Issa puts himself up for bid
One of the hallmarks of the tea party gains in the GOP has been virulent opposition to earmarks. Their newfound influence within the Republican Party has led to a strong push to eliminate the practice of earmarks altogether, and Darrell Issa hasn't missed a beat jumping on board that train.
In FY 2007, Issa requested a total of $260,738,955
in what he later called "tantamount to a bribe." It dipped a bit in FY 2008 to $112,570,000
, but he rebounded strongly for FY 2009 with earmark requests totalling $214,367,000
. And let's remember that it was just a few weeks after submitting those FY2009 earmark requests that he was trying to block health care for 9/11 first responders, saying
"I have to ask ... why the firefighters who went there and everybody in the city of New York needs to come to the federal government for the dollars versus this being primarily a state consideration."
As though he felt compelled to shine even more light on his hypocrisy with respect to earmarks, it’s worth noting that Issa requested a $5 million earmark in FY 2007 for a project submitted by the giant defense contractor SAIC. Interestingly, according to the Center for Responsive Politics
, SAIC has been Issa's single largest source of campaign contributions throughout his Congressional career. Between FY 2007 and 2008, Issa submitted $13 million in earmark requests to benefit another defense contractor, BAE Systems. BAE clocks in at fifth on Issa's career top contributor list.