Doolittle’s campaign reports debt
WASHINGTON (AP) – California GOP Rep. John Doolittle’s fundraising has slowed as the congressman’s legal woes mount in a congressional influence-peddling scandal, according to federal fundraising reports filed Sunday.
Meanwhile, the likely Democratic candidate in next year’s election, retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Charlie Brown, is far outpacing Doolittle in raising money. Brown narrowly lost to Doolittle last year.
Doolittle reported raising $100,183 from April 1 through June 30, according to his quarterly Federal Election Commission report. The three-month period encompassed an FBI raid on his home in early April in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal, which forced Doolittle to step down from the House Appropriations Committee.
By contrast, the conservative nine-term congressman raised nearly $130,000 during the first three months of this year.
Doolittle has $74,383 cash on-hand and owes $106,633.
Brown reported raising $193,238 from April 1-June 30. He has $268,574 cash on-hand and owes $17,326.
Much of Doolittle’s debt – $76,000 – is owed to his wife, Julie, whom Doolittle employed as his principal fundraiser until he relieved her of those duties early this year amid criticism. He is gradually paying off the debt to her.
Doolittle reported paying $30,000 during the quarter to Williams Mullen, the Virginia law firm he hired last year to help him in the Abramoff matter. He also paid about $20,000 to another law firm, Wiley Rein & Fielding LLP, which has handled his campaign finance issues over the years.
Doolittle established a legal defense fund after the raid on his home .
He is being investigated by the Justice Department for various ties to Abramoff, with whom he is friendly, including payments that his wife received from the lobbyist for event-planning work.
Doolittle has said he plans to seek re-election, but – in addition to a likely rematch with Brown – he may face Republican opposition in the primary. At least one potential candidate already has stepped forward.