Issa sought funds via “easy way to end up with corruption in government”
Yesterday, Darrell Issa was flummoxing himself
trying to figure out whether he knows Rupert Murdoch or not, and whether or not that might be a reason not to investigate the billion-dollar NewsCorp scandal. Today, it turns out Issa doesn't know how he feels about loan guarantees for green energy companies. This month, Issa is outraged about it because there are tangential ties between Solyndra and the Obama administration, but last year he was not only a fan, he was actively requesting loans
from the Department of Energy for California companies:
Republican Representative Darrell Issa, who said government subsidies to specific companies can encourage corruption, sought U.S. help in the past for clean- energy projects in his home state of California.
Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, wrote Energy Secretary Steven Chu to support an Energy Department loan for Aptera Motors Inc., a Carlsbad, California, electric-car maker, according to a letter received by the department Jan. 14, 2010.
“Awarding this opportunity to Aptera Motors will greatly assist a leading developer of electric vehicles in my district,” Issa wrote in letters obtained yesterday.
“There’s been this attitude that somehow the government can weigh-in with loan guarantees and money and pick specific company winners and losers,” Issa said yesterday on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” program. “We see that as a backdoor, easy way to end up with corruption in government.”
This throws a big bucket of cold water on Issa's credibility in chasing Solyndra, again underscoring the political calculations going into what he chooses to investigate and what he chooses to ignore
But this is just the latest in a long history of Issa twisting himself in knots over steering money to specific projects. From Fiscal Years 2007-2009, Issa requested nearly $600 million in federal earmarks, including several for his leading campaign donors
. Then he swore off earmarks
and declared that "an earmark is tantamount to a bribe.
It was in those earmarks though that Issa secured nearly $1 million in earmarks
that benefit his private investments, but as Bloomberg's report today highlights, after equating earmarks to bribes, Issa simply switched to a different process for trying to steer federal investment to his district and the surrounding areas -- just not technically using earmarks to do it.
But now, all that work that Issa put in trying to direct federal investment towards specific companies was, according to Issa, an "easy way to end up with corruption in government."
Since the questionable intermingling between Issa's public behavior and private investments has already merited ethics charges, Issa is uniquely positioned to comment on the issue. Turns out, by Darrell Issa's own assessment, corruption gets into government via all the mechanisms he's used to steer taxpayer dollars to his own pet projects.
Good to know.