Darrell Issa: The New Sheriff In Town

Elisabeth Meinecke

7/3/2012 8:00:00 AM - Elisabeth Meinecke

In February 2011 and 2012, Townhall Magazine was once again ahead of the mainstream media by covering both Fast & Furious and the man in Washington who is working to uncover the truth behind the scandal. In fact, we thought these issues were so important that we devoted cover stories to them.

Here's an excerpt of Townhall Magazine's February 2011 cover story on Darrell Issa, "There's a New Sheriff in Town," by Fred Lucas:

A few weeks after the Republicans won control of the House, California GOP Rep. Darrell Issa—the incoming chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee—met with Vice President Joe Biden to discuss accountability and transparency issues regarding the expenditure of stimulus funds.

The White House readout of the meeting said, “They identified some areas of agreement, including the need to enforce full compliance with reporting by recipients of Recovery Act funds, and to have follow-up conversations about other areas where they can work together.”

The next day, responding to a question about the meeting, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs issued a warning about the perils of congressional oversight.

“Vice President Biden met with Congressman Issa here yesterday. And I think we’re certainly—effi cient oversight is important. That was something that we made a great hallmark in the Recovery Act,” Gibbs said. “I think everybody’s hope is that we don’t see, as we did certainly in parts of the early- to mid-’90s, where oversight becomes the buzzword for gamesmanship, political posturing and witch hunts—I don’t think anybody, particularly the American public, has an appetite for that.”

Message: We learned from the last Democratic president’s strategy—dodge accountability by calling any oversight a partisan witch hunt.

Democrats began this strategy before the midterm elections.

In September, then-House Majority Whip Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., told TheGrio.com, “You’ve got people like Issa from California, who is a ranking member on the government oversight committee. He has already said publicly that if he gets the gavel he will be issuing subpoenas everywhere. That will define the next two years of the president’s administration. The White House will be full-time responding to subpoenas about where the president may or may not have been born, whether his mother and father were ever married and whether his wife’s family is from Georgetown or Sampit.”

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., gave the dire warning to a group of left-wing bloggers that “Darrell Issa is planning to double his staff and embark on a witch hunt in hopes of bringing down the Obama administration.

The New York Times called Issa “Obama’s annoyer-in-chief.”

Whether it’s hysteria or posturing, the reaction from Democrats and the Left is somewhat understandable. Issa has already been a sheriff of sorts in Washington, using what resources he has had in the last two years to investigate the Obama administration’s ties to the corrupt Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now (ACORN), the White House use of job offers to attempt to influence election outcomes, the removal of inspectors general for political reasons and the administration’s lackluster response to the Deepwater Horizon gulf oil spill.

Now, he is a sheriff with subpoena power, and that is good news for American taxpayers, since the 111th Congress essentially abdicated its role of oversight.

To read more of this profile on Darrell Issa, order this back issue by calling 800-527-5226.