The Wives Club:


Yesterday the New York Times reported on the involvement of spouses and family members in the Jack Abramoff scandal. Julie Doolittle, the wife of Rep. John Doolittle (R-CA), “has been subpoenaed … and questioned by the F.B.I.” about her “marketing and events-planning work for Mr. Abramoff’s lobbying firm and for his Washington restaurant, Signatures”. Rep. Tom DeLay’s wife Christine “received $115,000 in consulting fees from 1998 to 2002” from the U.S. Family Network, a nonprofit run by former DeLay chief of staff Ed Buckham who is currently “under scrutiny by the Justice Department because of his lobbying contacts with Mr. DeLay’s House office.” Lisa Rudy, the wife of Tony Rudy, the ex-deputy chief of staff to DeLay who pled guilty last week, “received $50,000 in consulting fees as a result of what her husband has acknowledged was a corrupt scheme with Mr. Abramoff to influence the workings of Mr. DeLay’s office and promote the concerns of Mr. Abramoff’s clients on Capitol Hill.” Wendy Buckham, the wife of Ed Buckham, “shared more than $1 million in consulting fees with her husband from the U.S. Family Network, a nonprofit group tied to Mr. DeLay. The group has drawn the scrutiny of law enforcement officials because so much of its income was directed to the Buckham family and appears to have come from Russian businessmen eager to court favor from Mr. DeLay.” The Times also provides a graphic illustrating the connections to family members in this bribery scheme.