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Lobbyists for dinner

Has car-alarm millionaire Darrell Issa, the North County GOP congressman, set his heart on the presidency, or at least the U.S. Senate? So think some observers, who point to his political action committee, Invest in a Strong and Secure America–Issa PAC, which had a big fund-raiser last Saturday in the Washington home of Jack Fields, a former Republican congressman from Texas. Set up late last year, the committee has already collected more than $50,000 in four-figure contributions from corporations, including Raytheon, Microsoft, and Qualcomm, along with three Indian tribes, Morongo, Pechanga, and the Saginaw Chippewas of Michigan. The PAC bestowed the money on the campaigns of a long list of Issa’s congressional colleagues, a good way to instill loyalty among comrades for future electoral bids.

Issa isn’t alone in raising money. On February 10, Democrat Bob Filner, who doesn’t have a PAC, held a reelection fund-raising breakfast at the Tortilla Coast restaurant in Washington, described on its website as “a fun neighborhood restaurant with great Tex-Mex plates, Frozen Margaritas by the Pitcher, and friendly service. Besides the delicious food, ‘The Coast’ is a festive watering hole and exciting spot to watch Capitol Hill movers and shakers in action.” The price of admission was $1000 for political action committees and $500 for individuals.

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Has car-alarm millionaire Darrell Issa, the North County GOP congressman, set his heart on the presidency, or at least the U.S. Senate? So think some observers, who point to his political action committee, Invest in a Strong and Secure America–Issa PAC, which had a big fund-raiser last Saturday in the Washington home of Jack Fields, a former Republican congressman from Texas. Set up late last year, the committee has already collected more than $50,000 in four-figure contributions from corporations, including Raytheon, Microsoft, and Qualcomm, along with three Indian tribes, Morongo, Pechanga, and the Saginaw Chippewas of Michigan. The PAC bestowed the money on the campaigns of a long list of Issa’s congressional colleagues, a good way to instill loyalty among comrades for future electoral bids.

Issa isn’t alone in raising money. On February 10, Democrat Bob Filner, who doesn’t have a PAC, held a reelection fund-raising breakfast at the Tortilla Coast restaurant in Washington, described on its website as “a fun neighborhood restaurant with great Tex-Mex plates, Frozen Margaritas by the Pitcher, and friendly service. Besides the delicious food, ‘The Coast’ is a festive watering hole and exciting spot to watch Capitol Hill movers and shakers in action.” The price of admission was $1000 for political action committees and $500 for individuals.

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