U-T Wouldn't Print Issa Piece, Draws Criticism

At left: art from Poynter report

On Aug. 15, the New York Times ran a long, front page story on how North County Rep. Darrell Issa continues running businesses rather than putting his money in a blind trust, as other politicians do. Moreover, the story showed how Issa uses his influence to get federal money that enhances his investments. The Union-Tribune did not run the story, although it runs many New York Times syndicated pieces.

On Aug. 19, Times columnist Floyd Norris showed how Issa fleeced small investors in taking a publicly-held company private. The Union-Tribune has only done a story showing how Issa is fighting the Times's charges. Jim Romenesko, journalism columnist for Poynter.org, did a piece Aug. 23 (yesterday) telling how the U-T decided not to run the information dug up by the Times, supposedly so it can do its own investigation. Romenesko quotes some of the letters to the U-T on the topic.

The Reader ran long summaries of both stories on its News Ticker blog.

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He better be careful, especially after the sunlight has been shined on these business decisions. FBI may already be investigating.

The FBI is highly political. I understand the FBI is looking into writers and protesters who are telling the truth about what's happening to this country. Best, Don Bauder

I agree the FBI is highly political. It's possible I could relate my own experiences at Berkeley during the anti-war demonstrations, but as my wife says, sometimes it's best not to dig up things that have already died a natural death and instead let time take it's natural course.

The FBI-the United States Attorney, the Federal Courts-all political, all cover for other gov actors and all are turning the USA into a giant toilet.

I once had a federal judge committ perjury-in writing. I reported the judge-in writing- to the US Attorney, the FBI and the Chief Judge of the 9th Circuit (Alex Kozinki) which over sees all federal judges in the 9th Circuit whihc covers 30% of the nation.

The response I received???? Nothing. Nada. Zero. No reply from the Chief Judge fo the 9th Circuit. No repsonse from the FBI. No response from the US Attorney.

That experience made it 100% clear that we have two sets of laws in America, one for the gov, it's employees and the connected few-and another set of laws, much harsher, for the rest of us.

That also pretty much cemeted the fact IMO that we have indeed turned into a banana republic- becuase that is the hallmark of a banana republic- one set of rules for the connected few, another set for the masses.

As I recall, a while back you said you requested a copy of your FBI file. Did you ever recieve it? Rest assured that whether you see it or not, that request is present in your file.

You have had some ugly experiences with judges. You are not alone. Best, Don Bauder

Yes, but we could use some Berkley-like fire these days. Best, Don Bauder

I'm not so sure about that. It might be easy to think that if you were on the outside. But to many people who were there, that might not be the case. Many, if not most of us, believed in non-violent protesting. Sure, disrupting the "establishment" supporting the war was our stategy, but I can say with 100% assurance that for myself and the people I was involved with that violence was neither a goal or a tactic and we never resorted to it except in self defense. Unfortunately, all too often that was not the case, from both sides. And I just don't think that same fire as you put it would accomplish anything. On more than one occassion, I was beaten, gassed and hauled off only to be released many hours later without so much as having been talked to let alone charged with anything. I know with 100% certainty that many of us were targeted simply because of our looks. There were many occasions when the cops would harrass students simply because the guys had long hair or the girls, or chicks as we called them back in the day, dressed like "hippies". On one particular occasion, a few of us were walking back to campus after getting something to eat and a couple of cop cars passed by and then stopped. The cops got out and started harrassing just because they didn't like the way we looked. After a couple of minutes I said something like Why are you guys hassling us man. We were just out getting some food. The response I got was for one of them to say F**k you, hippy, and slam his club across my arm and then they got in their cars and drove off. A few days later when my arm was black and blue from by elbow to my shoulder and hurt like hell, I went to health services. They sent me to get xrays and they showed my left arm was broken about halfway between my elbow and shoulder. The Dr. asked me what happened and if I had gone to the cops. When I told him it was a cop who hit me with his night club, he didn't say a word. No I really don't think much of what went on at Berkeley would be all that productive for the country at this point.

