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Doolittle sets low standard

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I am not at all surprised to find local Republican leaders like Tom Hudson rushing to the defense of former Congressman John Doolittle as he is named a co-conspirator in the Kevin Ring trial (Journal, Sept. 29). They remind me of those servile Republicans of earlier years shouting “Support Our President” as Nixon’s White House came crashing down around him. It is undesirable that the investigation surrounding Doolittle has dragged on so long, but a delayed investigation does not necessarily mean one is innocent. We should keep in mind a number of established facts pertaining to Doolittle’s conduct over the years regardless of the current investigation. 1. While a state legislator, Doolittle was one of a very few ever to be fined the maximum amount by the state Fair Political Practices Committee for improper campaign practices. 2. As a congressman, he took many thousands in campaign contributions from later convicted felon Jack Abramoff, to the extent that he referred to himself as an “Abramoff subsidiary.” While other congressmen accepted large sums from Abramoff, every one except for Doolittle returned the money! 3. This same Abramoff also hired Doolittle’s wife, Julie, to work in his office. For this she was paid almost $100,000, and it is still unclear exactly what she did for that money. 4. There are very strict laws against candidates making personal use of campaign contributions, but Doolittle got around that by calling his wife his “consultant,” thereby raking off over 15 percent of his huge campaign contributions for their personal use. No other legislator has ever done so. Doolittle continues to repeat “I have done nothing wrong.” Even if Doolittle never spends a day in prison, he set a new low standard of integrity for legislators for the entire nation he claims to love. William Thaddeus, Auburn