By Jueseppi B.
Darrell Edward Issa (born November 1, 1953) is the U.S. Representativefor California’s 49th congressional district, serving since 2001. He is a member of the Republican Party. He was formerly a CEO of Directed Electronics, the Vista, California-based manufacturer of automobile security and convenience products. His district consists of portions of southern Riverside County and northern San Diego County. The district was numbered as the 48th District during his first term and was renumbered the 49th after the 2000 Census. Since January 2011, he has served as Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Issa is a self-made millionaire with a net worth estimated at as much as $450 million, making him the wealthiest currently-serving member of Congress.
|Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee|
January 3, 2011
|Preceded by||Edolphus Towns|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California‘s 49th district
January 3, 2001
|Preceded by||Ron Packard|
|Born||November 1, 1953 (age 58)
Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
|Alma mater||Kent State University Stark,Siena Heights College|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||1970–1980|
The family moved to the predominantly Jewish suburb of Cleveland Heights in the later years of his childhood. Many of his friends were Jewish, and Issa reportedly worked for a rabbi at one point. He became very familiar with Jewish culture.
Military career and personal life
Issa dropped out of high school, and on his 17th birthday he enlisted for three years in the Army. He became an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) technician, trained to defuse bombs, having been inspired by a movie about such soldiers during World War II. He claimed his unit provided security for President Richard Nixon, sweeping stadiums for bombs prior to games in the 1971 World Series, and that he received the highest approval ratings during his service.
But check this out:
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Darrell Issa says that during the Vietnam War he served with an elite Army bomb unit, traveling with then-President Richard Nixon to protect him from harm.
He attended baseball’s World Series in 1971 as part of the president’s security entourage, Issa once told an interviewer.
But military records obtained by The Examiner and interviews with former soldiers cast doubt on the stories the millionaire executive-turned-politician tells about his Army days.
The records show that Issa’s service on what he terms an
“Army security team” amounted to less than six months on a bomb-disposal squad in 1971. That’s scant experience to qualify him for presidential security duty, former GI bomb experts say.
Issa couldn’t have guarded Nixon at the World Series because the president didn’t attend, according to the Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda.
According to records and interviews, Issa’s service on the bomb squad was marred by a bad conduct rating, a demotion and allegations that he had stolen a fellow soldier’s car.
And although Issa’s campaign biography says he served nine years in the Army before leaving to make his fortune in the electronics business, the records show he served for five years and three months: as an enlisted man during 1970-1972, and as a lieutenant from 1976 to 1980.
Between 1972 and 1976, he was a college student in an Army ROTC program, records show.
This is so telling about Issa’s character I will repeat the above FACTS about Issa’s lie:
However, a 1998 investigation by the San Francisco Examiner found these claims were not true, since Nixon had not attended any of that year’s World Series games. The investigation also discovered that Issa was actually transferred to a supply depot after he received an unsatisfactory evaluation. According to Issa, the Examiner reporter had misunderstood an anecdote he had related. A fellow soldier, Jay Bergey, claimed that Issa stole his Dodge Charger in 1971, when they were serving together. The day after he confronted Issa, the car was found abandoned on a nearby expressway. Asked about this in 2011, Issa denied it and suggested it was possible that other soldiers stole the car or that Bergey, who he claims had a drinking problem, had abandoned it himself while intoxicated.”
This is the man in CHARGE of the Congressional Oversight Committee??
After receiving a hardship discharge in 1972, following his father’s heart attack, Issa earned his General Educational Development (GED) certificate and began taking classes at Siena Heights University, a small Catholic college in Adrian, Michigan. He continued his military service by joining in the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC).” Twice that year he was arrested. In the first incident he was indicted by a grand jury for an alleged theft of a Maserati, but prosecutors dropped the charge shortly thereafter.
In the second incident, he was stopped for driving the wrong way on a one-way street, and a police officer noticed a firearm in his glove compartment. Issa was charged with carrying a concealed weapon; he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of possession of an unregistered firearm, and was sentenced to six months’ probation and a small fine. Issa has said he believes the record has since been expunged.
Issa graduated and was commissioned as a second lieutenant. He served in a non-combat administrative capacity from 1976 to 1980. In September 1980, while deployed with the 1/77th Armor at Fort Ord, he received high marks on a routine evaluation. Lt. Col. Wesley Clark stated, “This officer’s performance far exceeded that of any other reserve officer who has worked in the battalion.” The standardized report also stated that Issa had “unlimited potential” with a note to “promote ahead of [his] contemporaries.”
The man driving the investigation into the General Services Administration, California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, took the top seat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee after the GOP won a majority in 2010.
Issa has led several splashy investigations since. But he’s also been dogged by allegations of his own.
Issa has made news in recent months by threatening to subpoena Attorney General Eric Holder, and by calling a panel of only men to talk about women’s contraception.
The Car Alarm Voice
Issa made his fortune building and selling Viper car alarms. He is the wealthiest member of Congress, worth as much as $450 million. In fact, it’s Issa’s voice on the popular alarm’s signature warning to would-be thieves: “Protected by Viper. Stand back.”
