Money makes the Issa go around

Chargers-backing GOP house member turns to old friends for fresh cash

Darrell Issa
  • Darrell Issa

With North County Republican congressman Darrell Issa facing a tight reelection race in the fall, Washington special interests are expected to ante-up major cash for his Darrell Issa Victory Fund 2016.

So far this election cycle, the Issa fund has collected $705,491 through May 18, according to numbers posted online by OpenSecrets.org; most of that has already been spent, leaving the committee with cash on hand in the amount of $33,384.

The car-alarm magnate has turned to a bevy of well-heeled corporate donors, including the National Football League’s Gridiron political action committee, which furnished $5000.

In April, Issa ventured from his Oceanside and Vista district, journeying south to San Diego to endorse a controversial tax-funded stadium complex for the Chargers, widely panned by the city's GOP establishment.

“Great cities have to dream big. They have to have the leadership that believes we can do more,” Issa pronounced at a political rally staged by the team.

Another $5000 rolled in from executives of Oakland-based Pandora Media, the online music service.

In February, the company spent $406.98 for Issa staffer James Tyler Grimm to travel from Washington to Manhattan for a night's stay at the Westin New York Grand Central and a visit to Pandora offices for "discussions to provide better understanding to Staff, who regulate licensing and regulation on rate setting, why Pandora and other music services are defined as non-interactive streaming services."

Noted Grimm's disclosure filing, "The trip will inform me and other Judiciary staffers about key issues related to copyright reform and other intellectual property issues."

The Consumer Technology Association PAC, another longtime Issa political benefactor, came up with $12,500.

In January 2012, the group, then known as the Consumer Electronics Association, furnished $1340 for Issa staffer Laurent Morgan Crenshaw to attend the group's glitzy annual gathering in Las Vegas.

Crenshaw "attended Congressional panels on the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), and other official CES events that also included a tour of the show floor and the Leaders in Technology dinner," his disclosure said.

"I handle judiciary committee and Intellectual property issues for Rep. Issa," Crenshaw's filing explained.

Other tech-industry donations rolled in to the Issa Victory Fund from Intel ($10,000) and retailer Best Buy ($5000).

Employees of defense contractor Datron Worldwide Communications came up with $50,000.

"Met with representatives from Datron World Communications this morning," tweeted Issa in January 2014, "a military manufacturer and supply company based in Vista."

Responded a detractor, "Are you talking to them about raising the minimum wage for their employees? Or is this just another campaign cash shakedown?"

The victory fund is far from the only campaign kitty maintained by the congressman.

Issa's main reelection committee, which had $3,772,228 in the bank as of May 18, has raised $659,352 this cycle, according to OpenSecrets.org.

Alphabet, the parent company of Google, and its employees contributed a total $13,100. Intel gave $10,000, as did Microsoft and the National Auto Dealers Association. Datron gave $5400.

Issa's so-called Leadership PAC, Invest in a Strong and Secure America (ISSA), was also out beating the bushes, hauling in $185,630 during the current cycle.

Heavy hitters included donors from car-auction giant Copart, with $10,000, and Datron, Microsoft, Home Depot, and Comcast, each with $5000.

$5000 also arrived from representatives of the Podesta Group, the Washington lobbying outfit cofounded in 1988 by John Podesta, now Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign chairman, and his brother Tony.

"John Podesta did some lobbying for the group," Mother Jones reported last summer.

"His clients for the Podesta Group included eBay, the American Insurance Association, and the Agency for Nuclear Projects, an arm of the Nevada government."

John Podesta is no longer with his brother's firm, whose clients have included drug-maker Amgen, oil-giant BP, Google, Walmart, and Wells Fargo. Tony Podesta is "ranked as the Democratic Party's top fundraising ally on K Street," The Center for Public Integrity reported in June 2014, "bundling about $550,000 combined for [Nevada senator Harry] Reid and the DSCC."

In February, Issa declared Donald Trump would pose a threat to Republican presidential chances if he obtained the party's nomination, but has since endorsed the now-presumptive nominee.

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Issa is the classic example of the bought-and-paid-for politician. He has never thought about what he could do to help the average working person. He is nothing but a puppet for the people who paid for his services.

What a bullshit ignorant post AClarke. Back when Issa ran his business he never laid off an employee when hit by recession. He kept everyone on payroll in his Vista car alarm factory. Who can buy one of the richest men in Congress?

If true, which I doubt as I have never seen legislation that he proposed or backed that was of any benefit to working people, then I stand corrected.

Valuable post ! I was fascinated by the analysis - Does anyone know where my company can acquire a sample AU Form 1194 document to type on ?

So the safe seat isn't so safe after all. It may be good that he's now going to have to do things to reassure his supporters that he's not taking them for granted. Actually, when his tenure as the chair of the House governmental oversight committee ended, some conservatives were happy to see him go. Their take was that he hadn't done much that was effective, and that he'd wasted time and energy on matters that were left unresolved. But does he need the money from all these sources? Probably not, but if he can get it, why not accept it and not have to spend so much of his own wealth on the campaign. This could get interesting for sure.

Issa is the RICHEST member of Congress for the last three years counting (2015 stat), with an estimated wealth of more than $250,000,000.

But he relies on the well healed to contribute to his coffers. He doesn't spend any of his money so he is bought-and-paid-for.

Why use your own money when so many are MORE than willing to give theirs for access and influence. Issa's voice and stance on the stadium issue has been bought, but not entirely paid for yet.

You mean well-heeled (NOT "well healed"). ;-)

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