Did Darrell Issa Or His Staff Scrub Wikipedia? Issa Says Fixing Wikipedia Is A Full Time Job!
Fixing Wikipedia Is A Full Time Job!
Shortly after the New Year of 2011, just as Darrell Issa was about to become one of the most powerful men in Congress, Issa's Wikipedia page was scrubbed; so much so that it now looks like a campaign website. It has been completely changed, eliminating almost all references to his criminal arrests and the allegations of criminal behavior leveled against Issa. In spite of the accuracy of the arrests, which have been reported over the years in newspapers such as The LA Times and The San Francisco Examiner, the entries mysteriously disappeared. Instead, the Wikipedia page has become a glowing account of Issa living the American dream and making it! Who has changed the page? What, if any connection, do these people have to Issa?
The media has treaded lightly on the story, but we may have the answer. In an interview for The New Yorker's reporter, Ryan Lizza, in an article entitled: "Don't Look Back", Issa states, “Fixing Wikipedia is a full-time thing when you’ve got people hacking it, or editing it, in a rather slanted way.” So, is that an admission? Did Issa or his staff edit the page? It certainly seems as if that statement is an admission, but with Darrell Issa, one can never be sure. I consider it to be an admission. And if there is ever a 'slanted way' that Issa refers to, it is the manner in which the Wikipedia page currently appears.
A Small History Of Darrell's Denials And Side Steps!
Darrell Issa simply doesn't know how to answer a question with a simple yes or no. If there were a dance called 'The Sidestep', Issa would be a master! Maybe the talent comes from his days of being arrested. With Issa, it has been difficult to even determine whether he is denying something or affirming it. His staff has adopted the same method of skirting the truth. Slippery? Slimy? You be the judge!
In Lizza's article in the New Yorker, Issa speaks emotionally of his brother, the man he has called a "prolific" car thief. “I admired my brother even when he was doing wrong,” he said. “I was always the kid at his ankles. Did he do wrong? Yes. Did he get caught? Yes. Did I ride around in cars with my brother that I had to know in good faith he hadn’t paid for? Yeah. Did I get caught? No."
- Darrell Issa admits to knowing that he was a passenger in cars stolen by his brother. He didn't get caught. Does that mean he wasn't an accomplice? The quote from Issa makes it sound like he was a 10 year old when these things happened. He wasn't. 1980 was the last time that Issa and his brother were arrested for auto theft. He was 27 years old. Always the 'kid' at his brother's ankles. The 27 year old kid...
“Shots were never fired. If I asked Jack to leave, then I think I had every right to ask Jack to leave. . . . I don’t recall [having a gun]. I really don’t. I don’t think I ever pulled a gun on anyone in my life.”
- This was in response to questions regarding the firing of Jack Frantz. Frantz had reported to the Los Angeles Times that Issa had fired him at gunpoint. The company bookkeeper at the time, Karen Brasdovich, confirmed Mr. Frantz's account, but Issa first says that shots were never fired and then questions whether he ever pulled a gun on anyone in his life. If I had ever pulled a gun on anyone, I would not forget it, but again, that is just me. And then there is Issa: the denial without a denial...
According to Darrell Issa's official biography, he received the Entrepreneur of the Year Award from Inc. Magazine in 1994.
- The Los Angeles Times reported that Issa did not win the National Entrepreneur of The Year award, as his official bigraphy states. He instead became one of a few hundred nominees for the national award. Issa says that he hadn't meant to indicate otherwise. It remains a part of his official biography, but he had never meant to indicate that what? He had won the award? He had not won the award? There you have it: the denial without a denial...
When Issa was being questioned for auto theft in which his own brother sold Issa's car and then Issa reported the car stolen, he was shown a composite sketch of the man who had sold the car. He was asked if he recognized the composite, he said that he didn't, but would like to send the picture to his mom, to see if she could figure out who it was.
- According to the officers involved, the composite was clearly a picture of his brother, William, but Issa denied knowing the man in the picture. Maybe his mother knew the man? Of course Issa never actually knew the picture was his own brother, but then again: the denial without the denial...
During the same interview, Issa was told that the suspect presented Darrell Issa's driver's license. Did Darrell have a second license? No, Issa said he didn't.
