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Behind Darrell Issa’s Witch Hunt Is an Ethics Challenged Partisan Hack

more from Sarah Jones
Wednesday, June, 20th, 2012, 3:36 pm

Darrell Issa is abusing taxpayer money in campaign season for partisan political gain. In other words, his contempt charges against Holder that he is fine filing without any evidence is all a show and it’s all politics. It’s meant to drive the headlines it’s driving. Holder contempt! Obama executive privilege!

Underneath the screaming, Issa has no evidence yet, but he does have a lot of pomp and play to the circus. This is all an election year strategy. While claiming he is not the business of government overthrow (oh, really? look around at your party, Issa), Issa made a point of saying he would investigate the Obama administration if Republicans won in 2010.

Back then, Issa was referring to a different “Obama Watergate.” We note how desperate Republicans are to spread their shame in equal measure, even if it’s unearned. Issa didn’t shy away from pointing out that at this point (specifically, in 2010 when Republicans were handed the power to witch hunt) he had no plans to impeach the President.

“Not a chance at this point. I don’t see it happening,” Issa said when asked if there is a chance of impeachment on Bloomberg’s “Political Capital”.

“Look, disagreeing with the president — the president using his authority, maybe even misusing it — that’s not what impeachment’s for,” he added. “Do we have disagreements? Yes. Do we want to see that the president strictly adheres to process? Yes.”

That was back when Bachmann suggested letting Congress decide if Obama should be impeached over his immigration policy, which is like suggesting that he should be impeached for using the powers vested in him by the American people. Crazy? It’s Bachmann.

The Huffington Post reported on Issa’s admission that these investigations are timed to come to fruition over campaign season:

Issa, one of the richest members of Congress with a net worth well over $100 million, acknowledged in an interview that key investigations “are maturing as the campaign season gets going.” He said a recent swarm of allegations and negative inferences about him are not unexpected.

But he has focused the bulk of the committee’s investigative resources in high-profile issues that could provide fodder for the 2012 election campaign.

Issa claims the investigations into his own business holdings are just retribution. Perhaps. But then, he does have quite the problem with his financial holdings posing a direct conflict of interest with his position, and he refuses to put his holdings in a blind trust. That’s on him, and it’s not cool.

In September of 2011, American Family Voices filed an ethics complaint against Issa for using his public position of trust to promote his private financial interests.

Citing numerous, reported instances of U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA-49) using his public position to advance his private financial interests, American Family Voices today filed a complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE).

Mike Lux, President of American Family Voices: “Alarms have been going off for some time about Darrell Issa’s apparent conflicts of interests, and the OCE should immediately review whether the Congressman has inappropriately exploited his position of power for personal gain… Rep. Issa should welcome with open arms such a review by the Office of Congressional Ethics into these apparent conflicts of interest.”

Want to know why? The New York Times (read in full) reported:

Even as he has built a reputation as a forceful Congressional advocate for business, Mr. Issa has bought up office buildings, split a holding company into separate multimillion-dollar businesses, started an insurance company, traded hundreds of millions of dollars in securities, invested in overseas funds, retained an interest in his auto-alarm company and built up a family foundation.

As his private wealth and public power have grown, so too has the overlap between his private and business lives, with at least some of the congressman’s government actions helping to make a rich man even richer and raising the potential for conflicts.

He has secured millions of dollars in Congressional earmarks for road work and public works projects that promise improved traffic and other benefits to the many commercial properties he owns here north of San Diego. In one case, more than $800,000 in earmarks he arranged will help widen a busy thoroughfare in front of a medical plaza he bought for $16.6 million.

Then there was his partisan refusal to allow Sandra Fluke to testify regarding women’s health (apparently clergy know more than she about women’s health):

Issa, you remember, stated that Sandra Fluke could not offer her testimony to a hearing by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on the new Administration rules on Conscience Clause exceptions in health care because, he said, health care is a religious issue and Fluke was only a woman with a vagina, not a clergy member without one. What could she possibly have to contribute to a discussion about her own vagina, after all? That is a matter for priests to decide.

