Doolittle’s Payoff

Back when Rove quit was canned quit to spend time with his family that had gone away to college, he gave the WSJ a sweet retrospective. He attributed the inaccuracy of his "math" during the 2006 election to his inability to get rid of scandal-ridden Republicans before their scandals broke out.

He says Republican Chris Shays and Independent-Democrat Joe Lieberman survived in Connecticut despite supporting the war, while Republicans who were linked to corruption or were complacent lost. His biggest error, Mr. Rove says, was in not working soon enough to replace Republicans tainted by scandal.

And while it’s hard to distinguish the scandal-ridden Republican retirees from among the mob of retiring Republicans, some key scandal-ridden Republicans are retiring, including Domenici, Renzi, and Doolittle.

I’m particularly interested in Doolittle’s thought process. Less than two months ago, a defiant Doolittle admitted that he was going to use the William Jefferson precedent to stay out of jail.

Now, Rep. John Doolittle, R-Roseville, has crawled into the freezer with Jefferson.

On Dec. 19 Doolittle said he is challenging the constitutionality of subpoenas, issued by a federal grand jury, which seek congressional office records related to his relationship with convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

It’s purely a strategy of delay. "My attorney tells me that this issue alone – the constitutional issue presented by those subpoenas … is going to take one to two years to resolve," Doolittle said.

But then less than a month after that–on January 10–Doolittle announced he would not run for reelection. Poor John Doolittle won’t have a Congressional freezer in which to hide the evidence of his next bribe.

Which is why I’m interested in the donors to Doolittle’s defense fund (h/t TP).

Republican U.S. Rep. John Doolittle collected nearly $35,000 in his legal defense fund during the fourth quarter of last year, including contributions from a potential candidate to replace him, former U.S. Rep. Doug Ose.


Ose donated $2,000 to Doolittle’s legal fund, according to a filing Wednesday, and another $2,000 from his family business, Enlow Ose & Associates. Doolittle also got $5,000 from House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio.

Don’t get me wrong–Doolittle clearly needs all the money he can get to pay his lawyers. But doesn’t this look like a little extra persuasion? So that maybe this time around, Rove can at least do his "math"a little more accurately?

7 replies
  1. Jim Clausen says:

    Hmm. Jerry Lewis at one mil and counting. Abramhoff successfully squelched.
    And Doolittle sells out for $35000? The Rethugs must be hurting.

    • emptywheel says:

      $35000 in one quarter–I wonder how much he got in the first ten days of the month? I was just wondering about Lewis. Even among the slew of retiring Republicans, no hint that he might.

      • Jim Clausen says:

        I think Lewis is the linchpin to the whole California Wade connection.Can’t point to any links at the moment but I do believe Lewis is major dirty on military industrial waste(pork)

  2. frahse says:

    Maybe Rove moved his office, but he is still very active, and I see his byline a lot.

    I think he just realized that he needed to reposition himself and a year or so before the mass exodus was the best time. He would have more to offer to employers when Bush and his old buddies were still in office. A year and a half later, all that would be history, and he would be a less attractive package.

    As for his math, I think that two things were operative.
    One he was being optimistic because that in itself would help.
    Secondly as said above, there was disaster after disaster.

    Like it or not, Rove is still the smartest man in politics, and will be a force to be reckoned with for a long time.

  3. LabDancer says:

    Ms E Wheel –

    This is one of your quite rare postings which hasn’t got the hive into Dance Fever. Apart from the very large factors of the two impending Super events [so many sets of eyes being focused on Phoenix – from which almost as many are likely to lose the capacity starting in about 15 hours] I suspect some of the reasons for this relative disinterest lies in how diffuse just the two previous posters are: first in parsing the amount – then in channeling Turdblossom.

    I recall the undead one’s [Novak] piece a few months back on how the Congressional chapters of the GOOP went into moult from which they emerged to toss Doolittle on the slag heap yet leave Lewis in place – & how so many from the ranks of that particularly rank rank [Pardon my attempt at alfrankenization.] went into conniption fits over a “double standard”.

    To suggest that outcome rested on the drawing of some distinction between the comparative value in their accumulated records of selfless public service & great enduring works in preservation of the republic is I suppose a theoretical possibility – but I suspect it does not capture the character of the operative distinction.

