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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Who DARRELL ISSA REALLY Represents!

Sources: www.themiddleclass.org; www.ontheissues.org; www.opensecrets.org

Continuing my periodic profiles on members of Congress who do not deserve to be re-elected either because they are rigidly ideological partisan hacks and/or they are not acting in the best interests of most of the population, I now focus on California 49th District Representative Darrell Issa. He, like many others in Congress, doesn't really understand and is far out-of-touch with the struggles and needs of average Americans in this cash-strapped time of recession and high unemployment. That should come as no surprise, though: his net worth has been estimated at $251 million, which makes him the wealthiest member of Congress.

On the surface, Issa comes across as a sharp, affable, and reasonable man. His manner of speaking seems common-sensical and to the point. He doesn't go off on wild tirades like we have seen from Michele Bachmann or Glenn Beck, but in his beliefs he is every bit as far-right extremist as they are. Like nearly all Republicans, he is ranked very low by themiddleclass.org (garnering only a 24% approval rating) from that group. He has received an F grade for a good share of his tenure in Congress. Here are a few examples why.




Issa's Middle-Class Grades
2009 D
2008 D
2007 F
2006 F
2005 F
2004 F
2003 F


2009 Voting Record:
Bill / Vote / Supportive of the Middle Class?


H.AMDT. 534 TO H.R. 4173
Amendment #534 (Mortgage “Cramdown” Amendment) to Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009 /
TOPICS: Consumers, Debt & Bankruptcy, Housing, Mortgage lending, Personal bankruptcy / NAY / NO
H.R. 4173
Wall Street Accountability and Consumer Protection Act /
TOPICS: Consumers, Corporate Accountability, Corporate bankruptcy, Corporate taxes, Credit cards, Debt & Bankruptcy, Deceptive advertising and marketing, Executive compensation, Financial literacy, Government Accountability, Housing, Mortgage lending, Payday loans, Personal bankruptcy, Refund Anticipation Loans, Shareholder rights, Student loans, Tax Fairness / NAY / NO
H.R. 3962
Affordable Health Care for America Act of 2009
TOPICS: Consumers, Corporate Accountability, Health Care, HMOs and insurance companies, Hospitals, Medicaid, Medical research, Medicare, Prescription drugs, Public health, SCHIP, Tax Fairness, Universal health care / NAY / NO
H.R. 3269
Corporate and Financial Institution Compensation Fairness Act of 2009
TOPICS: Corporate Accountability, Executive compensation, Shareholder rights / NAY / NO
H.R. 3221
Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2009
TOPICS: College tuition, Community college, Debt & Bankruptcy, Education, Job training, Pell Grants, Preschool, Student loans / NAY / NO
H.R. 2847
Jobs for Main Street Act of 2009
TOPICS: Affordable Housing Trust Fund, Child care, Community college, Economic stimulus, Education, Efficient technology, Elementary school, Energy & Environment, Government Accountability, Green buildings, Green jobs, Health Care, High school, Housing, Job training, Layoffs, Medicaid, Middle school, Public employment, Public housing, Public infrastructure, Teachers, Unemployment, Workplace & Job Creation / NAY / NO
H.R. 2749
Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009
TOPICS: Civil Justice, Consumers, Food safety / NAY / NO
H.R. 2454
American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009
TOPICS: Consumers, Education, Efficient technology, Energy & Environment, Energy conservation, Global warming, Green buildings, Green jobs, Job training, Pollution, Renewable fuels / NAY /NO
H.R. 1728
Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act of 2009
TOPICS: Consumers, Debt & Bankruptcy, Housing, Mortgage lending / NAY /NO
H.R. 1664
Pay for Performance Act of 2009
TOPICS: Corporate Accountability, Executive compensation / NAY / NO
H.R. 1586
A Bill To Impose An Additional Tax On Bonuses Received From TARP Recipients of 2009
TOPICS: Corporate Accountability, Executive compensation, Tax Fairness / NAY / NO
H.R. 1106
Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009
TOPICS: Consumers, Debt & Bankruptcy, Housing, Mortgage lending, Personal bankruptcy / NAY / NO
H.R. 1
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 - Conference Report
TOPICS: Alternative minimum tax, Child care, Child tax credit, College tuition, Consumers, Corporate Accountability, Earned income tax credit, Economic stimulus, Education, Efficient technology, Elementary school, Energy & Environment, Energy conservation, Executive compensation, Global warming, Government Accountability, Green buildings, Green jobs, Head Start, Health Care, High school, Housing, Income taxes, Medicaid, Medical research, Middle school, Pell Grants, Preschool, Public housing, Public infrastructure, Renewable fuels, Sales taxes, Shareholder rights, TANF, Tax cuts, Tax Fairness, Unemployment, Workplace & Job Creation / NAY / NO
H.R. 1
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 - House Version
TOPICS: Child tax credit, College tuition, Consumers, Earned income tax credit, Economic stimulus, Education, Efficient technology, Elementary school, Energy & Environment, Energy conservation, Government Accountability, Green buildings, Green jobs, Head Start, Health Care, Heating fuel, High school, Housing, Income taxes, Job training, Medicaid, Medical research, Middle school, Pell Grants, Public housing, Public infrastructure, Renewable fuels, Student loans, TANF, Tax cuts, Tax Fairness, Unemployment, Workplace & Job Creation / NAY /NO
H.R. 626
Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act of 2009
TOPICS: Family leave, Workplace & Job Creation / NAY / NO
H.R. 2
Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009
TOPICS: Health Care, Immigration, Medicaid, SCHIP / NAY / NO
S. 181
Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009
TOPICS: Civil Justice, Employment discrimination, Workplace & Job Creation / NAY / NO
H.R. 11
Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 - House Version
TOPICS: Civil Justice, Employment discrimination, Workplace & Job Creation / NAY / NO
H.R. 12
Paycheck Fairness Act of 2009
TOPICS: Civil Justice, Class action lawsuits, Employment discrimination, Workplace & Job Creation / NAY / NO
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Some of Issa's MOST troubling votes over the years are these:

