Darrell Issa's early history has followed and hounded him for many years. Allegations of auto theft, arson and weapons charges that never stuck; just the suspicions remain. The arrests took place years ago. There was only one conviction. What he has dismissed in the past as 'youthful indiscretions' may come home to roost since he has been thrown into the spotlight of the daily news' cycles. Mr. Issa has gone to Washington. If he thinks that his activities will escape scrutiny, he is wrong. Issa enjoys attention and the spotlight. He may, over the next couple of years, grow to hate the attention and might end up even hiding from the light. The current head of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, Issa is definitely making a name for himself! But that name is not "Mr. Clean". Mr. Issa is reportedly worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $295 MILLION dollars; at least that is what his newest disclosure form says.Mr. 'Maybe Not So' Clean, Darrell Issa! Don't Be Messing With Baseball History!
Of all the inconsistencies reported by Darrell Issa, maybe the worst is that he guarded then President Nixon during the 1971 World Series Games. According to the Nixon Library, Nixon did not attend the World Series that year. To couple America's Greatest Pastime with a lie is unforgivable, but with Issa, that little issue may be the tip of the iceberg! In 1971, Issa was a 17 year old high school dropout who had enlisted in the Army. Records show that while in the Army, he did serve in an exclusive unit for less than six months, but that he was cited for bad conduct, suffered a demotion and accused of auto theft. The San Francisco Examiner ran a scathing article in May of 1998 which helped to derail Issa's then bid for Senate. The article researched Issa's actual military record and compared that to Issa's accounts of his military service and the results were devastating for Mr. Issa. The above allegations were a part of that article.
Further, Andy Cohen, writing for the San Diego News Network, reported on June 4, 2010 that Issa spent six months on a bomb disposal team while in a college ROTC program, which hardly qualified him for elite status.
Lies, past open support of Hezbollah, multiple arrests for auto theft and weapons, shady land deals, suspicion of arson, alleged partner shakedowns and firing employees while toting a gun are enough to question the fitness of this Congressman! There is, sadly, for Mr. Issa, more.
Mr. Issa made his millions from ownership of Directed Electronics, the largest car security company in the world. The famous Viper alarm carries Issa's own voice. The manner in which Issa obtained the company has been questioned as less than ethical.
Issa reportedly invested $7000.00 in a company called AC Custom, which was owned by Joseph Adkins. Mr. Adkins reports that the company had several millions of dollars in sales yearly. Adkins borrowed $60,000.00 dollars from Issa and used his company as collateral for the loan. When he was late on the repayment of the loan, he says that he asked Issa for an extension and Issa agreed. But a few days after that conversation, Issa appeared in an Ohio court and asked for a judgment of default against Adkins. Issa took advantage of a law in Ohio that allowed a creditor to come into court without notifying the debtor and in that way, obtained the judgment. According to Adkins, Issa then phoned him and told him that he was now the boss. Adkins was shocked and to this day, claims Issa is a thief who cheated him out of his business.
Shortly after assuming ownership of AC Electronics is when the suspicious fire took place, but not before Issa quadrupled the insurance coverage and removed blueprints and a computer from the premises. The fire was determined to be arson and Darrell Issa is said to still be considered a suspect. It was reported in the Daily Kos that one of Issa's brothers who helped in the clean-up of the fire showed up with the hair singed off one of his arms.
According to Darrell Issa's financial disclosure statement, by the end of 2009, he held between $5 million and $15.5 million dollars in investments in Goldman Sachs. After the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a fraud lawsuit against Goldman Sachs in April 2010, Issa launched an investigation, alleging that the SEC may have timed the lawsuit to bolster the Democrats' push for financial reform. Clearly, Issa is against financial reform. Citizens For Responsibility and Ethics in Washington want an explanation, reported the City Beat article. Now, even more people are interested in the Goldman Sachs Connection.
"The Goldman Sachs thing is the most troubling," CREW's Melanie Sloan says. "That he recently invested money with Goldman Sachs and then is making statements protective of Goldman Sachs suggests his views may be informed more by his own financial holdings than Goldman Sachs' actions." Conflict of interest? Of course not!
Issa buys land and one of the parcels came at a $3 million dollar discount. Last summer, according to an article written by Dave Maass for San Diego City Beat on July 7, 2010, Darrell Issa's company purchased a foreclosed industrial property at the McClellan-Palomar Airport for $8.5 million dollars. The controversy, which sparked a lawsuit against the bank that handled the sale, stems from allegations that the bank declined other offers that were significantly higher than the $8.5 million paid by Issa. Additionally, the bank is accused of discouraging another prospective buyer from placing an offer on the property. That offer was for $11.5 million dollars, $3 million dollars more than Issa paid.
The case has not been decided yet, but Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham was brought down by land deals in which the details sound eerily familiar. Cunningham was sentenced in 2005 to 8 years and 4 months in prison. Coincidentally, Cunningham was the Congressman from the 50th district, the next door neighbor to Issa's 49th district.
According to Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen's Congress Watch, "This certainly raises red flags.The property could not have lost $3 million in value in two weeks, so there must be some deliberate or careless pricing of the property that benefitted Issa." A coincidence? The watchdog group said the same thing when the odd land deals made by Randy Cunningham were first reported.Issa Has A Run-In With The Border Patrol!
Maybe not as interesting, but definitely as colorful as all of the other charges leveled against Issa, is the story that appeared in the North County Times on April 26, 2002 that details Issa being chased by the U.S. Border Patrol with lights and sirens blazing, and with Issa reaching speeds of over 90 miles per hour on Interstate 5 near San Clemente, California. When he finally pulled over, he reportedly flashed his Congressional ID card and told the officer that he was a Congressman and this was HIS district! When questioned, his staff reportedly denied that the incident ever took place and that if it did, it was politically motivated... What? It never happened, but if it did? What in the world does that even mean?
The LA Times confirmed the story and spoke to Dale Neugebauer, the then Congressman's chief of staff. The Times article printed on April 22, 2002, went on to state that Issa argued with the Border Patrol agent, stating that they had no authority to stop him for speeding.
Dale Neugebauer said someone was attempting to embarrass Issa because of legislation he was sponsoring that would make it easier to fire employees of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, which includes the Border Patrol. Issa also wanted a study done to determine if the San Clemente checkpoint should be closed.
"Obviously, there is a very upset employee who leaked this memo as an act of retaliation," Neugebauer said.