And, perhaps, well he should. From the Sac(ramento) Bee:

But in a telephone news conference Monday, NRCC Chairman Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., indicated that the political ground has a way of shifting.

"There’s a factor outside of normal politics that needs to be resolved," Cole said. "We’re keeping a close eye on the situation. We hope it resolves itself. We hope it turns out OK for John. …

"But it sure would be helpful to him and to us if a 3-year-old investigation was brought to a conclusion one way or the other," he said. "I am concerned as much with John’s situation as a friend and colleague as I am with that seat as a political prognosticator."

Now, surely Tom Cole knew at the time of the interview that this was an interview about primary challengers to John Doolittle. And, surely, this would be taken as encouragement to possible primary challengers. No? Why? Ethics problems:

Doolittle said after the raid that federal prosecutors think that Abramoff paid Julie Doolittle’s company for work it never performed as a way to funnel money to the congressman for help he gave the lobbyist’s clients. Doolittle has insisted that neither he nor his wife has done anything wrong.

Doolittle’s wife was also on campaign payroll and getting a percentage of funds raised. In other words, every $5k PAC check that went to Doolittle’s committee put $500 in his pocket. So Eric Egland, one possible opponent is making this the issue:

Egland said Monday he believes Doolittle cannot win if there is another matchup between the congressman and Brown.

"If John Doolittle is the nominee, we will surrender our conservative voice in Washington, D.C., for a generation," Egland said in an interview.

In a prepared statement, he said that "change is needed in Washington and the district."

"I have seen firsthand how failures in congressional ethics and leadership have corrupted our government and made our troops, our economy and our nation more vulnerable," he said.

1 Comment » Time for Doolittle to retire · September 5, 2007 at 4:45 AM

[…] Tom Cole at the NRCC has already thrown Doolittle under the bus. Perhaps it is time for him to get out? […]

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