Dave Good 10:36 a.m., May 22
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.