Strange Bedfellows?

Posted May 4, 2007 at 6:17pm

Rep. John Doolittle (R-Calif.) claims he is not the only Member to have suffered the indignity of an FBI raid on his home in April. [IMGCAP(1)]

In a conference call Thursday with California reporters, Doolittle said that two other Members — one Republican and one Democrat — were the subjects of FBI raids last month.

According to the Grass Valley Union newspaper, Doolittle said the raids were related to the ongoing probe of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. The FBI is investigating Julie Doolittle’s ties to Abramoff and raided the couple’s Virginia home on April 13.

But Doolittle said he did not know the identities of the beleaguered lawmakers who shared his fate. He said the information came from “well-placed sources,” which he pointed out often were used by the press to report stories. He also clarified that he was not speaking about Rep. Rick Renzi (R-Ariz.), whose family business was raided by the FBI on April 19.

But similarly “well-placed” sources told Roll Call on Friday they had no idea what the Congressman was talking about. They said they were unaware of any other FBI raids carried out on lawmakers, besides Doolittle and Renzi, during the time frame described by Doolittle.

Defense Update. First-quarter filings for legal defense funds showed little activity for the four lawmakers with active accounts. Rep. William Jefferson’s (D-La.) legal trust did not raise or spend any money, according to his disclosure report. Rep. Brad Miller (D-N.C.) also did not raise or spend any money in the period.

Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) reported $3,900 in contributions, none of which were from other Members of Congress, and he paid $7,000 in administrative costs. Rep. Corrine Brown (D-Fla.) reported raising $21,200 but spent no money in the first quarter. The next legal defense fund reports are due July 30.

Green Scene. As part of her recently announced “Green the Capitol Initiative,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) instructed the Architect of the Capitol’s office last week to take steps to ensure that the House of Representatives operates in a carbon-neutral manner by the end of the 110th Congress.

To reduce the House’s environmental impact, the new initiative, which was developed at Pelosi’s request by House Chief Administrative Officer Dan Beard, directs the AOC to ensure that all power purchased for House office buildings comes from renewable energy sources.

The plan also calls for all House desk lamps to be replaced with high-efficiency lighting within the next six months. Most ceiling lamps also will be replaced with more efficient “compact fluorescent lamps.” Pelosi also gives the AOC six months to install an ethanol-85 fueling station to be used by House vehicles.

— Rachel Van Dongen, Susan Davis and John McArdle