As GOP congressman Darrell Issa’s seniority, power, and influence have grown in Washington, so has the bank account of his leadership political action committee, “Invest in a Strong and Secure America—ISSA PAC.” According to its most recent financial disclosure report, filed July 14 and covering the first half of 2011, the committee took in $84,909.74 and paid out $71,763.19, ending the period with $76,574.74 in the bank. Donors included the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, $5000; William Isaac, a consultant from Sarasota, Florida, $5000; the Recording Industry Association’s Mitchell Bainwol of Fairfax Station, Virginia, $1000; the Universal Music Group political action committee, $1000; Raytheon Company political action committee, $2500; Qualcomm Inc. PAC, $1000; Pitney Bowes Inc. PAC, $5000; and Microsoft Corporation PAC, $5000. Controversial San Diego private school operator Bridgepoint Education’s PAC kicked in $2500, and AT&T’s federal PAC gave $5000. In addition, the political action committee of cigarette-making giant Altria Group contributed $2500, and San Diego–founded defense contractor SAIC gave $2500.
On the spending side, the ISSA PAC paid $1000 in April and $2397 in May for a fund-raiser at Bertrand at Mister A’s restaurant in San Diego. Then, on May 24, Coastal Fishing Adventures in Encinitas got $1540 for charter and venue costs. The same date, the Salty Dog in Sarasota, Florida, got $631 for catering, and Sea Dog Charters in Marathon, Florida, was paid $440. Perhaps most interesting, Issa personally drew $3655.04 from the fund on May 24. His staffer Laurent Crenshaw received $1102.35 on the same date. Lawrence J. Brady, majority staff director of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which Issa chairs, was paid $1175, also on May 24. No purpose for the expenditures was disclosed.