives?

Something to think about...




Lobbyist Probe Glance

By The Associated PressThe Associated PressTuesday, June 20, 2006; 6:30 PM

-- Former Bush administration official David Safavian is the fifth person to be convicted or plead guilty to charges in a public corruption investigation that began with lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Those convicted so far are:
_ Abramoff, who pleaded guilty in January to mail fraud, conspiracy and tax evasion charges in connection with his lobbying work.

_ Tony Rudy, lobbyist and one-time aide to former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who pleaded guilty in March to conspiring with Abramoff.

_ Safavian, who was found guilty Tuesday of covering up his dealings with Abramoff while a General Services Administration official.

_ Michael Scanlon, a former Abramoff business partner and DeLay aide, who pleaded guilty in November to conspiring to bribe public officials in connection with his lobbying work on behalf of Indian tribes and casino issues.

_ Neil Volz, an Abramoff partner who pleaded guilty in May to conspiring to corrupt his former boss, Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, and others with trips and other aid.

Among other government officials _ all of whom have denied any wrongdoing _ under scrutiny for their ties to Abramoff are:

_ DeLay, who is under indictment in Texas on charges of campaign finance improprieties. Prosecutors are looking at whether DeLay, R-Texas, who resigned from Congress on June 9, filed false public reports to disguise the source and size of political donations, travel and other gifts he received from special interests, including some with ties to Abramoff.

_ Rep. John Doolittle, R-Calif., who accepted campaign money from Abramoff and used the lobbyist's luxury sports box for a fundraiser without initially reporting it. Doolittle's wife and one of his former aides also worked for the lobbyist.


Thursday, June 29, 2006

Do Little's "Nannygate" and Spousal Commissions

Here's an interesting editorial published by the Washington Post on Do Little's child care "expenses" and commissions received by his wife. While I am not the smartest voter in California, I know a pig when I see one.

Congressional Child Care
Most parents pay the sitter. Rep. John Doolittle has his campaign write a check.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006; Page A16

CHILD CARE, most any parent knows, can be a huge expense. Some members of Congress, though, have found an innovative -- and brazen -- way to defray the cost: Their campaign funds pick up the tab when child care is needed because the candidate is out campaigning. A leader in this creative billing is Rep. John T. Doolittle (R-Calif.), who has had his campaign reelection committee and his leadership PAC pay $5,881 in child-care costs since 2001 for his daughter, now 14. This election alone, Mr. Doolittle's campaign committees have paid almost $975 in child-care bills to a woman who lives near his family's Oakton home.

An electronic search of campaign spending records from 2001 on shows only a handful of members who billed their campaigns for baby-sitting services. Other than former representative J.C. Watts (R-Okla.), whose campaign paid $3,530 for "baby-sitting services" during the 2002 campaign, none had his or her political committees pick up the tab to the extent that the Doolittles have.

The legal foundation for dipping into campaign funds for child care was laid a decade ago, when the Federal Election Commission allowed Rep. Jim McCrery (R-La.) to use campaign funds to pay for a babysitter while his wife joined him at receptions, cocktail parties and news conferences. Mr. McCrery argued that his wife "is an integral part of my campaign team, and her presence at these events is vital." Thus, he said, the baby-sitting expense "is directly related to my candidacy." The commission staff didn't buy it. "Providing for child care when a parent is unavailable for business travel reasons is a concern for most families, regardless of profession," the staff said in its draft opinion. "The expenses for such care cannot be said to be specially related to your campaign." But the FEC, in its wisdom, disagreed with its staff, opening the door for Mr. Doolittle.

The lawmaker's spokesman, Richard Robinson, said in an e-mail that he is "one of a handful of members of Congress who has a child who lives and attends school in Virginia. Congressman Doolittle regularly travels home to California to attend official and campaign-related events. Because Mrs. Doolittle's attendance is often vital to these events, she frequently accompanies Congressman Doolittle, requiring that child care be provided to their daughter, who cannot be taken out of school to attend with them. These expenses are directly related to Congressman Doolittle's candidacy and his duties as an officeholder and would not exist otherwise."

