January 8, 2006

Doolittle on the Hot Seat

Growing up, my congressional representative was John Doolittle. If you think that Congressman Doolittle sounds like a cartoon, you might be right. Doolittle is the platonic ideal of a DeLay back-bencher. Not one political position that would surprise you. Always goes the conservative way. Gets in fights with the rest of the Sacramento-Area Congressional delegation over a new dam, of all things. A bland nothing of a Congressman who has a nice safe conservative district. But his wife was on Abramoff's payroll, he isn't returning his Abramoff $$$. And now this. Reps. John Doolittle and Richard Pombo went to bat in a big way for a Houston millionaire under investigation for his role in the collapse of a Texas savings and loan. The two Reps used the Congressional Record to sabotage the investigation:

The effort to help Hurwitz began in 1999 when DeLay wrote a letter to the chairman of the FDIC denouncing the investigation of Hurwitz as a "form of harassment and deceit on the part of government employees." When the FDIC persisted, Doolittle and Pombo, both considered proteges of DeLay, used their power as members of the House Resources Committee to subpoena the agency's confidential records on the case, including details of the evidence FDIC investigators had compiled on Hurwitz.

Then, in 2001, the two congressmen inserted many of the sensitive documents into the Congressional Record, making them public and accessible to Hurwitz's lawyers, a move that FDIC officials said damaged the government's ability to pursue the banker.

The FDIC's chief spokesman characterized what Doolittle and Pombo did as "a seamy abuse of the legislative process." But soon afterward, in 2002, the FDIC dropped its case against Hurwitz, who had owned a controlling interest in the United Savings Assn. of Texas. United Savings' failure was one of the worst of the S&L debacles in the 1980s.

This is an amazingly blatant abuse of power on behalf of a crooked, wealthy donor. That seat is looking a little less safe.

1 comment:

Ellie said...

Ya know what's funny? I never even heard of Congressman Doolittle until I saw Fahrenheit 9-11 and witnessed to my extreme amusement his rather hasty retreat from documentarian Michael Moore. "I don't wanna talk to you!" got me very interested in this man's political persuasion. Oh, and by the by, I once did also desire to write for Rolling Stone and Slate (still harbor fantasies about RS)