Issa teams with Scott Walker to blast workers
Seems that Darrell Issa's been getting restless holding hearings on Presidential libraries and Freedom of Information Act requests, ducking accusations that he’s used almost a million taxpayer dollars to subsidize his personal investment portfolio, and demanding that the Obama Administration’s unprecedented efforts to improve government transparency be slashed to pay for more tax cuts for billionaires.
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:
McHenry blocks Barney Frank testimony on Dodd-Frank
Oversight business will kick off after the recess tomorrow morning with a hearing on whether Dodd-Frank reforms of the financial sector have effectively ended 'too big to fail.' Stirring up the necessary acrimony and controversy, subcommittee chair Patrick McHenry refused to allow Barney Frank -- namesake of the legislation -- to appear at the hearing. McHenry, incidentally, has received major campaign funding from the banking and insurance industries and been called out for conflicts of interest after investigating banker bonuses after accepting contributions from Countrywide.
Is Issa ready to become Dan Burton 2.0?
The folks over at Media Matters have been keeping the heat on Issa in the last week. They started by highlighting that Darrell Issa had called a major campaign contributor as a committee witness:
Issa’s net neutrality double talk
Darrell Issa has a long history in the tech industry, with close ties that continue today -- and have recently gotten him in some trouble. More personally, he's also a notorious tech junkie, unable to resist fiddling with new gadgets and the tech toys of everyone around him. So if anyone should understand how important net neutrality is, you'd think it would be Darrell Issa. But instead, he's been steadfast in walking the corporate conservative line, adopting the favorite industry astroturf demand that the government not protect equal access.
Issa’s disingenuous ‘battle royal’
Issa has hyperbolically declared the freeze a "farce" even though it would trim at least $28 billion from the federal budget over five years, and yesterday they were back at it. The crux of their argument was that Obama's proposal wouldn't eliminate literally every way for federal employees to make more money during the pay freeze period. And as it stands, federal employees make about 20% less than their private-sector counterparts, and the committee Republicans were criticizing performance bonuses that average less than $1000.
Darrell Issa’s strange priorities
Without a doubt, prioritizing is an important aspect of setting the agenda of any committee, certainly including the Oversight Committee. And working to stay focused on the big issues is important to providing needed oversight. So when a recent non-partisan report (pdf) found tens of billions wasted by private contractors in Afghanistan, it made sense that Issa would be on top of it