Rep. Doolittle campaign in debt as legal woes mount | SierraSun.com

Rep. Doolittle campaign in debt as legal woes mount

Erica Werner
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) ” California GOP Rep. John Doolittle’s fundraising has slowed and he lags his likely Democratic opponent in money as the congressman’s legal woes mount in a congressional influence-peddling scandal.

The nine-term conservative from Rocklin reported raising $100,183 from April 1 through June 30, according to his quarterly Federal Election Commission report, filed Sunday. The three-month period encompassed an FBI raid on his home in early April in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal.

By contrast Doolittle raised nearly $130,000 during the first three months of this year.

Doolittle has $74,383 cash on-hand and owes $106,633.

The Democrat Doolittle narrowly beat last year, retired Air Force lieutenant colonel Charlie 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 canceled the practice early this year amid criticism.

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.

Doolittle is being investigated by the Justice Department for various ties to Abramoff, including payments that his wife received from the lobbyist for event-planning work.

Doolittle says he plans to seek re-election but in addition to the likely rematch with Brown he may face Republican opposition in the primary. At least one potential candidate already has stepped forward.

In a press release, Doolittle’s campaign characterized the representative’s second-quarter fundraising as a sign of continuing support for his re-election.

“Local Republicans are committed to my re-election in 2008,” Doolittle said in a prepared statement. “The outpouring of support ” endorsements, volunteer efforts and financial contributions ” is very encouraging.”