- Once again, according to the officers involved, after additional prodding, Issa FINALLY remembered that he did not like the picture in his first license, so he got another. Again: the denial without the denial... The officers determined that Darrell was involved in the theft because of all of the conflicts during his interrogation. For the full article, see:http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2003/06/25/ISSA.TMP
Perhaps the best of all is when it was reported that Issa was stopped by the Border Patrol for speeding in April of 2002. The original denial came from Issa's staff. When questioned, his staff reportedly denied that the incident ever took place and that if it did, it was politically motivated...
The LA Times confirmed the story and spoke to Dale Neugebauer, the then Congressman's chief of staff. The Times article printed on April 22, 2002, went on to state that Issa argued with the Border Patrol agent, stating that they had no authority to stop him for speeding.
Dale Neugebauer said someone was attempting to embarrass Issa because of legislation he was sponsoring that would make it easier to fire employees of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, which includes the Border Patrol. Issa also wanted a study done to determine if the San Clemente checkpoint should be closed.
- Again, no denial that Issa was going 90 miles per hour, just a side-step to suggest that the Border Patrol or someone else had some sort of vendetta against the poor Congressman. The denial without the denial...
This chronicle could go on and on, with many other examples throughout Issa's 57 years, but I believe the point is illustrated. Darrell Issa may believe that 'the truth is out there', but that truth just shouldn't apply to him...Anytime the truth stares him in the face, it is either a conspiracy against him, it is kid-stuff, it is not what he meant to convey or he simply doesn't ever remember doing that...
Why Has The Media Largely Ignored Issa's Latest Transgressions?
There are more recent and possibly more damaging allegations against Darrell Issa. They have been reported extensively by the LA Times and the San Diego City Beat. They may not be as colorful as auto theft, arson, or pulling a gun on someone, but in light of Darrell Issa's elected office, are far more serious. Why have so few in the media paid attention to the most recent allegations? Perhaps people do not understand the significance of the possible crimes alleged. Perhaps the media itself does not understand the significance.
The first has to do with a land deal in Carlsbad, California. In the summer of 2009, Issa purchased an industrial complex for significantly less than other offers that were on the table. The bank involved in the deal, East West Bank, appears to have no ties to Issa, but is being sued by another principle in the land, Ventura County Business Bank, who alleges that East West should have received more for the property than Issa paid. They further allege that East West gave Issa a 3 million dollar bonus and this bonus has damaged them financially.
In the San Diego City Beat article chronicling the details of Issa's purchase, the questions are summed up in the following manner:
Zachary Roth, the former Talking Points Memo writer who profiled Issa, sees an irony here.
“Just about every time there’s even the slightest hint of wrongdoing by the Obama administration, Congressman Issa is the first in line to call for an investigation,” Roth says. “If an administration official had potentially received a $3 million discount on a foreclosed property, does anyone think Issa wouldn’t be jumping up and down about it?”
Dave Levinthal, spokesman for the Center for Responsive Politics, says Issa should come forward with the details of the deal.
The second and potentially even more damaging Issa controversy has to do with the SEC and Goldman Sachs. Issa's holdings include anywhere from 5 to 15 million dollars in investments with Goldman Sachs. Shortly after the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that they had filed a lawsuit against Goldman Sachs for fraud, Issa used his power to launch an investigation. The investigation was NOT launched against Goldman Sachs, where he has investments, but against the SEC, stating that he believes the administration is unfairly targeting Goldman Sachs and using the lawsuit to further financial reform legislation. When a Congressman uses his power to protect a company from government scrutiny, it stands to reason that the Congressman should not have any personal interest in the outcome. In this case, Issa has a personal interest, to the possible tune of as much as 15 million dollars.
These two events alone are enough to launch an investigation into Issa and possible abuse of power violations. There are clearly enough questions surrounding Issa and his activities to suggest numerous conflicts of interest.
It is time that the media focus on Issa's recent activities. Anytime over the next couple of years that Issa launches an investigation, his financial disclosure forms should be compared to the investigation he proposes.
To See More About Darrell Issa
- Darrell Issa: Beyond The Kid Stuff! Graduates To What May Be Higher Crimes!
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