REPRESENTATIVE HANK JOHNSON JR (D GA) SENDS LETTER TO ISSA ASKING FOR PROBE INTO CHAMBERLEAKS SCANDAL
Rep. Johnson, colleagues call for full Congressional investigation of "Chamberleaks" scandal
20 members of U.S. House call for hearings on planned ‘dirty-tricks’ campaign that targeted critics of U.S. Chamber of Commerce
March 3, 2011- Tuesday morning at a fundraiser down the street from the Capitol, San Diego Congressman Darrell Issa brunched with a high-powered lobbyist whose clients could benefit from his oversight investigations — and whose son is a key member of Issa’s oversight team.
Issa, the top Republican on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, left the breakfast at 9 a.m. with a small group of people and declined to answer questions. “Yes, goodbye,” he said to a reporter for the Watchdog Institute after she identified herself.
Seconds later, lobbyist Barney Skladany Jr. left the fundraiser and also declined to comment.
Skladany — whose son Jonathan Skladany is Republican counsel on Issa’s oversight team — lobbies Congress on behalf of corporations for Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, whose political action committee co-hosted the fundraiser breakfast for Issa. In 2003, Corporate Board Member magazine named Skladany Jr. one of Washington’s “top lobbyists,” according to Skladany’s Akin Gump bio.
Rep. investigates own office for former flack's e-mail leaking; Beltway self-absorption reaches new low
March 3, 2011- The self-obsessed, navel-gazing Washington press corps is in a tizzy over the dismissal of a congressman's communications director (the guy whose job it was to befriend and spin and leak to members of the Washington press corps), who was fired for the crime of sharing journalists' e-mails with another journalist who is working on a book about the self-obsessed, navel-gazing Washington press corps.
Think Progress: After Leading Bush Admin Charge To Kill FOIA, Issa Issues First Subpoena On Obama FOIA
February 25, 2011- Yesterday, House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) issued his first subpoena of the Obama administration with a request that Department of Homeland Security employees “testify about the department’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) policies and practices.” The subpoena has already caused a controversy due to Issa’s partisan approach. According to the Washington Post, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), the ranking member on the committee, penned a letter demanding to know why Issa’s staff deliberately circumvented the Democrats on the committee. Homeland Security staffers had been willing to comply voluntarily, and Cummings charged, “all three subpoenas appear unnecessary at this time and could have been avoided if you had adequately consulted with me and other Members of the Committee.”
Huffington Post: Issa Blocks Cummings From Making Case Against JPMorgan At Start Of Foreclosure Hearing
January 26, 2011- House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa's investigation into the foreclosure crisis is off to a rough start. On Wednesday, the ranking Democrat on the oversight panel, Elijah Cummings (Md.), planned to use his opening statement to charge Issa with blocking the summoning of a witness from JPMorgan Chase to explain the bank's role in alleged foreclosure fraud.
Cummings never got the chance. In a move that diverged radically from congressional custom, Issa (Calif.) refused to allow the ranking Democrat to offer his statement, deciding instead to bar all opening statements from the assembled committee members, himself included.
Darrell Issa, the congressman about to make life more difficult for President Obama, has had some troubles of his own.
January 24, 2011- A few days before Christmas, the mood in Representative Darrell Issa’s office was jovial. Outside, the hallways were filled with the House’s equivalent of scalps: wooden pallets piled high with shrink-wrapped boxes belonging to defeated or retiring Democrats. Inside, some of Issa’s closest advisers sat around talking trash. Issa, a six-term California Republican, had recently been elected chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which, according to House rules, “may at any time conduct investigations of any matter.” Now that he had been given the power to subpoena, investigate, and harass the Obama Administration, Issa was being described as a future leader of his party—and the man most likely to weaken the President before the 2012 election.
Issa’s chief of staff, Dale Neugebauer, was wedged into a chair before a semicircular desk. He turned to welcome Kurt Bardella, Issa’s spokesman. On a couch sat Jason Scism, the congressman’s longtime legislative director, who had recently left to become a lobbyist for Research in Motion, the manufacturer of the BlackBerry.
Bardella removed his suit jacket, picked up four darts, and started tossing them with near-perfect aim at a well-used board on the wall. “The thing we discovered with Jason is that he’s unable to play darts sober,” Neugebauer said. “Kurt is actually a phenomenal dart player, but Jason, once he gets about six beers in him, is also phenomenal. They call him Dead-Eye.”
January 4, 2011-
1. Issa Calls 9/11 Attacks in New York a Plane Crash
Issa's slur against World Trade Center rescue workers was the perhaps most unforgettable moment in a truly forgettable political career. Almost three years before President Obama signed the $4.2 billion 9/11 responders health care bill into law, Rep. Issa was waging a campaign to stop it.
Desperate to refuse federal funds to the ailing workers who rushed to Ground Zero, Issa denied the September 11 carnage was an attack on the United States at all. As the New York Post summed it up:
"It's very simple: I can't vote for additional money for New York if I can't see why it would be appropriate to do this every single time a similar situation happens, which quite frankly includes any urban terrorist. It doesn't have to be somebody from al Qaeda. It can be someone who decides that they don't like animal testing at one of our pharmaceutical facilities."
January 3, 2011- Rep. Darrell Issa is aiming to launch investigations on everything from WikiLeaks to Fannie Mae to corruption in Afghanistan in the first few months of what promises to be a high-profile chairmanship of the top oversight committee in Congress.
According to an outline of hearing topics obtained by POLITICO, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is also planning to investigate how regulation affects job creation, the roles of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the foreclosure crisis, recalls at the Food and Drug Administration and the failure of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission to agree on the causes of the market meltdown.
The sweeping and specific hearing agenda shows that Issa plans to cut a wide swath as chairman, latching onto hot-button issues that could make his committee the center of attention in the opening months of the 112th Congress. By grabbing such a wide portfolio — especially in national security matters — Issa is also laying down a marker of sorts, which could cement his panel as the go-to place for investigations.
January 2, 2011- The Republican congressman who is taking over responsibility for congressional oversight called President Obama's administration "one of the most corrupt administrations" on Sunday and predicted that the investigations he is planning over the next two years could result in about $200 billion in savings for U.S. taxpayers.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the incoming chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, was bullish in laying out his agenda for the new Congress with Republicans in control of the House.
Issa, who as chairman will have subpoena power, said he will seek to ferret out waste across the federal bureaucracy. While he used fiery rhetoric in describing the Obama administration in a series of television interviews Sunday, he said he will focus on wasteful spending, not the prosecution of White House officials.
Asked on "Fox News Sunday" about reports that the White House is staffing up on lawyers to prepare for his oversight hearings, Issa said: "They're going to need more accountants.