Thursday, April 14, 2011

Read More About Darrell Issa, The Congressman Who Invited Walker To His Roasting

It probably seemed like a good idea at the time - - bring the polarizing Scott Walker to Washington, DC and let him enjoy some quality time with Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa,

But with Walker under oath, Dennis Kuchinch, an Ohio Democrat, forced Walker to admit that portions of his so-called budget-repair bill - - like the annual mandated union re-certification elections - - were political and had no impact on the state's fiscal crisis.

A misstep by Walker and Issa?

Walker's first 100 days are a case study in over-reach and double-talk.

And for Issa?

Read this feature in The New Yorker and watch Issa spin his way around a gun conviction, three stolen car allegations, controversial business practices and a suspicious fire that burned down his company not long after he'd upped the insurance, and removed the firm's computer.


On the substantive issues raised by court documents, Issa’s defense in most cases can be summarized in four words: “My brother did it.” Referring to the 1972 conviction for having a gun in his glove compartment, Issa said that he was a freshman in college and was leaving a bar when the incident occurred. He parked his car in an alley and drove out the wrong way. “He pulled me over because the alley was, quote, one way,” Issa said. “Well, I’m new to the town, and I didn’t come in in a way where I ever saw the sign.”

Issa told me that he was driving William’s car and did not know there was a gun inside. “Had I known it was in there, would I have opened the glove box for him to see it?” He added, “There’s some debate about bullets, no bullets, whatever. As far as I know, there weren’t any. As far as I know, it wasn’t loaded.”

Issa seemed annoyed that the incident ever became public. “I agreed to plead to the misdemeanor, and they later expunged it, but expunging turns out not to be worth much,” he said. “This was pre-Internet days, this stuff was not supposed to be discoverable, it’s supposed to be gone. Turns out nothing’s ever really gone, I guess.”

William Issa told me that the car and the gun were indeed his. But Darrell Issa’s 2011 account contradicts the 1972 police report, which says that there was a loaded clip and a box of ammo, and that Issa told the police that he was allowed to carry the gun and that he needed to protect his car.

Issa said that all three accusations of automobile theft were false...

Issa told me that he did not set the fire at the Quantum factory in 1982, and he is furious that the story has dogged him. He lashed out at Eric Lichtblau, the New York Times reporter who, in 1998, while working for the Los Angeles Times, first aired allegations from Issa’s former business partner Joey Adkins. Lichtblau, Issa charged, “is a notorious hatchet man.” (“Everything in that story was accurate,” Lichtblau told me in response. “The picture that emerged of his early start in Cleveland was very different from the Horatio Alger story he had adopted.”)

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