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Doolittle names new chief of staff

Rep. John Doolittle, whose home was searched by FBI agents last month in an apparent connection with the ongoing investigation into convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff, has appointed a new chief of staff.

Ron Rogers, a long time California Republican political operative replaces Richard Robinson, Doolittle's previous chief of staff, who said he is taking a three-month break to spend time with his family before finding other employment.

Capitol Alert has a copy of a letter sent by Rogers to his friends and supporters regarding his new position, where he notes that he will continue to live and work out of Northern California.

In it, Rogers says to "make no mistake...a conservative stalwart is under attack" and that he has taken on the job for a challenge. "I could not stand by and watch it happen," he writes.

"OK, you read the newspapers, blogs and internet news," Rogers said. "So you know this is a challenge. Enough said on that."

John Doolittle has been on the front lines fighting for those principles his entire life. Challenging and defeating liberal incumbents, encouraging and supporting conservative candidates, championing legislation and supporting issues that allowed Republicans to win control of the House of Representatives.

Now, those that didn't like his being the giant killer and champion of Republican victories see an opportunity to bring him down. In my opinion, they are being joined by a group of weak followers coveting his position.

The letter ends, "Finally, I ask for your support and prayers. Remind me when I am too boastful or proud. Encourage me when the arrows hit close. Continue to be my friends. Thanks."

Here's the full letter:

I am excited to let you know that I have accepted the job of Chief of Staff to California Congressman John T. Doolittle. I have known the Congressman for over 20 years and had the pleasure of working closely with him during my tenure with Senate Republican Leader Ken Maddy. I look forward to the challenge of directing his capitol and district staff as well as advising the Congressman on government and political affairs.

During my conversations with Congressman Doolittle and his staff, I shared the three criteria that were important in making this decision and any major change in my life including taking a new job.

First, as you all know, I don't want to do anything that dramatically alters my life. I like my life in Northern California. I love my family and friends and feel passionately about my involvement with my community of faith.

So, I am NOT moving to Washington and away from family, friends and church. Already, during my transition as part of the staff, I've realized there is a very strong focus, by the Congressman and his staff, on family, relationships and community . I feel very comfortable here and look forward to building lasting friendships.

Second, I wanted to have a challenge.

OK, you read the newspapers, blogs and internet news. So you know this is a challenge. Enough said on that.

Third, I want to advance the cause of Republican principles and conservative governance.

John Doolittle has been on the front lines fighting for those principles his entire life. Challenging and defeating liberal incumbents, encouraging and supporting conservative candidates, championing legislation and supporting issues that allowed Republicans to win control of the House of Representatives.

Now, those that didn't like his being the giant killer and champion of Republican victories see an opportunity to bring him down. In my opinion, they are being joined by a group of weak followers coveting his position.

Make no mistake about it - this challenge is real. A conservative stalwart is under attack.

I could not stand by and watch it happen. Anymore than when California elected officials attacked then Governor Ronald Reagan in New Hampshire in 1976 or Attorney General George Deukmejian in 1982. I left the security of comfortable jobs to enter each of those battles. I fought hard and am proud of the work we all did together in so many important campaigns.

I do so gladly now.

Attached is a press release announcing my appointment. You can reach me at the telephone and email address below.

Finally, I ask for your support and prayers. Remind me when I am too boastful or proud. Encourage me when the arrows hit close. Continue to be my friends. Thanks.

Keep the faith,

Ron

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