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 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.
Issa’s muddle of hearings
In an interview with Univision, President Obama said "a serious mistake" may have been made in the Project Gunrunner situation. He noted that the Justice Department Inspector General will be conducting an investigation of the matter and said "we'll hold someone accountable" if a improper behavior is uncovered in that investigation. Darrell Issa continued to press his own investigation independent of the Justice Department, which is at direct odds with his own standard for the Oversight Committee. In 2007, he told C-Span "we're supposed to allow the Administration to do its investigation, and then we do oversight -- we're not investigators." That sentiment hasn't prevented Issa from issuing subpoenas over the incident, it seems that since control of the White House changed and Issa got the gavel, his tune has changed significantly.
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 to Obama: I’m rubber and you’re glue.
What?! Lack of transparency? This coming from the Chairman of one of the most powerful Congressional Committees, who refuses to disclose which lobbyists he meets with?
Darrell Issa’s getting along much better with lobbyists than the President
Following up on Issa's "Worst Week in Washington", the Watchdog Institute follows up with details of the close ties between Issa and lobbyists for the industries he's supposed to be watching. This time, they begin naming names.
The politics of business
Roll Call continues tugging on a thread it uncovered late last week, asking further questions about Darrell Issa's blurry ethical distinction between public and private business. On Tuesday, Paul Singer noted that Issa's DEI entity -- sometimes a reference to his initials, sometimes to his company Direct Electronics Inc -- had been bleeding over into government business in a few instances.
Waste, hypocrisy, a reality check, and fail from Issa
One of the earliest concerns about Issa's plans for 'a hearing a day' was that all those document requests would eat up large amounts of staff time. Specifically, that if Issa ended up consistently going fishing, he would create the sorts of efficiency problems he was trying to find. Against that backdrop is recent news that the Department of Homeland Security tasked a 21-person team to handle document requests from Issa.
What does the Issa firing tell us?
Darrell Issa has been in the headlines this week for all the reasons that politicians don't want to be in the headlines. Driving the attention is the firing of spokesman Kurt Bardella after Politico raised concerns about Bardella's cooperation with a New York Times reporter that involved sharing correspondence with other reporters. This would mostly be a tabloid-style sideshow in other times, and much of the press coverage has taken that focus. However, as Ryan Lizza points out, this points again to the deeper forces at play around Issa right now. According to Lizza, Issa's office knew full well about Bardella's sharing of the emails, but it also reveals a deeper concern