"A Businessman in Congress Helps His District and Himself"

A New York Times investigation shows Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) enriching himself via his actions as chair of the House Oversight Committee even as he launches political probes attempting to question the Obama administration's integrity.

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"VISTA, Calif. — Here on the third floor of a gleaming office building overlooking a golf course in the rugged foothills north of San Diego, Darrell Issa, the entrepreneur, oversees the hub of a growing financial empire worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Just a few steps down the hall, Representative Darrell Issa, the powerful Republican congressman, runs the local district office where his constituents come for help.

The proximity of the two offices reflects Mr. Issa’s dual careers, a meshing of public and private interests rarely seen in government.

Most wealthy members of Congress push their financial activities to the side, with many even placing them in blind trusts to avoid appearances of conflicts of interest. But Mr. Issa (pronounced EYE-suh), one of Washington’s richest lawmakers, may be alone in the hands-on role he has played in overseeing a remarkable array of outside business interests since his election in 2000. ,,,

As his private wealth and public power have grown, so too has the overlap between his private and business lives, with at least some of the congressman’s government actions helping to make a rich man even richer and raising the potential for conflicts."

Eric Lichtblau reports for the New York Times August 14, 2011.

SEE ALSO:

"House Oversight Chairman Widens Probe Into CAFE Standards Deal" (Greenwire)

Monday, August 15, 2011