By Doug Porter
In recent days the richest man in Congress has sent three fundraising appeals to supporters claiming that an election he’s likely won is being compromised by ‘liberals’ with ‘illegal votes.’
Representative Darrell Issa has apparently survived a challenge from Doug Applegate, though his margin of victory is much smaller than he’s used to. Recent reports from voter registrars in San Diego and Orange Counties indicate the incumbent has a 2% (4000+ votes) lead. There are still ballots to be counted, but it’s rare for a lead of this size to change with late returns.
Issa, who was known as the House ‘Mini-Trump’ until he volunteered to advise Hillary Clinton late in the campaign when he thought she was winning, wants to gin up the fear. He’s inferring the disproven/fake news account currently being consumed on social media saying 3 million ‘illegals’ were allowed is a threat to his incumbency.
The ‘Illegals’ Are Coming!
From the Seaside-Courier: (Emphasis added)
“As we’ve seen on the news since last Tuesday’s historic Republican victory, the Left is lashing out in any way possible to protest our success at resonating with the American people,” Issa writes in an email sent Nov. 15.
“I have just become their number one target. See, I won my re-election campaign fairly and outright, but now the Democrats are calling for recount in hopes to cancel out my constituent’s (sic) voices and replace their chosen Representative with a Leftist Democrat. They know that if the vote totals get close enough, the Registrar will be forced to begin counting ballots cast by illegal, unregistered voters.
This recount is about so much more than just ME. It’s the national Democrat machines first attempt to embarrass President Trump and to stomp out the change that American’s across this nation have called for! We can’t let them get away with this. I WILL NOT allow this election to be STOLEN from the American people by the Left who are trying to cancel out my constituent’s voices and votes!
My team is going to monitor EVERY SINGLE BALLOT to ensure that the voices of the people is (sic) heard. But, this is going to cost me hundreds of thousands of dollars. That’s a problem, because I left NOTHING on the table during the campaign, and our resources are entirely depleted. Will you stand with me today and make an URGENT donation to the Recount Fund right now? Please click on the buttons below to make a contribution of ANY AMOUNT you can afford….”
A third email to supporters was sent today (Nov. 16): “I won, but now the liberals are trying to steal the election. 189,335 ballots have been counted, and I am winning by 2.2%, but there are still as many as 103,787 ballots left to count, including many provisional ballots. The truth is, there are enough ballots left to be counted that I could still lose. I am optimistic thats not going to happen though.
“Heres the problem, most of the remaining votes are late absentee and so called provisional ballots. Those late votes arent trending in my favor, because Nancy Pelosi and the DCCC spent more than 7 million dollars against me, telling blatant lies about me. Because of those lies, (which I just filed a lawsuit against them for blatant slander and libel) many later voters were influenced and they could bring the count to within 1%. Once the count is that close, Democrats will attempt to force the Registrars to allow thousands of illegal, unregistered voters to influence the election.
Issa Got Lucky and Still Cried the Blues
In the bubble world of the rich and famous, bad news is always somebody else’s fault. Never mind that Issa’s opponent had an actual ground game, thanks to a strong primary showing which brought him national support and fewer competitive races in San Diego than expected.
From Mother Jones
Observers describe the primary outcome as a wake-up call for Issa but question whether his team really got the message. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report moved the race from “leans Republican” to a toss-up in mid-October. “It’s a mystifyingly bad campaign that Issa’s run,” the report’s editor told the Times.
Issa didn’t launch campaign ads until October. One featured former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani to rebut an Applegate ad. “The last thing you do is bring in a New Yorker who has no appeal whatsoever and reinforces his association with Trump,” says Busby. “It’s just very amateurish.” As one Republican political operative who asked to remain anonymous told me, “I don’t know if you’ve looked at Darrell Issa’s TV ads, but they are the worst fucking TV ads I’ve ever seen in my life.”
Money Can’t Buy Me Love
From the Washington Post:
He’s also one of the richest members of Congress; in 2015 CQ Roll Call ranked him literally the richest for the third consecutive year, with a net worth of somewhere between $350 million and $250 million.
But money can’t buy everything. As the nonpartisan Cook Political Report wrote, “it’s possible to be the wealthiest member of Congress and still run a very poor campaign.” Issa embraced Donald Trump even though his district is more than a quarter Hispanic or Latino, and he was perhaps overly comfortable and didn’t start running ads until late in the game.
Toward the end of the campaign, Issa tried to move to the center — and got blasted by Obama for it.
In late October, Issa sent out a mailer with a picture of Obama signing one of his bills. Obama called Issa “the definition of chutzpah,” and “shameless,” given the congressman spent much of the past eight years as one of the highest-profile critics of the president.
Sinking the USNS Harvey Milk and USNS Caesar Chavez
Another ‘winner’–Duncan Hunter– was re-elected to the 50th Congressional District.
Now his name is being bandied about as a possible pick for Secretary of Defense or Secretary of the Navy in the Trump administration. A Marine veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, Hunter was one of the first congressmen to endorse Trump and is considered a high-profile member of House Armed Services Committee,
Over the weekend, The Washington Times ran with a glowing account of Hunter’s priorities for the military, calling them a “counterrevolution.”
- Reversing the decision by Defense Secretary Ashton Carter to open direct land combat jobs in the infantry and special operations to women.
- Nullifying the decision to open the ranks to transgender service members.
- Revoking the order to remove historic job descriptions, such as hospital corpsman and yeoman, from Navy enlisted ratings.
- Renaming ships like those named after farm labor leader Cesar Chavez and gay rights advocate Harvey Milk.
Hunter told the Washington Times:
“There are a lot of great people you can name ships after that would give the sailor pride to sail on that ship. Harvey Milk isn’t one of them.”