    I also think it is unlikely that the standard simply reflects a distinction in accumulated poop, because a certain amount of crud build up is pretty much acknowledged as an occupational hazard of choosing to lead one’s existence as a zombie Gooper trooper marching on talking points relayed via séance with the two Big Heads in the White House. Nor could it be that this is something like the distinction encapsulated in that scene in Monty Python & the Holy Grail where the two peasants mired in muck are talking and one observes to to the other as the King & his Ka-niggets pass that they are easily distinguishable as royalty from peasantry because “they’ve got less shit on them”.

    Do you suppose it’s possible the line was drawn because, as was said by Toscanini to the audience as he ceased the first public performance of Turandot right at the point where Puccini had died without completing it: “Qui finisce l’opera – perché a questo punto il maestro è morto” [”Here the opera ends – because at this point the maestro died”]?

    That is: Could the distinction have been drawn merely on the point at which the investigation under then-US attorney Carol Lam had arrived right when the Great USA Purge hit – the one which AG Gonzales didn’t have anything at all to do with just happened on its own?

    There remains another factor which may complicate this simplistic take on pilgrim Doolittle’s reverse progress: the announcement that met with the whines of Double Standard was made by GOOP House Leader Boehner – who we note is credited with the biggest single donation to the Doolittle Defense Fund credited in the article to which your post linked.

    That last fact comes as no great surprise given their Fellowship in the Gang of Seven [the Shining Band of Kongressional Ka-niggets who triumphed over Rubbersheetgate or Rubbercheckgate or whatever was the sappy item involved] among the membership of which only Boehner – assuming he survives November first Tuesday tsunami – will remain in office.

    Those two facts sit in some contradiction. It would seem a given that moving a fellow Rubber-mate to bounce a rubber buddy yet leave intact the slime left over around some nasty pool of Gooper graft clear across the country would require the presence of an exceptionally bright line – which ever since the Bug Man blew into DC has not necessarily sufficed as a limiting characteristic.

    So perhaps some hidden hand is at work. But if so – why would it necessarily be attached to Rove – in preference to other candidates – such as the one in the White House thru whose man-sized safe Wade’s seed capital was laundered in the first place?

    But I’m still going with the bright line drawn by where Lam, because with the recent conviction of Wilkes despite of what looked like a pretty compromised effort at prosecution [What a shock that jury verdict must have been, what with the brilliance of his defence – so blinding I never actually figured out what it was.] means that dog & pony show now goes on the road after Wilkes’ high school ball buddy Dusty Foggo – with all the appearances of that being the end of the road.

    Occam’s razor reasoning.

    • emptywheel says:

      Re: Lewis. He is currently very powerful–nothing he has done has knocked him off Approp. And I suspect he remains a linchpin in either graft the GOP would like to remain in place, or more specific ops the GOP would like to remain in place. Though that’s just a guess.

      • LabDancer says:

        Well, I agree with you on all of “currently very powerful” & “linchpin in …graft” but more likely “and” than “or” as to “specific ops” but I was only predicating my comment on the writing-on-the-wall developments of Doolittle being named as under investigation [in respect of which I think the fact that he & wife both spoke publicly on her 15% deal makes it likely that his real concerns are elsewhere] & being dropped from the Approps committee.

        I had another notion that would explain Rove’s having a preference which would track what has happened but it really comes from trying to figure out where you might be coming from with connecting him to the defense fund contributions so I’ll leave until you see something further in this vein you might wish to post or I find something in my own sniffing about which might fortify your notion or mine.

        Final thought on Doolittle. Unlike the rest of the frauds in the crew connected to Cunningham Doolittle strikes me as the kind of supreme weenie that William Macy portrayed so well in Fargo – so I would think if he’s indicted on something which seriously threatens to put him in some fear for the sanctity of his person he’d sing like a canary. I should think that those really behind stuffing his defense fund would know better than I & if so only too well – such that efforts might be underway to ‘dispose’ of that contingency before Bush is no longer able to autograph any more of Addington’s serialized amendments to the Constitution & won’t have to test out Addington’s last two theories: preemptive pardons & self-pardoning power. No wonder they wanted one of Meier or Algae on the SCOTUS.

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