A story in today’s Roll Call (subscription required) notes that California GOP Congressman John Doolittle’s wife is earning more money than ever this year from fundraising activities on behalf of her husband.
It’s been reported earlier – including in a blog here last week – that she’s been collecting a 15 percent commission on all contributions to her husband’s leadership PAC. Julie Doolittle runs a fundraising business out of the family home in Oakton, Virginia – though it doesn’t advertise and she is apparently the only employee.Continue reading
What a deal. Your husband is a member of Congress. You’re his spouse and you start up a business raising money for his leadership PAC, and collecting a 15% commission on every dollar the PAC raises.
That’s the essential scenario for Congressman John T. Doolittle (R-Calif) and his wife Julie, and the details are spelled out on the front page of today’s Washington Post. The story also dwells on expensive gifts that Doolittle’s PAC – the Superior California Federal Leadership Fund – spent money on, but I’d like to focus today on that fundraising commission.Continue reading
- Roll Call reports that the Justice Department subpoenaed the e-mails of Rep. [sw: William Jefferson] (D-La.) in the ongoing bribery investigation. Jefferson will have the chance to challenge the release of certain e-mails under the Speech and Debate Clause. The congressman could "be allowed to review them and decide whether he wants to try to assert his privilege under the Speech or Debate Clause and withhold them from the federal prosecutors. Jefferson would then have to file a legal motion in federal court in Alexandria outlining the reasons for why they should not be turned over to federal investigators."
- The manager of MZM, Inc., Richard A. Berglund, was accused of violating FEC rules by illegally donating money to Rep. [sw: Virgil Goode] (R-Va.). MZM, Inc. was one of the chief defense contractors charged with bribing Rep. [sw: Duke Cunningham] and the owner, Mitchell Wade, has since pled guilty to the charges. In this case Berglund stands accused of ""aiding and abetting" a scheme by MZM's owner to donate the funds in the name of others."
- The money paid to Julie Doolittle, the wife of Rep. [sw: John Doolittle] (R-Calif.), by Jack Abramoff to do fundraising for a charity event is receiving new scrutiny after the Senate Indian Affairs Committee report detailed the dates that she received the payments. Julie Doolittle "received the lion’s share of her monthly retainer fees long after a canceled charity event, which had been the principal reason cited for her $5,000-a-month retainer deal with the admitted felon’s ex-lobbying firm". Julie Doolittle received just $27,000 around the time of the charity event, but later received a seemingly unconnected $40,000 from Abramoff "three weeks after Rep. Doolittle, an avowed anti-gambling Mormon, wrote a letter of support for a tribal client of Abramoff’s seeking to reopen its casino."