Voted YES on making the PATRIOT Act permanent. (Dec 2005)
Voted NO on prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation. (Nov 2007)

Voted NO on $40B for green public schools. (May 2009)
Voted NO on additional $10.2B for federal education & HHS projects. (Nov 2007)
Voted NO on enforcing limits on CO2 global warming pollution. (Jun 2009)
Voted NO on tax credits for renewable electricity, with PAYGO offsets. (Sep 2008)

Voted NO on tax incentives for energy production and conservation. (May 2008)
Voted NO on tax incentives for renewable energy. (Feb 2008)
Voted NO on investing in homegrown biofuel. (Aug 2007)
Voted NO on criminalizing oil cartels like OPEC. (May 2007)
Voted NO on assisting workers who lose jobs due to globalization. (Oct 2007)
Voted NO on requiring FISA warrants for wiretaps in US, but not abroad. (Mar 2008)
Voted NO on Veto override: Congressional oversight of CIA interrogations. (Mar 2008)
Voted YES on removing need for FISA warrant for wiretapping abroad. (Aug 2007)
Voted NO on restricting no-bid defense contracts. (Mar 2007)
Voted YES on allowing electronic surveillance without a warrant. (Sep 2006)
Voted YES on continuing intelligence gathering without civil oversight. (Apr 2006)


Voted NO on extending AMT exemptions to avoid hitting middle-income. (Jun 2008)
Voted NO on paying for AMT relief by closing offshore business loopholes. (Dec 2007)

Voted YES on retaining reduced taxes on capital gains & dividends. (Dec 2005)

Voted NO on investigating Bush impeachment for lying about Iraq. (Jun 2008)
Voted NO on redeploying US troops out of Iraq starting in 90 days. (May 2007)
Voted YES on declaring Iraq part of War on Terror with no exit date. (Jun 2006)

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How is it that Mr. Issa can continue to be re-elected, voting as he does for big business and against the best interests of the majority of his constituents, average everyday working people? Being the wealthiest person in Congress, he has sometimes paid for part of his campaign expenses out of his own pocket, as you will see below. But he has also had plenty of backing from the usual big money Republican backers whose interests often do NOT coincide with those of regular working Americans: defense contractors, telecommunications giants, pharmaceutical companies, and the like, as you will also see:

Top 5 Contributors, 2000 - 2010
Contributor /Total / From Individuals / From PACs

SAIC Inc. / $66,150 / $21,400 / $44,750
AT&T Inc / $55,500 / $0 / $55,500
Edison International / $46,000 / $0 / $46,000
National Beer Wholesalers Assn / $38,500 / $0 / $38,500
BAE Systems / $35,100 / $6,100 / $29,000

(FYI: SAIC is our 12th largest defense contractor. It was once convicted on 10 felony counts of lying about results of environmental tests it conducted. It also contributed $3,600 to CA Republican Duke Cunningham, a former Representative who was jailed for bribery. BAE Systems develop, deliver, and support defense and security systems).

Top 5 Industries, 2000 - 2010
Industry /Total From individuals / From PACsalth Products Pharmaceuticals/ Health Products /$223,114 /$24,145 /$198,969
Republican/Conservative /$184,821 /$154,474 /$30,347
Electric Utilities /$184,708 /$2,000 /$182,708
Computers/Internet /$170,199 /$31,075 /$139,124
Defense Electronics /$158,585 /$54,835 /$103,750

Source of Funds
Individual Contributions $2,945,798 (18%)
PAC Contributions $2,234,612 (13%)
Candidate self-financing $11,279,429 (68%)
Other $154,846 (1%)

PACs 2009 - 2010

Total PAC Money for 2010: $432,233
Number of Contributions: 321

Sectors, 2009-2010

Agribusiness $6,500
Communications/Electronics $97,274
Construction $41,400
Defense $39,000
Energy & Natural Resources $38,500
Finance, Insurance & Real Estate $32,500
Health $45,750
Lawyers & Lobbyists $17,504
Transportation $17,500
Misc Business $40,750
Labor $48,500
Ideological/Single-Issue $6,055
Other $1,000
Based on Federal Election Commission data available electronically on Sunday, August 22, 2010.
2009 - 2010 Cycle PAC Contribution Breakdown
Business $341,428 (88%)
Labor $40,000 (10%)
Ideological/Single Issue $5,652 (1%)

NOTE: All the numbers on this page are for the 2000 - 2010 election cycles and based on Federal Election Commission data available electronically on August 23, 2010.

