|U.S. House, California, District 49|
|January 3, 2015|
|Years in position||13|
|Predecessor||Ron Packard (R)|
|Elections and appointments|
|Last election||November 6, 2012|
|First elected||November 7, 2000|
|Next general||November 4, 2014|
|Associate's||Kent State University, 1976|
|Bachelor's||Siena Heights University, 1976|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||1970-1980|
|Birthday||November 1, 1953|
|Place of birth||Cleveland, Ohio|
- 1 Biography
- 2 Career
- 3 Committee assignments
- 4 Issues
- 4.1 Legislative actions
- 4.1.1 Fiscal Cliff
- 4.1.2 113th Congress
- 4.1.3 National security
- 4.1.4 Economy
- 4.1.5 Immigration
- 4.1.6 Healthcare
- 4.1.7 Social issues
- 4.2 IRS targeting
- 4.3 Gubernatorial recall
- 4.4 Presidential preference
- 4.5 Earmarks
- 4.1 Legislative actions
- 5 Elections
- 6 Campaign donors
- 7 Analysis
- 8 Personal
- 9 Recent news
- 10 External links
- 11 References
Aside from his service in Congress, Issa is also known for being a major contributor to the 2003 recall election of then-Governor Gray Davis. In October 2007, Issa announced that he was supporting the Presidential Electoral Reform Act, a ballot measure that would change how California selects its representatives to the presidential electoral college.
Issa is also known for being one of the richest members of Congress. He earned nearly $60 million in 2012 and was worth more than $355 million at the end of the year.
Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Issa is an average Republican member of Congress, meaning he will vote with the Republican Party on the majority of bills.
Issa's mother is of Bohemian German descent and his father is of Lebanese Christian descent. Issa was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He grew up in a Jewish neighborhood and worked for a rabbi. Issa enlisted in the United States Army during his senior year of high school, where he served as a bomb disposal technician.
He attended Kent State University Stark in North Canton, Ohio and Siena Heights College in Adrian, Michigan, on an ROTC scholarship, earning a bachelor's degree in business administration in 1976. Upon graduation, he was commissioned as a US Army Officer, serving as a tank platoon leader and a computer research and development specialist, among other command roles. He left the Regular Army in 1980 with the rank of captain. He later moved to Vista, California, a suburb of San Diego, where he now lives.
Issa made his fortune through his company, Directed Electronics Incorporated, that is most famous for its flagship product, the "Viper" car alarm. It bears one notable siren that is a recording of Issa's voice, "Warning, you are too close, this vehicle protected by Viper." As of 2004, Directed Electronics was North America's largest aftermarket automotive electronics manufacturer. Issa divested all personal interest in Directed Electronics after being elected to public office, but is one of the richest members of the House.
Below is an abbreviated outline of Issa's academic, professional and political career:
- 1976: Graduated from Siena Heights College with B.A.
- 1970-1980: United States Army
- 2001-Present: U.S Representative from California
- Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Chair
- Judiciary Committee
- Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet
- Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law
Issa served on the following committees:
- Judiciary Committee
- Subcommittee on Courts and Competition Policy
- Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition, and the Internet
- Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Chair
Issa voted against the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003 while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. He was 1 of 151 Republicans that voted against the bill. The bill was passed in the House by a 257 - 167 vote on January 1, 2013.
The 113th Congress has had 55 out of 5,401 introduced bills enacted into law (1 percent) as of November 30, 2013. Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 1.14 percent of introduced bills enacted into law in the first session. For more information pertaining to Issa's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.
National Defense Authorization Act
Issa voted for HR 1960 - the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014. The bill passed the House on June 14, 2013, with a vote of 315 - 108. Both parties were somewhat divided on the vote.
Department of Homeland Security Appropriations
Issa voted for HR 2217 - the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2014. The bill passed the House on June 6, 2013, with a vote of 245 - 182 that was largely along party lines.
Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act
Issa voted for HR 624 - the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act. The bill passed the House on April 18, 2013, with a vote of 288 - 127. The bill would allow federal intelligence agencies to share cybersecurity intelligence and information with private entities and utilities. The bill was largely supported by Republicans but divided the Democratic Party.
Federal Statutory Pay Adjustment Elimination
Issa voted for HR 273 - Eliminates the 2013 Statutory Pay Adjustment for Federal Employees. The bill passed the House on February 15, 2013, with a vote of 261 - 154. The bill would prevent a 0.5% pay increase for all federal workers from taking effect, saving the federal government $11 billion over 10 years.
Morton Memos Enforcement Prohibition
Issa voted for House Amendment 136 - Prohibits the Enforcement of the Immigration Executive Order. The amendment was adopted by the House on June 6, 2013, with a vote of 224 - 201. The purpose of the amendment as stated on the official text is to "prohibit the use of funds to finalize, implement, administer, or enforce the Morton Memos." These memos would have granted administrative amnesty to certain illegal aliens residing in the United States. The vote largely followed party lines.
Health Care Reform Rules
Issa voted for House Amendment 450 - Requires Congressional Approval for Any Rules Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The amendment was adopted by the House on August 2, 2013, with a vote of 227-185. The amendment requires that all changes to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act be approved by Congress before taking effect. The vote was largely along party lines.
Issa voted for HR 1797 - Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. The resolution passed the House on June 18, 2013, with a vote of 228 - 196 that largely followed party lines. The purpose of the bill is to ban abortions that would take place 20 or more weeks after fertilization.