And then, in September of 2011, Issa’s pattern became predictable:

Issa’s consistent pattern of “oversight” in the form of partisan witch-hunts and Obama-bashing has finally sapped the committee of any remaining credibility.

• At the same time he railed against the Obama Administration’s green energy initiatives, he sought a Department of Energy loan for a major GOP campaign contributor.
• He’s continuing to protect his friend Rupert Murdoch by refusing to investigate the NewsCorp scandal, despite calls from his colleagues to do so.
• His office violated a federal judge’s order by releasing sealed information to the press about an ongoing investigation.

Speaking of partisan hacks, Issa claimed he didn’t know Rupert Murdoch when questioned about why he is refusing to investigate News Corp (Fox News parent), yet earlier, when defending Fox News for being owned by foreigner, the non-friend of Murdoch claimed he knew Murdoch, and hence trusted his agenda:

ANG: Well what do you think about Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, he’s one of the owners of Fox News. He owns the largest stake in News Corp. outside the Murdoch family.
ISSA: Well, I know Rupert Murdoch so I would certainly say he signs onto Rupert’s agenda, not the other way around.

As Think Progress points out, News Corp’s alleged violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act is exactly the sort of thing Issa is supposed to be investigating in his little witch hunt committee.

But instead of going after real problems, Issa uses his political position for financial gain and the protection of his “friends” and prosecution of political enemies. It’s just another way Republicans win elections. We all recall the controversial firing of nine U.S. Attorneys and politically motivated prosecutions.

Until Darell Issa even allows an investigation into News Corp, it’s clear that he is using his power for partisan political advantage. There exists enough evidence for the DOJ to investigate News Corp, and so there is definitely enough for Issa to investigate. Instead, he holds his fire for only the other side – a tactic that should render his accusations meaningless. He’s on a witch hunt. Surely he should be able to scrounge up a few nuggets for the press to aid Romney in his bid for the White House, but to what end?

If Republicans only use their office to get more power for their side and never for the good of the people, if their values only extend one way, what do they stand for?

And what report on Issa would be complete without reference to his alleged illegal past? Media Matters reported:

Rep. Darrell Issa’s past includes arrests for weapons charges and auto theft, suspicions of arson, and accusations of intimidation with a gun, but you’d hardly know it from the media’s recent coverage of the new chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. While Issa was substantially mentioned in 15 articles in the nation’s largest newspapers since the last election — including several major profiles — only one of those articles mentioned any of these allegations. Likewise, interviewers did not ask Issa about his alleged criminal past in any of the cable or network interviews he sat for during that period.

Sure, this guy has all of the cred of any person with an alleged criminal background, dirty conflicts of interest, and a history of abusing power for political and financial gain and he has the corporate press aiding and abetting his narrative. Democrats dirty. Issa clean. Republicans clean. Forget WMD and the blue dress. Watch the clown show!

Issa and his frat buddies make the mistake of thinking they are dealing with Clinton Democrats, and they are not. They are now messing with post-Clinton witch hunt Democrats, also known as Obama Democrats. These Democrats know all about the dirty tricks and the partisan attacks. If they get mad enough, they can always go kick that Bush rock.

You know, the one dripping in the blood of innocents. The war criminal rock.

With so much at stake personally, you’d think Issa would back off. But no. Republicans still think it’s the 1990’s.

If Republicans could sell the American people on their ideas, they wouldn’t need to put on the Big Show every election cycle, wasting our tax dollars on their circus. We note that Democrats avoid prosecutions and investigations near an election, so as to NOT distract from the issues; whereas, Republicans do everything in their power to distract the public from the real issues.

Now, why do you suppose they don’t want you thinking about their tax policy, their corporate agenda, or their war mongering?

Wouldn’t you rather watch the Big Show? Issa might dance next! Dance, Issa, dance.

Follow Sarah Reese Jones on Twitter.




Behind Darrell Issa’s Witch Hunt Is an Ethics Challenged Partisan Hack was written by Sarah Jones for PoliticusUSA.
© PoliticusUSA, Wed, Jun 20th, 2012 — All Rights Reserved

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