What’s less well known is how Issa got into car alarms in the first place.
“For years I used to tell everyone that I went into it because my brother was a car thief. Then they found out when I ran for office my brother did spend time in prison as a car thief, and it ruined the whole joke I’d had for 20 years in business,” Issa said during an interview with WhoRuns Gov.
Issa himself was accused several times of auto theft. In the early 1970s, he and his brother were arrested after police suspected them of stealing a Maserati sports car from a dealership in Cleveland. Issa says the police mistook his identity, and the charges were later dismissed.
Another time, Issa was arrested and eventually pleaded guilty to carrying a concealed weapon. Police found a handgun and a tear-gas gun — plus ammunition for both — in Issa’s glove compartment.
Questions In The Past
These stories first arose when Issa ran for the Senate in 1998. An investigative reporter named Lance Williams was looking into the then-candidate’s biography.
“He had been a soldier, and he claimed that he was part of an elite bomb detecting unit that guarded President Nixon at the 1971 World Series,” said Williams.
Williams called up the Nixon Presidential Library, and was told that Nixon hadn’t gone to any World Series games that year. Then Williams looked into Issa’s purportedly stellar career in the Army.
“The biography that he was providing the press in the context of his campaign was all wrong. He had a bad conduct rating. He was demoted, and a fellow soldier accused him of stealing his car,” said Williams.
Issa eventually took over the company that built car alarms.
Ryan Lizza, a reporter for The New Yorker magazine, detailed Issa’s early business moves in a 2011 story.
Issa had a warehouse full of electronics that, one night in 1982, caught fire. Investigators later found “suspicious burn patterns,” Lizza reported, and found that Issa had done some odd things.
A co-worker claimed that before the fire, Issa had put important electronic prototypes in a fireproof box, and that he’d removed the business’s computer and financial files from the building. Investigators also found that less than three weeks before the blaze, Issa had increased the company’s fire insurance from $100,000 to more than $400,000.
“So you add the more than quadrupling of the insurance along with the taking the computer and putting the other stuff in a fireproof box, and you can see why both the arson investigators and the insurance investigators pointed a finger, you know, at Issa after this fire,” said Lizza.
Issa said he had nothing to do with the fire, but the insurance company refused to pay the claim. The two later settled out of court.
It was in part because of these allegations that Issa lost his Senate bid in 1998. He went on to win his House seat, he worked to recall the governor of California, and now he chairs the powerful House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Issa would not talk to NPR about this, but he has told several news outlets over the years that he’s surprised the allegations from his past continue to dog him.
A little bit more on Mr. Issa:
Rep. Darrell Issa, within months of leaving Army service in the early 1970s, was arrested twice on illegal-weapons charges, including an incident in Michigan that led to a misdemeanor gun conviction, The Chronicle has learned.
Issa’s weapons arrests, when he was an ex-GI and college student, have come under new scrutiny as the millionaire San Diego County Republican attempts to oust Gov. Gray Davis in an unprecedented recall campaign. Issa’s $1 million in donations have fueled the recall’s momentum.
In a news conference Tuesday, gun control groups attacked Issa as an extremist friend of the National Rifle Association who would threaten assault- weapons laws. They showed a video in which Issa’s campaign for U.S. Senate in 1998 operated a booth at a Los Angeles County gun show, where high-powered weapons and Nazi memorabilia were being sold.
On the issue of gun incidents, Issa in the past has answered questions when asked but never volunteered information. He has talked in general terms about a gun conviction, but court records reviewed by The Chronicle show that Issa was twice arrested in 1972 on weapons charges — once in Ohio, once in Michigan.
‘YOU ARE MISSING THE POINT’
Issa, speaking with reporters late Monday, implied that the issue of his gun conviction should be off limits in the campaign because it was personal and old. After the Michigan arrest, Issa was fined $100 and put on three months’ probation, court records show. Issa did not mention the separate arrest in Ohio.
“I remember plenty of the details, but I don’t think 30-year-old misdemeanors are fair play here,” Issa said. “Look, I graduated from college, but my grades are nobody’s business 30 years later, and I think we need to start looking in those terms. If you are looking at 30-year-old misdemeanors, I think you are missing the point. It’s the felonies of Gray Davis that are on trial here today. What the governor has done to California is a felony.”
Months before the Michigan incident, however, Issa was involved in another incident. Court records on file in Issa’s hometown of Cleveland Heights, Ohio, show that in March 1972, one month after getting out of the Army, Issa was arrested on charges of carrying a concealed weapon and auto theft.
The incident, which involved Issa’s older brother William, concerned the alleged theft of a new red Maserati sports car from an auto dealership. The court file doesn’t indicate the type of weapon involved or other details of the arrest.
In May 1972, a grand jury indicted Issa on a larceny charge in connection with the car theft but dropped the weapons charge. Two weeks later, a prosecutor dropped the car theft charge as well.
