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Thursday, August 25, 2011 

Oversight re-hires Bardella, cites multi-millionaire CEO on small businesses


~ Back in March, Kurt Bardella was a rising star working communications for Darrell Issa. Then he was fired for a breach of trust after secretly sharing information with a reporter. Now he has a new job -- as a staffer for the Oversight Committee. But, as Media Matters notes, there are still major inconsistencies about who knew what, with explicitly conflicting stories. At the time, Issa said that Bardella's superiors were unaware of what he was doing, and fired him after finding out. This time, Bardella's superiors are obviously aware of what he's done, and they're the same superiors. Apparently the breach of trust that was fireable in March is no longer a problem.
~ A little-noted provision of Darrell issa's plan to dramatically scale back the post office is the elimination of discounted rates for non-profits. Non-profits say it would dramatically reduce their ability to fundraise with direct mail.
~ Back in 2007, Darrell Issa suggested pretty clearly that if then-Oversight Chairman Henry Waxman were to investigate Blackwater, it would be a threat to Waxman's personal safety. But at the same time, he clearly declared that, as members of the Oversight Committee, "we're supposed to allow the administration to do its investigation...we're not investigators." Which is why it's odd now that Issa is resisting a request from the Justice Department for records to do with the Fast and Furious investigation. Given Issa's own record of demanding full and unquestioned sharing of documents -- even if they undermine ongoing court cases -- it's even more hypocritical.
~ All year, Issa has been trumping the American Job Creators website as a mechanism for small business owners to provide feedback, positive or negative, about government policies. Currently featured at that site and on the homepage of the Oversight Committee is a video from the CEO of CKE Restaurants -- which had more than $5.5 billion in revenue in 2007 and employs more than 157,000 people. That's a surprisingly liberal definition of "small business," even from a guy who thinks that $250,000 a year is middle class.
Incidentally, CKE's PAC has been an active supporter of California Republican candidates. CEO Andy Puzder (who pulls in more than $7 million a year) is a huge funder of the Republican Party, including personally providing $100,000 in seed money for Mitt Romney's SuperPAC a few months ago.


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