The Jan. 24 issue of the New Yorker probes San Diego County Congressmember Darrell Issa in a long piece. The article by Ryan Lizza covers some material earlier reported by other media. Issa has been named chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and has the power to subpoena and investigate the Obama Administration.
The article looks at some relatively insignificant and also some very disturbing matters in Issa's past. For example, the Union-Tribune had reported that Issa had swept a stadium for bombs when President Nixon attended a 1971 World Series game. It turned out that Nixon had not gone to the game. Issa's bio had greatly exaggerated an award he had received from Inc. Magazine. But it's the big things that are disquieting. He had been indicted for stealing a car, arrested for carrying a concealed weapon, and accused by former associates of burning down a building. On one occasion, Issa and his brother were indicted for grand theft: an investigator suspected they "had conspired to fraudulently sell Darrell's car and then collect the insurance money," according to Lizza. The prosecutor dropped the case. Issa was suspected of burning down the building of a company he controlled. But there were never charges filed. He sued the insurance company that was quite suspicious and got a $20,000 settlement. There were three accusations of auto theft against Issa, who told Lizza that they were false. "Issa's defense in most cases can be summarized in four words, 'My brother did it,'" writes Lizza. However, Issa admitted he had tried to cover up for his brother.
In doing his reporting, Lizza had questions about where Issa got the money that he used as capital. He said he had sold personal automotive vehicles and also borrowed $50,000 from family members. Issa wrapped up his interview with Lizza saying, "Everyone has a past."