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Darrell Issa
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), one of the richest members of Congress and the chairman of the House Oversight Committee who promised a hearing a day after the November 2010 elections, has always been slimy little creature who refuses to accept responsibility for his own misbehavior, everything from car theft to lying about his military history.

If irony hadn't been nearly obliterated in the past decade, much might have been made about his becoming head honcho of the committee once chaired by bulldog Democrat Henry Waxman. However, ThinkProgress may have resuscitated it with its look into financial records that show Issa was adding $600,000 to his multi-million-dollar investment in Goldman-Sachs at the same time last year that he was initiating an investigation of a Securities and Exchange lawsuit into alleged fraud at the financial giant.

"The events of the past five days have fueled legitimate suspicion on the part of the American people that the Commission has attempted to assist the White House, the Democratic Party, and Congressional Democrats by timing this suit to coincide with the Senate's consideration of financial regulatory legislation," Issa says [in April 2010].

Issa's staff tells CBS News that they currently have no hard evidence that the SEC violated federal law by colluding with the White House. But they argue the timeline and the circumstances are fishy, and they point to two things in particular: the announcement of the fraud suit the week before Democrats planned to bring their financial reform bill to the Senate floor, and the amazing speed with which Organizing for America managed to purchase a Google ad directing people who typed "Goldman Sachs SEC" on Google to donate money at once the news broke on the New York Times website.

Issa generated big headlines with this move. The SEC inspector general later concluded the commission had not let politics influence its decision to launch the fraud lawsuit, which Goldman settled out of court. The massive two-years-in-the-making final assessment of the financial crisis found, in the words of Sen. Carl Levin, that "Goldman clearly misled their clients and they misled the Congress.”

Issa never took any heat for that. The question is whether he will now. As ThinkProgress discovered:

According to documents filed recently with the House Clerk, Issa went on a buying spree of high yield Goldman Sachs bonds at the same time he was running defense for the investment bank in Congress. From February to December of 2010, Issa bought 12 Goldman Sachs High Yield Fund Class A bonds, each worth up to $50,000 (view page 10 the disclosure here). Many of the bonds were purchased in the months after he filed his letter to the SEC. The $600,000 in new Goldman Sachs investments added to Issa’s already multimillion dollar stake in the company, valued from $5.1 to $15.5 million.

Issa has faced accusations that he has used his considerable political power to enrich himself. Earlier this year, ThinkProgress revealed that Issa had requested nearly $1 million in earmark projects that would have benefitted real estate owned by Issa and his family.

Matter and anti-matter have about as much chance of surviving a chance encounter in the same room as do ethics and Darrell Issa.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I thought Issa was going to spend every… (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mentatmark, strangedemocracy

    …waking hour questioning Administration officials ad nauseum. What happened to that fruitcake plan? How much of Issa's time is spend talking to legal counsel?

    Teh stoopidTM, it hurts. Buy smart, union-printed, USA-made, signs, stickers, swag for everyone:

    by DemSign on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 07:05:42 PM PDT

    •  It was a campaign slogan... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ..meant to fire up all the Fixed News Beck fans & Tea party bigots.

      The "investigation a day" promise was music to the ears of the wide swath of Obama haters who sincerely believe Obama "stole" the election.

      Meanwhile,  once elected, Issa realized not only is there nothing about the Obama administration to investigate, he also realized his right wing House is so corrupt & disfunctional, it's hard to form a politically motivated investigation committee even if you want to.

      Besides, Fixed News is doing all of Issa's "investigating" for him.

      If you have Fixed News pimping lies & smears all day everyday, forming a committee to do it becomes a moot point.

      When Fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in excess body fat and carrying a misspelled sign.

      by wyvern on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 07:32:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If you really think there is nothing (0+ / 0-)

        to investigate, I suspect you haven't been paying attention to Issa's probe of the Justice Dept. gun-running scandal—first ignored and now being heavily spun. Issa may be sleazoid, but that doesn't mean he's any less able to smell something nasty emanating from Holder's JD.

  •  They ALL what ties like this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dance you monster, hmi

    All Senators and nearly all Congressmen are tied to Wall Street directly or indirectly. Issa is hardly the exemption.

  •  Check out the New Yorker article from a few months (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    back.  The guy's a piece of work, I'm tellin ya.  

  •  Paging all the virtuous Democrats who pushed out (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Anthony Weiner while giving blanket immunity to the Bush-Cheney junta.

    NYT reader comment (via Susan Ohanian) : Arne Duncan great example of peter Principle. Failed in Chicago; then promoted so he could repeat failure on national scale.

    by Funkygal on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 07:15:32 PM PDT

  •  According to a CBS News article posted moments ago (5+ / 0-)

    Issa is in fact the richest member of the House, with an average net worth of $303,575,011.

