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The New York Times today (Aug. 15) gives more details on North County Rep. Darrell Issa's "meshing of public and private interests rarely seen in government." From the third floor of a Vista office building he runs his vast business empire; just down the hall is the district office for his political activities.

Rather than putting his fortune in a blind trust, as many politicians do, Issa while in Congress has bought office buildings, split a holding company, started an insurance company, traded hundreds of millions in securities and retained an interest in his auto-alarm company, reports the Times.0

"He has secured millions of dollars in earmarks" for projects that add value to properties he owns, says the Times. More than $800,000 in earmarks he arranged went to widening a thoroughfare in front of a medical plaza he had bought.

In 2008, his family foundation raked in $357,000 on an initial investment of $19,000, a return of 1900% in seven months. The security was AIM International Small Company Fund. The foundation bought it at a price much cheaper than the market value at the time. The fund manager says it did not sell the security at the steep discount. This suggests a third party did so, says the Times.

"At a House hearing in 2008 in a much-debated proposal to merge the satellite radio companies Sirius and XM, despite objections on competitive grounds, Mr. Issa praised the 'viable combined market' the deal would create...What Mr. Issa did not mention was that his electronics firm was then in a lucrative partnership with Sirius to distribute its audio products," reports the Times.

In its Jan. 24, 2011 issue, the New Yorker also reported on Issa's questionable activities.

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Comments

85db Aug. 15, 2011 @ 1:52 p.m.

It is truly amazing how far this man has come since riding in stolen automobiles.

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Don Bauder Aug. 15, 2011 @ 2:27 p.m.

That information was in the New Yorker article. Incidentally, Issa's press secretary wrote me this morning claiming that the Times used some factually incorrect information. Issa's office is insisting that the deal on which he allegedly made 1900% in seven months is based on incorrect figures. Actually, the investment resulted in a loss, says Issa's office. I will wait to see what the Times says. Best, Don Bauder

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Visduh Aug. 15, 2011 @ 4:10 p.m.

If he wanted to refute that, they could have given you the "true" story, and you could have appended it to the blog entry. In a way, at least he's doing these things out in the open, more or less. Some of the pols are unknown and unidentified partners in such schemes, and they never see light of day. But, personally and as a voter in his district, I'd prefer he tend to his political knitting and let others run the family business.

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Don Bauder Aug. 15, 2011 @ 8:50 p.m.

Now Issa's minions are denouncing the entire story, claiming it is just a bunch of plagiarized material, etc. I have heard that so often about good investigative reporting. Many times the invective is aimed at me for one of my pieces. Best, Don Bauder

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MURPHYJUNK Aug. 17, 2011 @ 1:03 p.m.

if the true story was know, Issa would be in real hot water.

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Don Bauder Aug. 17, 2011 @ 4:38 p.m.

The Issa story is starting to come out. Don't expect Congress to probe his activities. Best, Don Bauder

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MURPHYJUNK Aug. 18, 2011 @ 8:28 a.m.

they are probably worried he will name some of his co-turds

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TheLastBrainLeft Aug. 19, 2011 @ 11:19 a.m.

Indeed. The story is coming out, but not the way you thought it would:

http://blog.heritage.org/2011/08/15/new-york-times-story-on-rep-issa-riddled-with-factual-errors/

Never take anything negative about Republicans from the NY Times at face value. They are a glorified progressive blog.

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Twister Aug. 15, 2011 @ 7:59 p.m.

". . . as he oiled his way across the floor . . ." --Lerner and Loewe

We'll irony things out eventually?

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Don Bauder Aug. 15, 2011 @ 8:52 p.m.

"Every time I looked around, there he was, that hairy hound from Budapest." I remember it, too, although I only saw My Fair Lady on stage once and in a movie once. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 Aug. 15, 2011 @ 10:33 p.m.

In 2008, his family foundation raked in $357,000 on an initial investment of $19,000, a return of 1900% in seven months. The security was AIM International Small Company Fund. The foundation bought it at a price much cheaper than the market value at the time. The fund manager says it did not sell the security at the steep discount. This suggests a third party did so, says the Times.

He better be very careful with this swinger attitude in investments that have gov largess added in.

This deal above reminds me of the deal Randall Duke Cunningham pulled with his defense contractor Mitchell Wade-who bought Duke's Del Mar Heights home at about 50% above market value as a money laudering scheme to funnel bribes to Duke. Duke is still stuck in the Pen over that mistake.

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Don Bauder Aug. 16, 2011 @ 7:56 a.m.

Absolutely, the deal as reported by the Times is redolent of Cunningham getting an above-market price for his home. This is the deal that Issa's office claims did not take place as the Times reported. Issa's flack insists that the Congressman actually lost money on that transaction. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 18, 2011 @ 11:23 a.m.

Yes, and earlier this year, in January, I reported on the New Yorker article on Issa. Best, Don Bauder

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politicky Aug. 18, 2011 @ 1:29 p.m.

Thank you Mr. Bauder, I love your work :)

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TheLastBrainLeft Aug. 19, 2011 @ 11:17 a.m.

Pretty much everything in the NY Times piece has been exposed as untrue:

http://blog.heritage.org/2011/08/15/new-york-times-story-on-rep-issa-riddled-with-factual-errors/

I am sure you will attack the source, because you can't really attack the research done by Rob Bluey.

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Jeanette Hayworth Oct. 21, 2012 @ 8:45 p.m.

New of politician's side businesses and personal investments are not new, and even sometimes politics and business collide in a conflict of interest. I have seen far too many stories of people like Rep. Darrell Issa who gain though business connections in politics.

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SurfPuppy619 Oct. 22, 2012 @ 7:50 p.m.

No ONE has had more personal gain from the gov than DiFi's hubby Richard Blum, where hundreds of millions were steered toward his company-and by extension him- CB Richard Ellis

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