Talking Points Memo: GOP, Dems Square Off Over NLRB Case Against Boeing

-By Susan Crabtree

June 17, 2011- Republicans and Democrats on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee repeatedly clashed Friday over the politically charged National Labor Relations Board complaint against Boeing Co. and its decision to locate a nonunion plant in South Carolina.

Even before the field hearing in Charleston, S.C., got underway, Democrats were accusing Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) of trying to intimidate the NLRB by hauling the agency's top lawyer, Lafe Soloman, before the panel.

Soloman reluctantly agreed to testify under threat of a subpoena, and Democrats on the panel complained throughout the lengthy hearing that Issa was attempting to pressure the NLRB amid an ongoing enforcement case.

D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) was particularly annoyed and testy throughout the hearing, arguing that forcing Soloman to testify was an unprecedented act by the committee and would "taint the legal proceeding."

Crooks & Liars: The Smoking Gun: Attack On Weiner Was Coordinated With Darrell Issa's Office. Hmm.

-By Susie Madrak 

June 8, 2011- So while Weiner did what he did, looks like the attack on his Twitter escapades was helped along by a political heavy hitter's office. I'm sure it's just a coinky dink!

When are Democrats going to learn you don't play nice with these people? There's a lot of dirt on these Republicans, and it's time the Dems started acting just like they do. It's a shame, really:

JUNE 6--The online duo who spearheaded a vicious months-long Twitter assault on Representative Anthony Weiner--whom they accused of improper contact with underage girls--apparently consulted with an aide to a powerful House Republican as they mulled over how to release information about Weiner’s purported relationship with a Delaware teenager, The Smoking Gun has learned.

San Diego Union-Tribune: Company Issa founded underpaid tariffs

The car-alarm maker remitted $2.5 million in back payments and interest this year

May 18, 2011- The Vista car-alarm company once owned by Congressman Darrell Issa was paying about half the required tariffs on certain parts it imported from China for years and paid an estimated $2.5 million in back duties earlier this year to rectify the situation.

Issa no longer owns DEI Holdings Inc., although he is still on the board of the company, which is being sold to Boston-based Charlesbank Capital Partners for $285 million in cash.

In a prepared response to questions from The Watchdog, Issa said he was aware of the misclassifications and participated in efforts to resolve them.

“Once these issues came to the attention of the board of directors, we called for an independent review by expert counsel,” he wrote. “My understanding is the company has made appropriate tariff adjustments and disclosures both to Customs and our independent auditors.”

Huffington Post: White House Hires Communications Hand To Handle Issa Oversight

May 11, 2011- The Obama administration is staffing up in preparation for expanded oversight and inquiries from a Republican-run House of Representatives.

Eric Schultz, the former communications director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, officially joined the White House on Monday. While his portfolio will include issues primarily dealing with the Department of Justice, another key function will be to handle matters relating to and resulting from investigations launched by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight Committee.

“Eric Schultz started Monday. He will be one of three associate communications directors, alongside Kate Bedingfield and Sandra Abrevaya," said a top administration official. "Eric’s portfolio of issues will focus mainly on DOJ and other oversight-related topics.”

Huffington Post: Darrell Issa, Fighting Obama Disclosure Order, Accused Of Doing Donor's Bidding

May 10, 2011- The Obama administration hasn't yet tipped its hand as to when, or if, the president will sign an executive order requiring government contractors to disclose campaign contributions made by their directors, officers, affiliates or subsidiaries. But other political forces aren't waiting for the White House to act.

On Monday, House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) sent a letter to the administration threatening to subpoena officials to testify on the matter if they declined to do so voluntarily. Issa's chief complaint has been that the executive order, which would reportedly apply to donations made by contractors to federal candidates, political party committees and vaguely defined "third-party entities," unfairly targets private-sector businesses while leaving union groups exempt.

Talking Points Memo: Fired Issa Aide Kurt Bardella Lands At Daily Caller

April 15, 2011- It didn't take long for Kurt Bardella, the once fast-rising spokesman for House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa who was fired for sharing reporters' e-mails, to land back on his feet.

Bardella, who left his post with Issa early last month, will become the Daily Caller's new communications director.

"Kurt's talent, energy and experience will be an instrumental part of the Daily Caller's evolution from start-up to news staple," Daily Caller founder Tucker Carlson said in a press release announcing the hire. "As we turn our focus towards covering the 2012 election cycle, Kurt is the first of many new hires we expect to announce in the near future."

In an ironic twist, the move almost represents a direct trade between Issa and the Daily Caller. Issa's new spokeswoman on the Oversight Committee, Becca Glover Watkins, previously worked as a spokeswoman for The Daily Caller, the same role Bardella will now hold himself.

People For the American Way: Issa’s Sham Hearings: Brought to You by the Koch Brothers

For Immedate Release: 04/13/11:

Issa’s Sham Hearings: Brought to You by the Koch Brothers

On Thursday, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, chaired by Darrell Issa (R-CA), will hold a hearing on state and municipal debt.  Parading a roster of ultra-conservative ideologues including Gov. Scott Walker to the witness stand, Issa will attempt to prove that the best way to move America forward is to deny hard-earned benefits to working Americans and their families in order to preserve tax breaks and other benefits for corporations and the wealthy.  In fact, his hearings are more likely to provide further evidence of the massive influence corporate money has on our democracy, specifically the power of Charles and David Koch, who have lavished financial support on Chaiman Issa, committee members and witnesses.

Think Progress: Exclusive: Issa Secured Nearly $1 Million In Earmarks Potentially Benefiting Real Estate That He Owns

March 30, 2011- As Roll Call reported earlier this month, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) has a history of blending his personal business interests with his work as a member of Congress. Companies owned by the Issa family, including a firm called DEI (an acronym for Issa’s initials), set up websites to channel users to Issa’s official congressional campaign website. After Roll Call made an ethical inquiry to Issa, he changed the website.

ThinkProgress has discovered more troubling evidence that Issa may have blended his work as a lawmaker with his own business empire. After founding a successful car alarm company, Issa invested his fortune in a sprawling network of real estate companies with holdings throughout his district. One of Issa’s most valuable properties, a medical office building at 2067 West Vista Way in Vista, California, is called the Vista Medical Center, and was purchased in 2008 for $16.6 million. Described as “a long-term investment,” the property was bought by a company called Viper LLC, a business entity operated by Issa’s family that Issa has up to a $25 million dollar stake in.

Talking Points Memo: DC Mayor Rejects Concept Of Issa Probe, But Pledges To Cooperate

March 18, 2011- House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chair Darrell Issa (R-CA) has pledged to dig deep into the scandal-plagued Washington D.C. government. The already embattled new mayor of the city, Vincent Gray, says he doubts much will come of Issa's sniffing around. Still, if Issa wants to spend his time on D.C., Gray says, the mayor's office will help him.

Yesterday, Issa announced his plan to add another investigative body to the several already looking into charges that Gray promised a job to and paid off a fringe candidate in last year's Democratic mayoral primary. The candidate, Sulaimon Brown, received less than 300 votes in the election that saw Gray oust incumbent Adrian Fenty by a wide margin. But Brown was known for his early and unending barrage of attacks on Fenty in candidate forums, which Brown later said drew him attention from the Gray camp. Brown says team Gray paid him to stay in the race, and then rewarded him with a six-figure job in the District government once Gray won. Gray denies all of it, and says all he did was help Brown get a job interview.