Of course, these protests went on at most universities. My alma mater, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, had a building blown up and a grad student killed. I happened to live in Cleveland when Kent State occurred. We all knew that it was a great watershed. However, the massive gap between the richest 2% and the rest of the nation could well lead to some kind of mass protest. Even Alan Greenspan said so in his book. Best, Don Bauder

I especially enjoyed the reply that Ricky Young made to another poster's comment in which he said of the UT "We do fairly substantial Watchdog journalism and refered to an article on" Issa's company underpaying its tariffs". Yet in the article, the UT reporter refers to the company as "The Vista car-alarm company once owned by Congressman Darrell Issa". The article goes on to say that sold his ownership in the company a year before he was elected to Congress in 2000, which was 10 yrs before the problem was discovered. Yes truly a "Watchdog journalism" hit peice on Issa if I've ecer read one. LOL San Diegan's should consider themselves lucky to only have to deal with Issa. I have to deal with Henry Waxman for the last 35 yrs.

I did not see the NY Times article as a hit piece. It was quite informative and well documented. Issa's minions are screaming about small mistakes, for the most part. That is a typical lawyer's trick: inflating a small error so it looks like the whole piece is biased. Best, Don Bauder

Don Bauder, Actually, when I wrote hit piece, I wasn't referring to the NYT article, I was sarcastically referring to Ricky Young's characterization of the u-t piece on Issa's former company as "Watchdog" journalism.

I missed your sarcasm. Mea culpa. Happens to me a lot, too. Best, Don Bauder

I actually had to deal with Waxman's office on an issue I had a few years back, his staff was very polite, professional and helpful to me.

I can say I have had much worse experiences with other elected officials-especially those in the state judiciary who seem to have a superiority complex and think because they are elected judges they can make or break any rule they wish.

Waxman is known to be a diligent Congressman. He's a good investigator. Best, Don Bauder

Waxman has been steadfast in his fight for health and environmental issues and I think every one has benefited greatly from that. I do however, take issue on 2 of his actions that I see as purely politically self serving. Back in the mid eighties, be authored a bill to ban fed funding for the Red Line. In the opinion of many, including myself, he did it strictly to appease wealthy home owners who also happened to be contributors to his campaign. It took 20 yrs to get things moving ahead on public transportation and if you've ever been in Faifax during the week, you know how badly mass transit is needed. I also take issue and have strong feelings about a single Congressman, any single Congressman, deciding to create his own SID just because a full commitee didn't fully investigate an issue to his satisfaction. Let's just say that to me if the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform makes a decision, I'm not wholly sure a single member of Congress should be able to go off on his own and conduct his own, non-commitee sanctioned investigation because he's not happy with the results. I'll leave it at that. Don't get me wrong. I have voted for him in every election since we moved into his district in 1981(having someone hold the same office for 35+ years is a compltely different conversation for another time,) but that said, if there was a challenger to his seat, one whom I felt was his equal in other areas, those two things could tip my vote in favor of another. Perhaps I should have somehow clarified my initial statement about him to more acurately convey my feelings about the same person in office for 35 yrs and approaching his mid 70's when running for another term. But as I said, that's a conversation for a different time.

I had to deal with Senator Dianne Feinstein’s office once, and it was one of the worst experiences of my life dealing with the government or anything else.

The office personnel were morons, they did not respond to ANY of the issues I had, they refused to set up any kind of face to face with Feinstein and they were one of the worst examples of public employees I have ever dealt with. Much worse than DMV.

I would honestly say it would be more fun to ram your head into a brick wall than try to deal with Feinstein's office.

Feinstein is not known for courteousness. Best, Don Bauder

The Irony of Diane Feinstein is that the only reason she was elected Senator is because she lost the Gubernatorial election to Pete Wilson. She won the special election to fill the seat Wilson had held. I thinkk it's disgracefull the way she used her position as a Senator to help obtain federal funding roouted to a gov't agency that had just awarded a hefty contract to company run by her husband. The sad part is that with her financial backing, even though her approval ratings are under 50%, it's highly doubtful a qualified candidate from any party will mount a serious challenge. I mean Carly Fiorina or Issa in her place. Really? Come on, give me a break.

I think Wilson appointed that guy, Seymour, to fill his vacated seat? Forgot his name, but Feinstein beat him in the next open election, I don't think it was a special election though. As I recall that was not close race for her, but I think the Boxer/Roy Hirchenson (?? was that his name??) race was like a 1% point win...if I recall.

I'm sure that information is available online. Best, Don Bauder

You are partially correct. It was John Seymore that Wilson appointed to fill his vacancy on an interim basis under the provisions afforded by the 17th amendment. But it was a special election, not an open election that Feinstein won to take his seat. Wilson's term didn't expire untiluntil 1994, but his seat was added as special election on the 1992 election for the other seat. Remember, senate seats are voted on in alternating elections. Fienstein won by something like 55% to 35% and because she was elected to fill a term that hadn't expired, she was sworn in as soon as the results were verified, not in January when the rest of the Senators were sworn in. She then had to run again when the original term expired in 1994.

