Buenos Aires Yes, I’m in Buenos Aires. The weather is overcast and cool, because it’s winter in the Southern Cone after all. I can see the impact of inflation everywhere. $3.50 for an expresso doble now, a special tourist visa for Americans and Canadians since 2009, remis from the airport now almost a third to a half higher than my last visit, and so on. Meanwhile one thing that is the same is the sweeping victory for Christina Nestor in the mandatory election primaries yesterday.
But, my body may be in beautiful Buenos Aires among the portenos asking around where I can find alparagatas for my daughter and her running buddy, ruby, but reading the New York Times on-line after an overnight flight here about the inability of San Diego Congressman and House Investigation Committee Chair Darrell Issa (R-CA) to separate his personal business from his political oath makes me once again in these pages renew my argument that this guy needs an aggressive, progressive opponent in his re-election and is vulnerable!
Let me reprise my earlier case. The district is not as Republican as one might imagine and has significant chunks of Riverside along with northern San Diego County. There is also a huge Hispanic population constituting more than one-third of the district, and he’s doing nada for any of them. There has been double-digit unemployment in the district and the home foreclosure rate is always in the top three to five highest in the state of California. And, the guy is a self-aggrandizing, irresponsible, headline grabbing, constantly controversial dude and bull-in-a-china-shop in Congress and in his so-called investigations, including for full disclosure his preposterous reports about ACORN. So my position, and I’m sticking to it, is that he has earned robust opposition and could be taken down.
Now, add some substance to the constant suspicion about his continuing to run his personal business in real estate, auto security (where he is still on the board), and other empires using Congressional earmarks (weren’t Republicans supposedly against this?!?) to feather his nest, his investigations to pander and please the auto industry, and god knows what else, as the Times started digging into the mess.
Issa has gone from being the richest member of Congress to being even a richer member of Congress! The last time I looked he was #1 at a bit above $300 Million. Now he’s doubled up – in the last year! – to almost three-quarters of a billion dollars – $750 Million.
How hard is this? Anyone could write the message here, “While you are losing your job and house, your Congressman has been busy becoming a Billionaire!”
The pieces of the article where he was pandering for Merrill-Lynch and Wall Street, while doing a billion dollars worth of business with them over the last decade (them being Merrill Lynch, so god knows how much he moved around Wall Street!), were enough to turn your stomach.
It’s unimaginable what ethics rules Congress has, if Issa isn’t breaking them, but there are definitely ethics rules in his home district, and the voters should be given an opportunity to use their votes to the fullest and take this guy out of Congress. Step way from that House, Congressman!