Doolittle: I’m a New Man — SIKE!

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After narrowly winning reelection in his very conservative district, Rep. John Doolittle (R-CA) says he’s reformed, but it sure doesn’t look like he’s really got religion.

He’s firing his wife as his campaign fundraiser, he announced yesterday — no longer will she, and by extension Doolittle himself, get a 15% cut of every contribution to his campaign. Not that there was ever anything wrong with this, no — but for some reason the arrangement became a “concern and distraction to some of [his] constituents,” as he wrote in an Op-Ed, revealing his reformation:

Because I believe it is proper for my wife to raise funds for my campaign, I encouraged her to step in at a critical time when her talents were desperately needed. I have appreciated her willingness to take time away from her other clients to provide a professional service to my campaign. However, because I recognize that this issue has been a concern and distraction to some of my constituents, I have retained an outside fundraiser to take over those duties.

Nope, no mea culpa there. And that “critical time when [his wife’s] talents were desperately needed?” That was 2001 through the present. And during that critical, desperate time, he did not face a single credible election challenge prior to 2006. He outraised his opponent in 2004, for example, $935,907 to $2,300. Good thing his wife was there to share the pot.Nowhere in Doolittle’s reforms does it say whether his wife will continue to work for lobbyists (as she did for both the imprisoned lobbyist Jack Abramoff and Tom DeLay’s notorious bag man Ed Buckham), or whether he’ll continue to dole out favors to their clients. But stay tuned! Maybe he’ll unveil a new raft of reforms if he’s indicted.

Among Doolittle’s promised reforms is to “be more accessible to the media.” Given our numerous failed attempts to get him to explain his behavior, we very much look forward to this new era. (Sike!)