Mrs. Doolittle’s Income, Hiding Behind Loophole

Paul has been raking muck at a furious pace on these Doolittles — how Julie Doolittle, wife of Rep. John Doolittle (R-CA), took campaign cash from, among others, accused bribers, and how he cut her in on the action. One palm greases the other!

Funny thing, though: no one knows how much grease there was.

The San Diego Union-Tribune, which first reported the story, couldn’t nail down exactly what Julie’s cut was. Off of roughly $118,000 Doolittle collected from associates of Brent Wilkes, a crooked contractor accused of felony bribery charges in the Cunningham case, they ballparked her cut at around $14,400.

The UT further estimated that Julie Doolittle’s total take from her husband’s fundraising was $180,000. But given the evidence we’ve seen and the other Abramoff-related clients she allegedly had, we’re curious, what was Julie Doolittle’s total income?

I trotted down to Congress, thinking Doolittle’s financial disclosure forms would show the number. Lawmakers are required to disclose their spouse’s income, don’t you know. But lo and behold — in his paperwork, John Doolittle (R-CA) declined to state his wife’s income!

I checked the law, and it turns out he’s not required to: if a lawmaker’s spouse is self-employed — and it appears Julie was an independent contractor — the lawmaker doesn’t have to say how much she’s making. Even if he’s the one paying her.

If it’s all above board, of course, what is there to hide? Perhaps we’ll give him a call tomorrow and ask.