Darrell Issa, the GOP Congressman from California and Head of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has decided to interject himself into a court case brought by the National Labor Relations Board against Boeing. The NLRB has filed suit, claiming that Boeing has not only engaged in union-busting tactics, they allege that Boeing has broken federal labor laws. Issa, who is not an attorney, has tried to block the NLRB at every turn because he says that the courts could decide against Boeing, and that would be a "job-killing precedent".
In June, Issa threatened to eliminate the NLRB. "We could eliminate the NLRB or take the premise and statutorily change it," said Issa, R-Calif. "This [lawsuit] could lead to repercussions in America's competitiveness."
That a member of Congress decides he is qualified to interfere with ongoing litigation is a bit of an overreach, to say the least, but Issa has vast experience with courts, lawyers and the justice system, albeit the criminal justice system. How much experience? Let's review!
Darrell Issa, Multi-Millionaire Congressman Is Definitely Not Mr. Clean!
Darrell Issa, Republican Congressman from California has a checkered past, with multiple arrests for auto theft and weapons charges. Issa was also suspected of arson for a fire that destroyed one of the buildings he owned and suspected of strong-arming a partner with a gun. Now, the man who sobbed for television cameras when his party backed Arnold for governor of California instead of him, is using taxpayer money to pursue the NLRB and even threaten to shut them down.
When Issa became the Republican hatchet man who was almost solely responsible for the recall of California's Governor Gray Davis in 2003, he had to use his own money. At that time, Issa donated almost 2 million dollars to the recall effort because he had plans to be crowned the new and improved governor of California. Issa's ambitions to govern the state in which he was, years earlier, indicted along with his brother for auto theft, never came to fruition because the Republican party pulled the rug out from under Issa and his dreams of power.
He sobbed openly when withdrawing his name as the chosen one. His party had betrayed him, so now Issa will try again to make a name for himself with his party. He had stated that he planned to hold at least seven hearings a week as head of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform aimed at the bringing down the Obama administration and while falling short of that promise, fancies himself as someone empowered by his position, to stop ongoing court litigation.
Just Who Is Darrell Issa And What Is His Past?
First, Issa's history with auto theft charges:
In 1971, Issa reportedly took a Dodge sedan from an Army post where he was stationed near Pittsburgh. There were no charges filed in that case, but the story was leaked to the press by a retired Army sergeant, who says he threatened Issa and then was able to retrieve the car.
As a college student in 1972, Issa and his brother were arrested by law enforcement in Cleveland, suspected of stealing a red Maserati from an auto dealership. The witnesses recognized Darrell and his brother, William, as they pushed the Maserati down the street.
The third incident took place in San Jose, California. In 1980, Issa, then 27 years old, and his brother William, 29, were again arrested and this time indicted on felony auto theft charges. William Issa, using his brother's second driver's license, sold younger Darrell's cherry red Mercedes to a dealer for $16,000.00. Three hours after William received and cashed the check, Darrell reported the car stolen. The police also charged Darrell because his answers to questions were inconsistent. Why did he have two driver's licenses? Initially, Issa denied having two driver's licenses, but then changed his story. Simple, responded Issa. He did not like the way his picture came out in the first one. As to whether Darrell knew the identity of the man pictured in the composite drawing of the suspect (his brother), Issa stated he did not know who the man was, but would like to send the picture to his mother to see if she knew who it was.
According to detectives, the composite was so detailed that it was clearly a composite of William. That answer and answers to other questions created so much doubt in the minds of the police officers involved, they arrested and charged both brothers, even though Darrell reportedly offered to pay the auto dealer more than the $16,000.00 that William was paid in order to end the ordeal.
In 1982, Issa was suspected, but never charged in a suspicious arson fire that burned his Ohio manufacturing plant. Although there was insufficient evidence to prosecute Issa, the police suspected he was behind the fire based on two facts. Just a few weeks prior to the fire, Issa increased the fire insurance coverage to quadruple the original amount and according to the company bookkeeper, Karen Brasdovich, a few days before the fire, records and a company computer were removed from the plant, which was completely out of character for Issa. Charges were not filed due to lack of evidence, but the suspicions remain.
Issa was also arrested twice for weapons charges, once in Ohio and once in Michigan. While Issa was in Ohio, he was given the job of firing a high level executive, Jack Frantz. Frantz recalls that Issa came into his office carrying a box. Issa opened the box and showed Frantz a gun. Frantz knew he was being fired and felt that was Issa's method of intimidating him. Frantz relayed the story to the Los Angeles Times and in response, Issa told the reporter, "No shots were ever fired." He further stated that he doesn't even remember whether he had a gun that day. The bookkeeper backed up Frantz's story, telling the LA Times that day was frightening.
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