Pop go the weasels

It’s been a wild couple of weeks up in California’s 4th Congressional District.

Beleaguered incumbent Representative John Doolittle is suddenly facing primary challenges from within his own party as former supporters, including Roseville Republican Assemblyman Ted Gaines, throw their hats into the ring.

Meanwhile, two top Doolittle aides were subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury investigating the congressman’s alleged involvement in the Jack Abramoff money-for-influence scandal.

Doolittle insists that he’s running for re-election in 2008 and referred to his fellow Republican former friends-turned-political challengers as “weasels.” But he continues to struggle in the fund-raising arena; he still owes money to his wife’s company, Sierra Dominion Financial Services (which is paid 15 percent of the money raised for his campaigns); and is also attempting to raise money to pay for his legal defense.

Last Friday, retired Lt. Col. Charles Brown, the Democratic challenger who came within three percent of the vote of unseating Doolittle in 2006, announced his candidacy for the 4th’s seat. What’s more, Brown will be donating five percent of all funds raised for his campaign to veterans’ services groups.