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SUMMARY: Darrell Issa is not a friend of the average worker or middle class voter. He votes 94% of the time with his very conservative anti-labor, pro-business, obstructionist Republican voting bloc. He, as you have seen, has voted aginst helping workers whose jobs were lost to globalization and voted for the oil companies while turning his back on environmental causes. He has also followed a strict authoritarian, pro-military line with his votes on Iraq and domestic surveillance. He has strongly supported and defended mercenary companies like Blackwater. In the February, 2007 Blackwater hearings of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Issa was almost dismissive of four women whose family members were killed by Iraqi insurgents and dragged through the streets of Fallujah and who had raised complaints against Blackwater by saying: "Although I don't think your testimony today is particularly germane to the oversight of this committee, I am deeply sorry for the losses that you've had.. One question I have is, the opening statement, who wrote it?" Later on, Issa's defense of Blackwater resumed when he claimed on October 16, 2007, that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and his committee chairman Henry Waxman were trying to "go after our troops" [by raising questions about Blackwater's sordid activities]. Two weeks earlier, Issa jokingly pressed Blackwater CEO Erik Prince to acknowledge his ties to the Bush administration and the GOP, only to then claim "labeling some company as Republican" because of a family's background "is inappropriate." He never did address the reason why an investigation had been begun on Blackwater, that it had been involved in the murder of innocent Iraqi civilians and so on. He was obviously more interested in defending a defense contractor from harm by an oversight committee than he was in pursuing justice and proper oversight.

Not long ago, he spoke to some Pennsylvania Republicans, and boasted about what would happen if the GOP wins control of the House this fall, and he were to become chairman of the House Oversight Committee and get the power to subpoena. "I won't use it to have corporate America live in fear that we're going to subpoena everything. I will use it to get the very information that today the White House is either shredding or not producing." That means, of course, a return to the laissez-faire Bush approach to oversight of corporations, but is also a strong hint that he will tie up lots of House time and money on needless attempts to witch hunt or even impeach the President. This strongly partisan hack has already pledged to nearly double his staff to subpoena and investigate White House documents. FOR THIS ALONE ISSA SHOULD BE PERMANENTLY RETIRED FROM CONGRESS!

Apparently an advocate of the new extreme right, in addressing a state GOP meeting in San Diego last June, Issa said, "We have to say to the tea party: You're not strident enough, you're not angry enough and the government has gone far enough," Just another conservative Republican who hates government oversight and views its main purpose as helping big business rather than everyday citizens. This, my friends, is exactly what the country does NOT need as it struggles to deal with high unemployment, a dropping standard of living, and infrastructure decay CAUSED by the excesses of big business, and another good reason Darrell Issa should NOT be re-elected!

Who DARRELL ISSA REALLY Represents: The military/industrial complex and its defense contractors, pharmaceutical giants, big oil companies and big business in general. NOT YOU, 49th District California voter. Please do yourselves and the whole country a big favor by RETIRING Darrell Issa this November! Let him revel in his vast fortune, and keep him from adversely affecting your own well-being any longer!

10 comments:

mud_rake said...

Another splendid expose' of yet another GOP elite. Thanks Jack for your continuing efforts to 'educate America.' Sadly, it is a monumental task considering how thoroughly dumbed-down the American electorate is.

Jack Jodell said...

Thanks, mud_rake/ We've just gotta keep on fightin' to smarten 'em up! :-)

Suzan said...

But we know who he is.

The initial force behind Arnold Schwartzeneggar's ousting of Gray as CA Gov. long long ago.

Remember?

Love you, Jack!

S

But he has also had plenty of backing from the usual big money Republican backers whose interests often do NOT coincide with those of regular working Americans: defense contractors, telecommunications giants, pharmaceutical companies, and the like

Jack Jodell said...

Suzan,
Love ya back! I remember his role in installing the Guvenator, and that should serve as another good reason wealthy businessmen should not be allowed to throw all kinds of cash and support behind political campaigns. Blog on, sister!

Tim said...

I love these political tutorials.
Yeah somehow he's treated by MSM as a middle of the road kind of guy. Not so much eh. My wife was telling me something about the top 20% lawmakers are worth over a billion dollars.
I wasn't really listening so I amy not have that percentage quit right.lol

Jack Jodell said...

Tim,
That may well be the case, and it wouldn't be surprising. No wonder most of them have no clue about the rest of the country!

mud_rake said...

As you continue to expose more and more GOP shysters, I am running out of synonyms for the term.

How else can I describe these GOP charlatans?

Jack Jodell said...

Plutocrats, parasites, oppressors, liars, cheats, thieves, parrots, traitors, delusionists, enemies of the people, toadies---you're right---it gets tough after a while. But we all know what they're up to---that's the important thing.

mud_rake said...

Great set of descriptors, Jack. Much appreciated.

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