Months later, when Issa was attending college in Michigan, he was fined $100 and put on three months’ probation after being arrested for possession of an unregistered handgun, Michigan court records show.
The documents show that on Dec. 4, 1972, Issa was arrested by police in Adrian, Mich., a small city southwest of Detroit. At the time, Issa was a 19- year-old student at Siena Heights University, a Catholic college located in Adrian.
On Dec. 18, Issa pleaded either guilty or no contest to the charge, the records indicate. A magistrate fined him and put him on probation. He also was ordered to pay $107 in court costs, the records show. The records gave no other details of the case, and Issa didn’t offer any.
‘IT WAS A MISDEMEANOR’
“There is nothing to remember,” Issa said Monday. “I paid a $100 fine, and it (the gun) wasn’t mine, but it was something that was in my possession, and I paid the fine. It was a misdemeanor.”
A 1998 story in the Los Angeles Times contained allegations that as a businessman in 1982, Issa had brought a gun to the offices of a Cleveland auto- alarm company called A.C. Custom. The newspaper said the incident had occurred the day after Issa had won a court order giving him control of the company because it had failed to repay a $60,000 loan.
According to the newspaper, Issa carried a cardboard box into the office of an A.C. Custom executive named Jack Frantz and told Frantz he was fired. Inside the box was a handgun, the newspaper quoted Frantz as saying. Frantz said Issa had invited him to hold the gun and claimed extensive knowledge of guns and explosive from his Army service, the newspaper said.
The newspaper quoted Issa as saying, “Shots were never fired. . . . I don’t recall having a gun. I really don’t. I don’t think I ever pulled a gun on anyone in my life.” His campaign has denied the incident in later interviews as well, saying it never happened.
Issa, now serving his second term in Congress after a failed 1998 Senate campaign, has come under intense scrutiny by the media and anti-recall groups in part because he is such a large donor to the effort and because he was the first candidate to announce he wanted to replace Davis.
Taxpayers Against the Governor’s Recall demanded Tuesday that Issa “come clean” about his views on gun control. In an interview recently with the San Diego Union-Tribune, Issa said California’s assault-weapons ban “is not an area of interest or concentration” in his gubernatorial campaign, but gun control groups labeled him an extremist.
VIEWS ON WEAPONS BAN
The NRA gave Issa an “A” grade for his votes in Congress during his first term, said NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam. But he said the organization considered a series of remarks Issa had made recently on firearms issues “less than positive.” Issa has both supported and expressed skepticism about extending the federal assault weapons ban, according to separate newspaper accounts, and voted against requiring gun dealers to keep background check records longer than 90 days.
“Darrell Issa wants to take us back to the time when assault weapons ruled our streets, where we didn’t do effective background checks, when gun traffickers could buy guns in bulk, when kids could pick up guns,” said Luis Tolley, California director of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
Jonathan Wilcox, communications director for Issa’s gubernatorial campaign, said that Issa’s performance ratings from gun groups such as the NRA “stand on their own” and that Issa “strongly believes in a law-abiding citizen’s right to protect himself, herself and their family according to the law.”
Wilcox also blasted what he called the “goon squad” from anti-recall forces for releasing information about decades-old gun charges and showing a videotape of the Great Western Gun Show from May 1998, where the Issa campaign set up a booth. The video showed people selling Nazi flags and German army helmets inside the show, along with hundreds of guns, and a lone Issa worker sitting outside the entrance of the show in a booth with a large Issa sign.
“The nature and tenor of the campaign is getting way off track,” Wilcox said. “I am a little staggered that on July 1, the first day of the fiscal year with the state in an absolute financial free fall, that Taxpayers Against the (Governor’s) Recall are advancing the issue of gun control and a misdemeanor 30 years ago. It seems very far afield from the problems we have today.”
I have just ONE question for you supporters of Darrell Issa….all you TeaTardedRepubliCANTS….all you GOPretenders….all you Conselfishservatives…..If Attorney General Eric Holder OR President Of The United States Barack Hussein Obama, had just ONE of these skeletons hiding in their closet, that Congressional Oversight Committee Chairman Issa has in his dark dank closet….would either of them be in politics today?
I’ll wait over here for you supporters of Darrell Issa to answer that question.
- Congressmen Behaving Badly: Darrell Issa Shows Contemptible Disregard For The Constitution (mykeystrokes.com)
- Obama bars Congress from obtaining Fast and Furious papers (EndtheLie.com)
- ‘Fast and Furious’ scandal covers a larger Republican scandal (intrepidreport.com)
- Crusading Issa Is Same Guy I Met in 1998 (forbes.com)
- Obama Asserts Executive Privilege, Withholds Documents from House Committee (swampland.time.com)
Filed under: 2012 Election, Business, Causes, Court Room/Legal, Crime, Economy, Education, Gun Control, Gun Violence, News, Politics, POTUS Obama, Racism, The White House, Voter Suppression, Willard Mitt Romney, World News Tagged: | California, DarrellIssa, Directed Electronics, Eric Holder, Issa, Kent State University Stark, Republican, United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform