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Gentle Readers,Welcome Back From Summer Vacation, 2007 Edition

The Dump Doolittle blog,   is reporting via the AP, The International Herald Tribune, and TPM Muckraker that  current aides to  Congressman John Doolittle, R, CA- 04, have been subpoenaed to appear before a Grand Jury in the US District Court for Washington, DC .  The subpoenas were issued for Chief of Staff  Ron Rogers and Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Blankenburg.  

They were announced on the House floor as Congress returned from its August recess Tuesday after the aides informed House leaders about the subpoenas, as required under House rules.

The aides told House leadership they had not yet determined how to respond to the subpoenas.

Only Republicans puzzle over how to "respond" to legal summonses. The rest of humanity generally responds by showing up or gets cited for contempt and risks automatic jailing.

More Below:

from the AP story today 9/4/07

But Doolittle said in a statement that his aides would testify before the grand jury "with hopes of putting the matter to an end."

"I think everyone can agree that this issue needs closure," said Doolittle, R-Calif. "Three years seems like more than adequate time to determine the facts. I look forward to the truth finally being established and hope that we may have a resolution soon."   snip

....Doolittle is the only sitting member of Congress known to be under active investigation in the Abramoff case

The "issue" Doolittle refers to is he and his wife Julie's ongoing very creative bookeeping practice, whereby she collects 15% of every campaign donation as a "fundraiser's fee", which was a nifty attempt to circumnavigate the direct purchase of politicians by commercial interests and financially generous lobbyists such as Jack Abramoff, and instead put them on an installment plan. Although Doolittle said immediately after the November 2006 election that he was not going to do this anymore, a study of FEC records indicate that he has still been paying Julie Doolittle thousands of dollars a month this year, to catch up to how much he "owes" her from the 2006 campaign cycle.  He also has been paying 2 different legal white collar criminal defense legal firms thousands of dollars per month out of his campaign expenses.    Julie Doolittle also allegedly did bookeeping/fundraising "work", along with Christine Delay, for an ex aide of Tom Delay whom became a lobbyist, doing event planning for events that never happened.  The FBI raided John Doolittle's home in Oakton, Virginia, this year on April 13, siezing all of Julie's fianancial data as he was on the way to speak to the Oroville, CA Chamber of Commerce at the local Oroville Indian Casino. That's 2 days before the IRS tax filing deadline.  He skipped the Casino chat but did the Town Hall meeting at the Community Center.  After the raid, he did not inform anyone,  including Minority Speaker of the House John Boehner, who subsequently found out about it several days later from the regular news when the traditional media found out the search warrant for the Doolittle Oakton, VA domencile was finally made public.  In the ensuing uproar, Boehner beaned Doolittle out of his Appropriations Committee seat for embarrassing the Republican Party.  Doolittle subsequently went on a media offensive, trying to pretend US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales had staged the raid to make him look bad and blaming the story going public on "leaks." For a previous, detailed diary on that aspect, see
"Doolittle, Still here, but Gone Leakin' . "

From TPM Muckraker, in the comments section under the story:

"also called to testify, Regina Smith and US Rep. Phil English... "

Local reaction from the comments section under the story just coming online now in district from the Auburn Journal, which is just currently running the AP story:


Unintentionally hilarious article written very early this morning, from the Republican newsblog The Flash Report (warning, really annoying graphics... it does "flash")

This is a particularly tough time for Congressman John Doolittle.  Doolittle is in the midst of dealing with the taint of an FBI investigation of Congress that has included family business dealings with now-disgraced and imprisoned ex-lobbyist Jack Abramoff.  Our hearts to go out to John and his family at this time.  In America, we have a strong tradition in our courts that you are innocent until you are proven guilty.  I would tell FR readers that having known John for nearly two decades, I don't believe that he is guilty of any crimes.That having been said, Congressman Doolittle is facing a trial -- but it is in the court of public opinion...  

This is what is know as bad timing.

He goes on to give recent polling results, if the election were held today, Democratic Candidate, retired AF Lt. Colonol Charlie Brown whups Doolittle's butt 51% to 31%.  And that was written before the lastest developments.  

Dear Flash- Man:  Don't believe every thing the PR guys tell you. Doolittle's C/O/S Ron Rogers is also from the same PR firm, Russo Marsh & Rogers,  that right winger radio talk mistress Melanie Morgan is doing that Move America Forward cross country tour for right now to drum up war support. Next time you may want to ask..  Is that a subpoeana in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?

It is unknown how much longer John Doolittle, R, Republic of Sierra Dominion DC,  will attempt to hold on to his Congressional seat.  Several local Republicans, such as Ted Gaines and Erik "Major Danger" Egland,  are already publically admitting they will challenge him in the primary if he lasts that long. According to a local right winger radio pundit, at least one of them jumped in too early and has goofed up the intent of Doolittle to "retire out gracefully" at the end of his term.

Over the past several weeks, MarkTalk has pieced together a picture of a congressman being quietly pressured to recognize that, while having done absolutely nothing wrong he had nonetheless become a political liability.   Progress was being made in convincing Doolittle to accept elder statesman status and announce his “retirement”, with the public reason yet to be determined. Also yet to be determined was the candidate whom the party would back as Doolittle’s replacement.
Doolittle is an honorable man - despite smears to the contrary - and our sources believe that the congressman is going to do the honorable thing and step aside, probably for “personal” or “family” reasons connected to the on-going politically motivated criminal investigation into his wife’s legal fund raising activities on his behalf.   It does not appear as he will endorse any candidate. He reportedly would have endorsed Gaines but is not happy with what he considers a betrayal

Charlie Brown, D, Really From Roseville, http://www.charliebrownforcongress.o... will start his campaign Friday at lunchtime with his official announcement of running for the CA 04 seat at the Auburn Airport, with the traditional media in attendance. Now is the time we have to support our candidate. The Republicans think if they just paste a new bar code over the product the Public will continue to purchase it.  They have no idea.    

Originally posted to AmericanRiverCanyon on Tue Sep 04, 2007 at 08:05 PM PDT.

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