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CA-04: John Doolittle vs. Charlie Brown

Let’s say it up front: The re-election of Rep. John Doolittle (R.-Calif.) would not even be discussed—much less highlighted in the national media—were it not for the fact that his wife once worked briefly for the Washington-based Greenberg-Traurig law firm at a time when the managing partner was one Jack Abramoff. The congressman’s wife left the firm after a brief period and no one has ever accused her of any wrongdoing.

Julia Doolittle also briefly did fund-raising work for the Capital Athletic Foundation, which was founded by lobbyist Abramoff (and whose board members included such luminaries as Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder).

But because of the brief and distant association between Abramoff and the congressman, media questions about Doolittle’s “Abramoff connection” abound in his re-election bid. Without explanation or elaboration, the Washington Post, for example, said that Doolittle’s “well-documented ties to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff may be an albatross.” Questions about Abramoff pop up repeatedly at Doolittle events and, to no one’s surprise, the left-wing Sacramento Bee weighed in with a strong endorsement of his opponent, Democrat Charlie Brown, a retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel and Iraq war veteran.

At first glance, first-time candidate Brown seems to have a solid résumé and would appear to be very much in tune with the Placer County (Sacramento)-based 4th District that is home to more than 102,000 veterans.

But a closer look at the Democratic hopeful shows that he is light years removed from the district that gave George W. Bush 61% of its vote in ’04 and that has routinely given Doolittle (lifetime American Conservative Union rating: 95%) 60% to 65% of the vote ever since 1990.

Brown says his first objective is to repeal the Bush tax cuts and that permission from Mexico should first be obtained before the congressionally approved fence along our Southern border is built. The Democratic nominee also salutes Murtha, Howard Dean, and Cindy Sheehan on Iraq: He opposed the war from the beginning and now demands a timetable for withdrawal of U.S. troops.

Brown is also a card-carrying member of the ACLU, which has a particular involvement in Placer County: When a local elementary school posted a “God Bless America” sign after 9/11, the ACLU threatened to sue the Rocklin School District to force its removal. But local parents rallied, and the ACLU backed down.

Rumor, innuendo, and national dark clouds for Republicans have combined to put a stalwart conservative lawmaker in the “vulnerable” column. Conservatives must rally to him against Charlie Brown as a way to say: “You’re a good man, John Doolittle.”

Written By

John Gizzi has come to be known as â??the man who knows everyone in Washingtonâ? and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on whatâ??s going on in the nationâ??s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as â??Gizzi on Politicsâ? and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of â??Gizziâ??s America,â? video interviews that appear on Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. Johnâ??s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com

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