  •  Do we have any ink ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades

    of Issa playing with his money?  

    Or do we need naked pics of him to get the media to take a gander at his private finances?

  •  Rep. Issa (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "Please step away from the House"
    "Please step away from the House"

    Modern Conservatism isn't simply about them owning as much as possible; it's also about breaking anything they can't own.

    by ontheleftcoast on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 07:27:05 PM PDT

  •  It's good to know (0+ / 0-)

    that none of this is coming up because Issa is right now pushing an investigation of the Justice Dept. Must be sheer coincidence. Just sayin'.

    •  Uh-huh. Darrell Issa the victim. Puhleez. n/t (6+ / 0-)

      Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I'll tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 07:43:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  srsly... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rubyr, deben

        I've never known anyone to defend Darrell Issa before.

        not even Dick Cheney

        or Pete Wilson

        "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

        by Sybil Liberty on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 08:03:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I know that (0+ / 0-)

        you see the world as entirely black & white—Dems are good; Republicans bad. This would be cute naivete in someone who isn't supposed to be a political commentator.

        So near as I can tell, Holder is an incompetent who is turning the JD into a mirror image of the Bush JD—politicized to a fare thee well. I didn't like it with Bush and I don't like it under Holder. And right now Issa is holding hearings on an unbelievably stupid program that was incompetently run, turned lethal, and which Holder would like to steamroll into obscurity. Now it's beginning to draw blood. So, big surprise that suddenly the knives go out for Issa.

        Like I said—I'm sure that's just coincidence. Like everything else that happens in politics.

        •  Darrell Issa is an extremist ideologue... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          john07801, Sybil Liberty

          ...who just happened to use his platform as the ranking member of the Oversight Committee to blast the SEC for attacking a company in which he had invested millions of dollars. Talk about coincidences. Poor Darrell. It's all a conspiracy against an upright crusader. Talk about naivete.


          Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I'll tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 10:02:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Move to strike (0+ / 0-)

            as non-responsive, your honor.

            I'm not talking about the SEC, nor did I defend Issa's character. You, yourself, are too much of ideologue to even consider the matter for an instant. Too bad.

            •  you're insinuating that the bringing to... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              ...light of Issa's conflict of interest and abuse of power is the consequence of the administration's being under Issa's microscope. Pardon me, counselor, if I require evidence a bit firmer than your mere suspicions.

              Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I'll tell you what you believe.

              by Meteor Blades on Thu Jun 30, 2011 at 06:33:37 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  "cute" ? (0+ / 0-)

          Media Matters

          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.

          and then of course, there's this

          The Washington Post reports:

          At the briefing last year, bureau officials laid out for Issa and other members of Congress from both parties details of several ATF investigations, including Fast and Furious, the sources said. For that program, the briefing covered how many guns had been bought by “straw purchasers,’’ the types of guns and how much money had been spent, said one source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the briefing was not public. “All of the things [Issa] has been screaming about, he was briefed on,’’ said one source familiar with the session.

          who's naive?

          "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

          by Sybil Liberty on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 10:49:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Liberty and fraternity (0+ / 0-)

            Issa, has denied that any such briefing occurred. You, of course, will choose to believe the WaPo because you despise Issa. That's your choice—but it isn't exactly rational. It's like your choice to believe that Mr. Weiner was telling the truth (OK, I admit I'm guessing, but you'd tell me if I were correct, right?). I don't know either way, but it's al least curious that no one has jumped up to confirm what was actually said in the briefing. In fact, even the Dem who was supposedly briefed has been surprisingly reticent. I think I'll let my judgment of naivete stand.

            •  and your argument with Media Matters? (3+ / 0-)


              As a CA resident, I've been watching "the man who would be governor" for years. I don't need WaPo to tell me that Issa figured out some time back, that he could make more money in politics than in street crime (an oxymoron in Issa's case) Issa is a thug, something you should know, since you're hellbent on defending him personally.

              Nope, you're way off the mark. Feel free to search my comments. You won't find me defending Weiner. I'm not a New Yorker and I'm not as familiar with his record, but once caught, it wasn't difficult to see he was lying.  

              Back to Media Matters, which you've chosen to ignore -- the question remains: Why have Republican Issa's offenses gotten a pass from the media for years but Democrat Weiner became the focus of a media shark-fest that went on for days? Yep. That is the real question.

              ....hubris all around

              "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

              by Sybil Liberty on Thu Jun 30, 2011 at 06:51:37 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  This is about the third defense of Issa in this (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sybil Liberty, brook

        diary. Whoa. Unbelievable. People are so hell bent on being against Obama/Holder that they will assert a specious defense of D. Issa. Defenders of Issa, study his history, please, he's been around a long time and has a shady little past.

