26th January 03:26
The lies a California Republican recaller tells. (spokeswoman)
From The Los Angeles Times, 7/30/03:
Record Does Not Support All of Candidate Issa's Claims
By Gregg Jones, Times Staff Writer
In his transformation from car-alarm magnate to Republican congressman
and, now, candidate for governor, Rep. Darrell Issa has often recalled
his rags-to-riches rise in the business world.
Issa's campaign Web site touts an achievement that seems to symbolize
"In 1994, Inc. Magazine recognized Darrell Issa as Entrepreneur of the
In fact, Issa has never won the prestigious national award.
The founders of Outback Steakhouse took the magazine's top
"Entrepreneur of the Year" honors in 1994.
In an interview, Issa said that he actually had won a local
Entrepreneur of the Year contest in San Diego -- he lives in Vista in
northern San Diego County -- and that he hadn't been trying to suggest
that he had received national honors.
The local contests are conducted as qualifying rounds for the national
"I was runner-up three, four, five times, whatever it was -- at least
three -- in San Diego, and then I won the San Diego award," Issa said.
"Nobody would ever imply or mislead to, you know, something as simple
as the Entrepreneur of the Year award."
In his short political career, Issa -- so far the only declared
Republican candidate for governor in the special election this fall --
has faced both small and large questions about his record in business
and the military and his brushes with the law.
Republican and Democratic opponents have accused him of concealing
arrests as a youth and embellishing his personal story.
The Times examined Issa's statements and campaign literature over the
past 13 years and compared them with military records and other public
The review reveals a number of claims contradicted or were unsupported
by records and verifiable facts.
The Times offered Issa and his campaign aides opportunities to clarify
In an interview Saturday, Issa said that questions about his past were
"irrelevant to who is Darrell Issa now and who is Darrell Issa as a
Among the issues:
Issa, who served two stints in the military, first as an enlisted man
and later as an officer, has said that he was an Army computer
research and development specialist.
In a 1995 interview, he said that as an officer he had spent four
years in the New Mexico desert perfecting electronic warfare
techniques that were later used in the 1991 Gulf War.
His military records, however, list Issa's postings during that period
as Ft. Riley, Kan., and Ft. Ord, Calif.
Those records and Issa's 1980 Army separation form make no mention of
computer training or computer specialty.
The extent of Issa's military education as an officer, according to
the records, was an eight-week "motor officer" course in 1976 and a
four-day "Equal Opportunity United Discussions Leaders Course" in
In the interview, Issa said he had "served at the computer facility"
at Ft. Ord's Combat Development Experimentation Command in the late
1970s and that the Army had sent him to the Boston area for computer
training at a commercial school.
He said he couldn't recall the name of the school.
During his campaign in 2000 for a seat in Congress, Issa said he had
received the "highest possible" ratings in the U.S. Army.
Military records show that he received a "fair" conduct rating while
undergoing basic combat training at Ft. Knox, Ky., in November 1970.
In June 1971, while serving with the 145th Ordnance Detachment in
Manor, Pa., he received "unsatisfactory" conduct and efficiency
Later ratings were more positive.
Asked whether Issa stands behind the statement from 2000, Jonathan
Wilcox, his campaign spokesman, said:
"I would direct your attention to the whole military record, including
his highest evaluation from Gen. Wesley Clark."
Issa received a laudatory performance review from Clark in 1980 when
he was in the Army Reserve. Clark, a lieutenant colonel at the time,
was one of his commanding officers.
The review praised Issa for the quality of his work and for "an
unusually high standard of professional ethics."
During his 1998 campaign for the Senate, at a time when he was trying
to link his candidacy to the legacy of former president Richard Nixon,
Issa's campaign literature said he had been a member of Nixon's
Issa had previously claimed attendance at the 1971 World Series as
part of Nixon's security.
Records show that Nixon did not attend the 1971 World Series, said
Susan Naulty, archivist at the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda.
In recent comments to The Times, Issa has stood by his claim of having
served on Nixon's security detail, but has sidestepped the World
Series claim, which has not been repeated in the current campaign.
"That's from something years before, from a misquote, er, you know,
interpretation, years before I even ran for office," he said in an
interview earlier this summer.
The Secret Service, of which Issa was not a part, provides the
Issa's explanation for his claim is that he was part of a military
bomb disposal squad that provided support to the White House.
He was assigned to Nixon's security on temporary duty, he says.
The assignment isn't listed in Issa's military records, but temporary
duty postings aren't always reflected in personnel files, experts
"I was on temporary duty at Ft. McNair back in the '70s," Issa said,
referring to a military installation in Washington, D.C.
"That was a presidential support unit. It did various things,
including it X-rayed things for the president and did travel with the
president. I was a private. I got a clothing allowance to buy civilian
clothes and, you know, I got temporary duty pay, and it was cool. I
never said, 'look, I was Richard Nixon's buddy.' "
Issa now attributes some of these discrepancies to misunderstandings
or omissions from his Army records.
He blames Gov. Gray Davis for the questions about his resume, some of
which were first raised by fellow Republicans in his 1998 run for the
"Gray's job is to get you to ask 30-year-old questions," he angrily
told a Times reporter Saturday at a Sacramento rally, where he accused
Davis of "felony behavior."
