Saturday, June 17, 2006
Republican Family Values as seen by the NY Times
From the editorial page comes a blast at a bit of Republican corruption we have seen before and which needs more exposure.
The nation is fortunate that a sudden attempt to kill one of the hallowed anticorruption reforms from the Watergate scandal — the option of public financing in presidential elections — was smoked out in the House this week. The sponsor, Representative John Doolittle, a powerful California Republican, may try another day with his plan to block the flow of taxpayers' voluntary contributions from the government treasury. Mr. Doolittle has such faith in private money-raising that he boosted his family income by setting up his wife, Julie, as a consultant being paid a 15 percent commission on every dollar his campaign raises.And just who in DC would be dumb enough to say No?
Call it family values. Call it brazen. But the missus has received $180,000 since late 2001, operating this private business out of the couple's suburban Virginia home, including among her clients the corrupt lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
The pathetic state of Congressional ethics is that such nepotic profiteering is deemed legal so long as the compensation is "consistent with the market rate." Questions have gone unanswered about whether Julie Doolittle has any real experience in the field. Professional fund-raising associations have condemned payment by commission as unethical, but Mr. Doolittle's office defends it as legal and based on "tireless and effective work."
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