This may be permissible under the lax guidance of the congressional enablers at the FEC. That doesn't make it right. It's the attitude of congressional entitlement to a subsidized lifestyle -- cut-rate private jets, lavish private travel -- that drives public disdain for Congress. Mr. Doolittle makes $165,200 a year as a member of Congress. His wife has already taken in close to $100,000 in commissions this election as his fundraiser. They should just pay the sitter, as other working parents do.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Dolittle Lives Up To His Name

Here is a letter that I sent on behalf of a friend to Congressman Doolittle. He lived up to his name 'Do Little' by doing nothing.

March 2, 2005

Representative John T. Doolittle
United States House of Representatives
2410 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Re: Request for Help
[Military Retiree]
Antelope, CA 95843
(916) XXX-XXX

Dear Congressman Doolittle:

My name is Gonzalo Vergara, I am retired from the US Air Force ... I am writing this letter to you on behalf of my friend, __, who also retired from the Air Force after honorably serving the United States some 20-plus years. He is a good man, devoted to God, family and country, who always played by the rules and who would be the first one to lend a hand to anyone who was in need. On September 18, 2004, while sitting his daughter’s dogs in San Francisco, he was almost killed by a hit-an-run driver. His pelvis and internal organs were crushed as was one of his arms, and he suffered major trauma to his head. He was in a comma and on life support systems for over two months, the doctor recommending at one point that they be removed, as there was no hope for him. His wife of 30 years, [his wife] refused.

__ finally came out of his comma about a month-and-a-half ago but his mind is that of a one-year old. Due to his injuries he is unable to walk, sit, and must be fed and cleaned; he is completely unable to do anything for himself. Moreover, he goes into convulsions and his body becomes contorted, and he screams incoherently. Two weeks ago, the doctors at the San Jose hospital where he was convalescing told [his wife] that there was nothing more that they could do and he would be discharged to a long-term care facility.

__ and [his wife] cannot afford the $2,400 per month that it would cost to put him in a long-term care facility. The problem is that because of __’s military retirement he does not qualify for MediCal; [his wife] called MediCal and they told her that given these circumstances there was nothing they could do. Further, __’s military health insurance provider, TRICARE, told [his wife] that the coverage did not provide for such long-term care. Given that the driver who hit __ has never been found, the San Francisco District Attorney’s office told her that nothing could be done in terms of getting money for __'s medical needs. The San Francisco County Victims of Crimes Compensation Program only provides for short-term care costs, over and above those paid by the medical insurance provider. Given that TRICARE is unwilling to provide for his long-term care needs, [his wife] is left without the ability to provide for __’s long-term care needs. Thus, she is caring for him at home.

My wife and I visited __ this past Sunday; I was shocked at his state. He mumbles incoherently, goes into contortions and is otherwise completely dependent on [his wife]. However much she loves him, it was obvious to me that she could not handle the situation for long. When [his wife] told me the circumstances that I have told in this letter, I was outraged! This is a man who honorably served his country when others were running away to Canada and were refusing to serve; yet now in his hour of need he is left without recourse. THIS IS NOT RIGHT!

Congressman Doolittle, you have been in public service a long time and have the power to make things happen or know who does. I ask you on behalf of __ and [his wife] that you do whatever it takes to get ___ the long-term care that he requires. The United States and California owe __ no less

If you would like to speak to me, my telephone number is (916) XXX-XXXX. Please help ___!

I look forward to hearing from your office soon.


Gonzalo I. Vergara

Lincoln, California


I Support Charlie Brown for Congress

In an era of uncertainty and change, it is good to know that a true patriot is running for Congress. Charlie Brown retired from the US Air Force after 30 years of service to his country. He now is seeking to serve us as a Congressman from California's 4th District.

Our present Congressman John Doolittle supported the turning over of our major ports to an Arab company. This act alone is enough to fire him from his job whatever your political views may be. I for one will give Congressman Doolittle his Pink Slip in November and elect someone with the integrity and judgment to not make similar mistakes. That person is Charlie Brown.