Congressman Darrell Issa, the ranking Republican on the House Oversight Committee, has been garnering a lot of attention lately for his bombastic attacks on the Obama administration. And for his hair style.
But for all Issa's scrutiny of the White House, maybe it's time for the public to put Issa under the microscope.
In a report for San Diego CityBeat this week, I examine Issa's personal finances and raise questions about some of this financial dealings (the smell certainly rises to Issa's standards). These include:
- Los Angeles' largest independent bank is being sued for allegedly going out of its way to give Issa a3 million discount on commercial real-estate property in Carlsbad, CA. (The bank also received more than300 million in TARP Funds)
- Issa invested as much as 15 million with Goldman Sachs not long before he started publicly attacking the SEC for suing the firm for fraud.
- Issa's report on the Obama administration's response to the oil spill may be tainted by the fact that he owns the building that houses an environmental clean-up company. The firm has received more than 700 million in federal money since 2000, including 7 million for oil spill response.
"This certainly raises red flags," says Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen's Congress Watch. "The property could not have lost3 million in value in two weeks, so there must be some deliberate or careless pricing of the property that benefited Issa."
As the founder of the company that created Viper car alarm system, the Southern California Congressman is among the wealthiest in House.
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