Nothing to See Here, Just Some Personal Expenses
Now that the election is over, we’re learning more about the $48,650 ‘inadvertently charged’ on his campaign credit card. A report filed with the Federal Election Commission on November 4 details what was reimbursed to Hunter’s campaign, via a third mortgage on the congressman’s home.
Campaign finance rules forbid the expenditure of campaign donations for personal expenses. In the interests of full disclosure, here’s the complete list of what was inadvertently charged:
All 2015-2016 Cox Communications totaling $1174.96
10/14/2015 San Diego Gas & Electric totaling $1268.00
8/10/2015 Padre Municipal Water District totaling $300.00
All 2015-2016 Sea World totaling $961.46
9/28/2015 Star Trader totaling $229.44
9/28/2015 Royal Street Veranda totaling $58.31
All 2015-2016 Albertsons totaling $4223.34
All 2015-2016 Vons totaling $850.65
All 2015-2016 Trader Joes totaling $603.94
8/20/2015 Educational Outfitters totaling 207.63
Keep scrolling, we’re just getting started…
All 2015-2016 Costco totaling $6142.03
All 2015-2016 Target totaling $1302.93
All 2015-2016 Walmart totaling $2616.64
All 2015-2016 Walgreens totaling $129.21
All 2015-2016 Rite Aid totaling $670.24
6/29/2015 CVS totaling $38.75
All 2015-2016 Dick’s Sporting Goods totaling $434.49
7/6/2015 The North Face totaling $205.62
8/6/2015 Sports Authority totaling $144.57
All 2015 FEIS Productions totaling $230.00
All 2015-2016 7-Eleven totaling $35.16
7/7/2015 Bishop Gas & Mini Mart $45.09
All 2015-2016 Chevron totaling $2,866.93
9/2/2015 Circle K totaling $57.30
All 2015-2016 Exxon totaling $519.26
All 2015 Firenze S.M.N. Self Service totaling $320.24
7/7/2015 Mill City Trv Cntr totaling $46.82
7/23/2015 Rubio’s totaling $38.35
All 2015-2016 Shell Oil Co totaling $2605.01
3/23/2015 USA Gasoline totaling $44.30
All 2015 Nordstrom totaling $414.47
All 2015 Macy’s totaling $486.97
12/21/2015 Athleisure Inc. totaling $85.32
11/10/2015 Abercrombie & Fitch totaling $92.88
All 2015-2016 Nail Spa Plus totaling $111.00
8/18/2015 Regis totaling $99.53
5/8/2015 Icing totaling $77.85
11/30/2015 H&M totaling $134.61
All 2015-2016 Home Depot totaling $1031.89
But Wait! There’s More!
All 2016 Arizona Grand Resort totaling $2891.75
7/7/2015 The Grove Hotel totaling $1083.63
7/6/2015 Epleys Boise River Rental totaling $73.14
3/15/2016 Hotel Del Toy Castle totaling $43.63
12/15/2015 Hotel del Recreation totaling $100.00
All 2015 Expedia totaling $1920.11
11/27/2015 Roma Termini totaling $248.03
11/30/2015 Casa Italo Napoli Centrale totaling $289.38
11/25/2015 Ristorante Il Giubileo totaling $213.50
11/27/2015 Hotel L’Ancora totaling $683.29
11/27/2015 Il Ritrovo Restaurant totaling $294.53
11/27/2015 Starhotels Michelangelo totaling $161.65
11/27/2015 Trattoria Da Cumpa Cosimo totaling $138.25
11/27/2015 Gioielleria Manetti totaling $216.76
2014-2015 United Airlines totaling $6064.38
All 2015 Jeff Gray DDS totaling $1400.00
All 2015 Barnes & Noble totaling $525.36
All 2015-2016 Ki’s Restaurant totaling $1372.75
Corruption: Soon To Be No Big Deal
Finally, I’d like to highlight a bit of Ezra Klein’s column at Vox.com about the system corruption ahead of us in the Trump era:
We are used to corruption in which the rich buy political favor. What we need to learn to fear is corruption in which political favor becomes the primary driver of economic success.
Many American administrations have featured acts of venal corruption, and Trump’s will likely feature more than most. The larger risk, however, is that Trump’s lack of grounding in ideological principles or party networks will create a systemically corrupt government. Such governments, Wallis writes, “are rent creating, not rent seeking, governments” who operate by “limiting access to markets and resources in order to create rents that bind the interests of the ruling coalition together.”
This is how Vladimir Putin governs Russia, and how the Mubarak/Sisi regime rules Egypt. To be a successful businessman in a systemically corrupt regime and to be a close supporter of the regime are one and the same thing.
Those who support the regime will receive favorable treatment from regulators and those who oppose it will not. Because businesses do business with each other, the network becomes self-reinforcing. Regime-friendly banks receive a light regulatory touch while their rivals are crushed. In exchange, they offer friendly lending terms to regime-friendly businesses while choking capital to rivals. Such a system, once in place, is extremely difficult to dislodge precisely because, unlike a fascist or communist regime, it is glued together by no ideology beyond basic human greed, insecurity, and love of family.
On This Day: 1947 – With many U.S. political leaders gripped by the fear of communism and questioning citizen loyalties in the years following World War II, the Screen Actors Guild votes to force its officers to take a “non-communist” pledge. A few days earlier the Hollywood Ten had been called before the House Committee on Un-American Activities. 1968 – NBC cut away from the final minutes of a New York Jets-Oakland Raiders game to begin a TV special, “Heidi,” on schedule. The Raiders came from behind to beat the Jets 43-32. 1973 – President Nixon told an Associated Press managing editors meeting in Orlando, FL, “people have got to know whether or not their president is a crook. Well, I’m not a crook.
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