With an internal campaign poll showing that he faces a tough reelection battle next year, Republican congressman Darrell Issa has been showing up at district town halls with some newly mixed messages on hot-button issues.
He told a raucous March 11 crowd that Planned Parenthood should not be defunded and voiced reservations about the GOP’s plan to replace Obamacare. But a month earlier, the wealthy House member from Vista got a tidy gift from the Heritage Foundation in the form of a February 8–10 three-day jaunt to New York for the group’s Conservative Members Retreat at the tony Park Central Hotel on 7th Avenue. “This is an opportunity for me to discuss with other conservative Members of Congress and policy experts pressing policy issues,” wrote Issa on his February 23 disclosure report.
The foundation provided Issa with $432 in transportation expenses, $336 for room costs, and $191 worth of meals, along with $84 of other tabs, including “Thursday coffee break and snacks” valued at $42 and $3 in “snacks on the train.”
According to an accompanying program, Heritage fellow Hans von Spakovsky, an outspoken backer of president Donald Trump’s anti-immigration efforts, keynoted a panel on Border Security and Enforcement. Lou Holtz, the Hall of Fame Notre Dame football coach and ardent Trump supporter, spoke at dinner on the topic “Wins, Losses, and Lessons on Leadership.” Sean Hannity of Fox News checked in to talk about “Conservative Communication.”