I assume the turnout was low in the special election. Best, Don Bauder

You know, I honestly didn't have a clue, so I just looked it up. In the 1992 elction, 10.7 million people voted. I went back as far as 1976 and the only Senate election to have more people cast votes was the 2004 election, which had 12.5 million ballets cast. In fact unless I missed one, the only other Senate election besides these 2 that topped 10 million voters was Fienstein's 2000 campaighn, which drew 10.6 million voters. I have to admit, I found that a little suprising.

I thinkk it's disgracefull the way she used her position as a Senator to help obtain federal funding roouted to a gov't agency that had just awarded a hefty contract to company run by her husband

Funny thing you mention this because Blum owns a huge part of CB Commercial/Richard Ellis, and the gov was gifting out HUGE pools of REO proprties to CB to sell during the market crash around the mid/late 90's. I mentioned to a CB managing director that this was "steering" the properties from the gov to CB and he was trying to tip toe around this fact b/c he knew this was totaly illegal. But it was exacty that.

Actually, that's what I was referring to. A couple of yrs ago the FDIC gave CBRE a pretty big contract to sell foreclosures. According to a WT article I read, the contract calls for CBRE to be paid anywhere from 8 to 30 percent commission, plus incentives, plus fees plus monthly maintenance of the properties. We know several people in RE and they have basically said that's thge sweetest deal they have ever heard of. Apparently shortly after that, his wife introduced legislation to route $25 billion in taxpayer money to the FDIC I don't know how much of the company he owns, but he's been on the BoD for at least 10 yrs or so. And right around the time CBRE was to be awarded the govt contract he bought another 10 million or so shares of CBRE Someone we know who works in the corp office has said that he is just as rude and arrogant as his wife. I remember finding the article very "enlightening" I might try and find it later on today. If I do, I will post a link. You might find it interesting reading.

CB was definitley "connected in" on the gov contracts, now way around that. I know it for a fact just from being abroker back then.

And those dirtbag CBRE directors try to claim it was legit-LOL..please.

Oh, it was a total-full on set up. Everyone in the business with an IQ above 2 knew it.

This is not surprising. Best, Don Bauder

Feinstein's work on behalf of her husband's business has been aired many times. It doesn't seem to affect her election prospects. Best, Don Bauder

Issa is chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. I would hope other members of Congress would be free to launch investigations if Issa's committee did a poor job or overlooked something suspicious. Best, Don Bauder

Yes, I agree. BTW the previous chairman of the committee was, wait for it, Henry Waxman.

And Waxman did a very good job in that post. Best, Don Bauder

Like I said, I have voted for him in every election since we moved into the district, so you get no disagreement from me. But as I also said I do have a couple of issue with things he has done and at some point those could cause me to change my vote.

. . . comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. --H. L. Menken

Assemble the facts, double-check sources, quote them literally.

It's the other way around in our plutonomy: comfort the comfortable and afflict the afflicted. Best, Don Bauder

NY TIMES CLARIFIES TWO POINTS IN ISSA STORY: The New York Times today (Aug. 26) clarified two points in its Aug. 15 front page story on North County Congressman Darrell Issa. In both cases, the Times relied on public documents. "The article, using incorrect information from the San Diego County assessor's office, misstated the purchase price for a medical office plaza Mr. Issa's company bought in Vista, California, in 2008," says the Times. It cost $16.3 million, not $10.3 million "because the assessor mistakenly omitted in public records a $6 million loan." Therefore, the value of the property did not rise 60% after Issa got federal funding to widen a road.

The article also quoted erroneous information that Issa's family foundation filed with the IRS. An Issa spokesman now says that the foudation's IRS filing was incorrect. Issa lost $125,000 in a mutual fund in 2008 and did not gain $357,000.

Since Issa would not speak with the Times when it was preparing the article, I personally cannot blame the newspaper on these matters.

Fine points bear repeating: "Since Issa would not speak with the Times when it was preparing the article, I personally cannot blame the newspaper on these matters." --Don Bauder

Not only would Issa refuse to talk. One mistake was Issa's own. The second mistake was made by the San Diego County assessor's office. Repeat: I don't blame the Times. Best, Don Bauder

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