Issa called out locally, Brings the Gov Walker agenda to DC
Darrell Issa's attempts to escape the consequences of his earmark scandal hasn't been too effective so far. In his hometown North County Times, he's gotten pinged over his personal profits from taxpayer dollars in the letters section, and the San Diego Union-Tribune has put the kibash on Issa's desperate claim that it's not a legitimate story.
Putting the Issa Enterprises band back together to defend the boss
Looks like Issa Enterprises hasn't been slowed at all by the high-profile firing of Kurt Bardella amidst scandal last month. Instead of weakening the Issa message machine, it may have just expanded the tentacles, as Bardella has resurfaced just a month later with a long, detailed defense of his old boss. It marks the latest in a stream of detailed, indignant Issa defenses in the wake of last week's ThinkProgress report that federal earmarks that Issa secured directly benefit the value of property owned by Issa's family company -- defenses that are increasingly shrill in insisting there's nothing to defend.
Issa’s fumbling response
In a perplexing attempt at damage control, Darrell Issa turned to Twitter today to respond to the Think Progress report that his personal real estate holdings have benefitted from earmarks that he requested. Issa started by releasing a letter from the regional transportation authority recommending the project, then followed up by insisting that he didn't buy the building until after he had secured nearly a million dollars in federal funding to improve it. In his further defense(?), he points out that he swore off earmarks shortly after he secured that money.
Darrell Issa bribes himself with personal earmarks
As the richest person in the House of Representatives, Darrell Issa has a vast personal empire that includes a wide range of real estate holdings. His dealings around those real estate investments have raised legal and ethical questions in the past, and more recently Roll Call has questioned the line that divides his personal and political interests. This morning, ThinkProgress reports on a far more troubling conflict:
Issa Watch Goes to Washington
With a petition containing over 18,000 signatures from Courage Campaign members—including thousands from residents of California’s 49th Congressional District -- I stopped by Mr. Issa's DC office on Wednesday to personally deliver our request that the Chairman address the growing disconnect between his record and rhetoric on the issue of transparency. Specifically, to publicly post his schedule online.
Bardella replaced, Issa back to work
Issa has moved quickly to get past the Bardella firing, bringing on former Daily Caller spox Becca Glover Watkins as his replacement. Interesting to note that Bardella had a particularly cozy relationship with the Daily Caller before his ouster, and it has served as one of the most reliable soft-landing spots for Issa quotes and spin.
Issa Enterprises responds. Sort of.
A week ago, Courage founder and chair Rick Jacobs wrote an OpEd in the San Diego Union-Tribune
questioning Darrell Issa's commitment to the serious, non-partisan oversight that our government needs. In fact, it echoed the concerns of the U-T's own editorial board, who worried in January that Issa was undermining his own credibility
even before beginning his work as chair of the Oversight Committee.
Issa didn't reply directly to the concerns that Rick Jacobs raised. Instead, the chair of the San Diego Republican Party was dispatched to defend Issa. Sort of
. I say sort of, because he doesn't actually defend Issa at all.
Chairman Issa: Oversight for whom?
In the weeks leading to Rep. Darrell Issa’s rise to chairman of the House Government Oversight Committee, publications ranging from U.S. News to The San Diego Union-Tribune expressed concerns over whether he was willing to fulfill his new responsibilities devoid of the partisan politics and special interest agendas that had so frequently undermined the efforts of his predecessors.