"If you want to be a shill for Gray Davis' opposition questions, go
ahead. We've moved on."
The Times examination of Issa's record began with the paper's request
for copies of his military record from the National Personnel Records
Such do***ents are public records and are often examined as part of
background reporting on candidates for political office.
Times reporters also began reviewing Issa's statements about his
military and business record.
Subsequently, The Times contacted Democrats who had conducted research
on Issa as a possible candidate for the U.S. Senate in 1998, and they
pointed to additional discrepancies in Issa's record.
Other discrepancies had been raised by Issa's former Republican
Some assertions by Issa about his past have been questioned by other
Some of Issa's statements in media interviews, campaign statements and
official biographies have disappeared from his resume over the years.
During his 1998 campaign, Issa backed away from a claim of having
started his car-alarm company "from scratch" after The Times reported
that he had taken control of the business in a legal dispute with the
Other statements, such as the one about the Entrepreneur of the Year
Award, have become part of the story that Issa offers voters as he
runs for governor.
A spokeswoman for the Ernst & Young accounting firm, which now
sponsors the Entrepreneur of the Year competition, said that Issa was
one of several winners in the San Diego Entrepreneur of the Year
contest in 1994 and was a finalist at least one previous year and
Wilcox, Issa's campaign spokesman, said Monday that he had written the
biography on the "Issa for Governor" Web site that was launched
earlier this month "from previous and existing biographical
He acknowledged that he initially thought from reading the material
that Issa had won the national award.
"If there was any mistake on any bio, I wish somebody would point it
out to me so we can clarify what is a small, honest error," he said.
Issa speaks often of his rise from a humble upbringing as the grandson
of Lebanese immigrants in Cleveland to millionaire manufacturer of car
In his first run for office in 1998, in which he opposed Matt Fong for
the Republican nomination to run against Democratic Sen. Barbara
Boxer, Issa's campaign literature promised that Issa's
"up-from-the-bootstraps, career in the military, success in business
tale will connect with Californians of every walk of life."
His congressional Web site bills the story as "Living the American
Some of the most persistent questions about that biography involve
Issa's arrest record as a young man.
He has been charged twice with car theft, although both cases were
He was charged twice with carrying a concealed weapon.
On Jan. 16, 1973, Issa pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of
possession of an unregistered gun.
A magistrate fined him $100, put him on probation and ordered him to
pay $107 in court costs.
At the time, Issa was a student at Siena Heights University in Adrian,
The arrest was first reported by the Adrian Daily Telegram on July 16.
Asked earlier this month about that arrest, Issa told a Times reporter
that the gun was an "unloaded, never-fired, in-the-box, little ****y
pistol" and said it wasn't his, although he declined to say whose it
Public records obtained by The Times show that when arrested, Issa was
carrying a .25-caliber semiautomatic pistol with seven bullets in its
ammunition clip, as well as 44 bullets and a tear-gas gun.
He was arrested after being stopped for driving in the wrong direction
on a one-way street.
In a telephone interview, Donald Payne, the now-retired police officer
from Adrian who was one of two arresting officers on the case, said
Issa hadn't contested his ownership of the gun at the time.
"He was like, 'this ain't no big deal,' you know," Payne said. "He was
sitting there saying 'in Ohio you could carry a gun.' "
Payne, whose account is backed up by the records from the arrest,
recalled that Issa had told him that in Ohio, where he was from, to
carry a concealed gun, "all you had to have was a reason, and his
reason was for protecting his car and himself."
'Story Was Phony'
But "at that time, a Michigan off-duty officer couldn't carry a gun in
Ohio, so we knew his story was phony," Payne said.
Asked about the discrepancies between Issa's statements about the 1972
incident and police records, Wilcox said:
"Congressman Issa truthfully recalled the minute details of a minor
incident from 31 years ago."
Other questions have involved Issa's military record.
In a September 1990 profile in the San Diego Tribune, at a time when
the nation was flush with patriotic fervor and poised for war after
Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait, Issa elaborated on his own Army
Two details were particularly striking: the account of his having
attending the 1971 World Series as part of Nixon's security detail and
his account of having turned down an Army offer to send him to prep
school and the United States Military Academy at West Point.
"I called my father," Issa was quoted as saying, "and he told me, 'You
really don't want to go to the academy.' I took his advice."
Issa's military records do not reflect an offer by the military to
send him to prep school and West Point, although the records would not
necessarily do so.
Asked Saturday whether he had considered attending West Point, Issa
"I was an ROTC-commissioned officer," he said.
"That's the end of the story. West Point is an irrelevant part. The
prep school at West Point is an irrelevant part."
"My personal military record was illegally obtained by the Boxer
campaign from somebody from the White House" under the Clinton
administration, he added.
"We're quite convinced of it, whether we can prove it or not. There
are details and details and details that have been used against me
that are minutiae. At some point you look and say, I'm releasing to
you all the publicable records of my military career, and that's it."
Ah yes. This lying right-winger fits the mold nicely.
26th January 03:59
The lies a California Republican recaller tells.
The people of California are revolting against the robber barons. Support
them by boycotting GE, AOL TIME WARNER, EXXON, JP MORGAN CHASE, DISNEY and
the rest of them. Together, we can bring back one nation under God, with
liberty and justice for all.