        Thanks, MB, for the diary. You make an excellent and reasonable argument. His action needs to be investigated very thoroughly and properly -- but they won't be. He wouldn't be investigated if he exposed his member on Twitter either. Republicans just do not hardly ever get investigated and when they do and are found guilty, they remain in office anyway.  

        Through the looking glass again, with the Repugs, the media and too many people on this Democratic blog.

        "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

        by rubyr on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 08:55:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ummm... (0+ / 0-)

          The "3 defenses" are from the same person, who clearly has a right-wing bent.

          Do some checking on what you are talking about before you assume everything is a lefty attack-Obama conspiracy.

          It's the four pillars of the male heterosexual psyche. We like: naked women, stockings, lesbians, and Sean Connery best as James Bond.

          by RIP Russ on Thu Jun 30, 2011 at 01:57:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, second rude person in these (0+ / 0-)


            Please show me where I said:

            a lefty attack-Obama conspiracy

            I said "people on this Democratic blog." This is a Democratic blog and that is, I assume, a person writing on this blog. These are "facts." I said nothing about a "lefty attack". So, maybe it is you who should mind your own words. Perhaps I was pointing out that this was a Republican leaning person. Perhaps you do not grasp subtlety.

            What, exactly, do you gain from your nasty attacks?  

            "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

            by rubyr on Thu Jun 30, 2011 at 06:15:41 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  I recently moved to his district (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    from Pete Stark's and the only thing that pleases me about this (well, ok, aside from having a job at an awesome non-profit) is that I will be another vote against him when it comes time

  •  We need to look forward, not backward n/t (0+ / 0-)

    As a hardcore Democrat, Obama has shaken my faith. Imagine what he's done for independents.

    by Johnathan Ivan on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 07:43:16 PM PDT

  •  Birds of a feather..It's natural that Issa would (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    choose Goldman Sachs to stash his stash
    Goldman Sachs Misled Congress After Duping Clients Over CDOs, Levin Says

    The subcommittee’s findings show “without a doubt the lack of ethics in some of our financial institutions who embraced known conflicts of interest to accomplish wealth for themselves, not caring about the outcome for their customers,” said Coburn. “When that happens, no country can survive and neither can their financial institutions.”
    Even a Republican, Coburn, steps up along with Levin - (sort of.. and probably only for effect with the press corp)
    Final Assessment
    The Senate report comes less than a year after Goldman Sachs paid $550 million to resolve SEC claims that it failed to disclose that hedge fund Paulson & Co was betting against, and influenced the selection of, CDOs the company was packaging and selling.

    Goldman Sachs, in its settlement with the SEC, acknowledged that marketing materials for the 2007 CDO deal contained “incomplete information.” - emphasis added

    Incomplete information is the most admitted to. So GS doesn't want to compound their criminal behavior by perjuring themselves by denying it.
    It's up to Coburn to determine whether any referrals go forward. Again, not gonna happen:
    “We don’t need commissions to do our job and this proves it,” Coburn said. The FCIC “spent $8 million and 15 months” on its inquiry and “didn’t report anything of significance.”

    Issa's Elliot Ness "The Untouchables" fetish ain't cutting it.
    This guy is a crook, by any standard and deserved hard time.

    Thx MB for keeping the light (of the law hopefully) on this scoundel

  •  Darrell Issa is a slimeball, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rubyr, Matt Z, brook

    even by the low standards of Congressional Republicans. I still haven't forgiven him for singlehandedly screwing up California by starting all of that whole "Gray Davis is responsible for rolling blackouts that were really Enron's fault - he needs to be RECALLED!" crap ten years or so ago purely because HE wanted a cheap and easy shot at becoming governor, but didn't have the spine to go through with it as soon as a higher-profile Republican decided he was interested. If not for Issa, Davis would have served out his term and the Governator wouldn't have had nearly seven years to screw up the country's largest economy with his neanderthal economics.

    It's only a pity that Issa will probably survive redistricting in spite of himself, if for no other reason than he's a bigger jackass than Bilbray. Which really says something.

  •  Looks like a perfect (0+ / 0-)

    case for Melanie Sloan and CREW to consider for filing an ethics complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE).  

  •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    However, ThinkProgress may have resuscitated it with its look into financial records that show Issa was adding $600,000 to his multi-million-dollar investment in Goldman-Sachs

    It was a Goldman Sachs mutual fund that invested in bonds.  That's a bit different than being invested in Goldman.  The performance of the two are independent from one another.
    •  Think Progress is sorta dumb. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      According to documents filed recently with the House Clerk, Issa went on a buying spree

      He's invested in a mutual fund, and the mutual fund pays a monthly dividend.  Commonly, the dividend will be automatically reinvested back in the fund.  That's why he's got monthly purchases: it wasn't a buying spree, he just set the mutual fund up that way.

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