On May 10, 2013, news broke that various branches of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) had specifically targeted conservative groups' applications for tax-exempt status. This began during the tea party surge in 2010. The agency was separating tax-exempt applications by searching for political terms such as "tea party" and "patriot." In June 2011, an IRS official was briefed on these transgressions and asked that this practice end. The flagging continued, however, when the criteria was changed in January 2012 to look out for groups educating on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
The targeting includes allegations that tea party groups were forced to provide information not asked of other tax exempt groups. Examples of this included requests for donor information, Facebook posts, resumes and political intentions of group officials and connections to other groups.
During the May 22 House committee hearing on the issue, Issa claimed that J. Russell George, the IRS inspector general, had not fulfilled his obligation to inform the House of any serious problems, "You have a responsibility to keep us continually, and according to statue, equally informed. In this case, it appears you did not. Would you agree with that?” Issa stated. 
Issa came to national prominence when he contributed over $1.6 million to help fund a signature-gathering drive for the petition to recall Gray Davis. At the time he made the contribution, it was widely believed that Issa intended to place himself on the ballot to replace Davis. However, with only two days before the filing deadline, Issa announced that he would not run. Issa later said that his mission had been accomplished since Davis was recalled and he wanted to continue representing his district in Congress and work towards Middle East peace.
For the recall election, Issa endorsed Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger. However, at one point in the campaign he actually suggested that people should vote against recalling Davis, concerned that Schwarzenegger and fellow Republican Tom McClintock would split votes and install Democratic lieutenant governor Cruz Bustamante as Davis' successor
A Washington Post investigation in February 2012 revealed that 33 members of Congress helped direct more than $300 million in earmarks to public projects in close proximity to commercial and residential real estate owned by the lawmakers or their family members. According to the report, Issa secured $815,000 in earmarks between 2007 and 2009 to widen a road less than a mile from a medical building in Vista, California, that Issa purchased for $16.6 million in 2008.
Issa won re-election in the 2012 election for the U.S. House, representing California's 49th District. He and Jerry Tetalman (D) advanced past the blanket primary on June 5, 2012, defeating Dick Eiden (Ind) and Albin Novinec (Ind). Issa went on to defeat Tetalman in the November 6, 2012, general election.
|U.S. House, California District 49 General Election, 2012|
|Republican||Darrell Issa Incumbent||58.2%||159,725|
|Source: California Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"|
|U.S. House, California District 49 Open Primary, 2012|
|Darrell Issa (R) Incumbent||61.1%||71,329|
|Jerry Tetalman (D)||30.7%||35,816|
|Dick Eiden (NPP)||6.8%||7,988|
|Albin Novinec (NPP)||1.4%||1,626|
To view the full congressional electoral history for Darrell Issa, click [show] to expand the section.
Comprehensive donor information for Issa is available dating back to 2000. Based on available campaign finance records, Issa raised a total of $9,631,948 during that time period. This information was last updated on March 22, 2013.
|Darrell Issa's Campaign Contribution History|
|2012||US House (California, District 49)||$2,478,710|
|2010||US House (California, District 49)||$1,495,193|
|2008||US House (California, District 49)||$1,035,312|
|2006||US House (California, District 49)||$908,837|
|2004||US House (California, District 49)||$871,009|
|2002||US House (California, District 49)||$560,857|
|2000||US House (California, District 48)||$2,282,030|
|Grand Total Raised||$9,631,948|
|Darrell Issa (2014) Campaign Finance Reports|
|Report||Date Filed||Beginning Balance||Total Contributions|
for Reporting Period
|Expenditures||Cash on Hand|
|April Quarterly||April 15, 2013||$1,749,490.41||$291,527.07||$(122,866.56)||$1,918,150.92|
|July Quarterly||July 15, 2013||$1,918,150.92||$737,108.68||$(257,772.83)||$2,397,486.77|
Issa won re-election to the U.S. House in 2012. During that election cycle, Issa's campaign committee raised a total of $2,478,710 and spent $1,115,221. This is less than the average $1.5 million spent by House winners in 2012.
Cost per vote
Issa spent $6.98 per vote received in 2012.
|U.S. House, California District 49, 2012 - Darrell Issa Campaign Contributions|
|Total Raised by Election Runner-up||$131,167|
|Total Spent by Election Runner-up||$127,719|
|Top contributors to Darrell Issa's campaign committee|
|Bank of America||$12,850|
|Top 5 industries that contributed to campaign committee|
|Oil & Gas||$66,950|
Issa won re-election to the U.S. House in 2010. During that election cycle, Issa's campaign committee raised a total of $1,495,193 and spent $1,232,154.
His top 5 contributors between 2009-2010 were:
|U.S. House, California District 49, 2010 - Darrell Issa Campaign Contributions|
|Total Raised by General Election Opponent||$15,299|
|Total Spent by General Election Opponent||$14,687|
|Top contributors to Darrell Issa's campaign committee|
|Consumer Electronics Assn||$10,000|
|Top 5 industries that contributed to campaign committee|
|Oil & Gas||$46,000|
Ideology and leadership
The website OpenCongress tracks the voting records of each member to determine with whom he or she votes most and least often. The results include a member from each party.
Issa most often votes with:
Issa least often votes with:
National Journal vote ratings
- See also: National Journal vote ratings
Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year. Issa ranked 41st in the conservative rankings in 2012.
Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year. Issa ranked 120th in the conservative rankings.
Voting with party
Issa voted with the Republican Party 97.6% of the time, which ranked 83rd among the 233 House Republican members as of June 2013.
Lifetime missed votes
According to the website GovTrack, Issa missed 280 of 8,657 roll call votes from January 2001 to March 2013. This amounts to 3.2%, which is worse than the median of 2.2% among current congressional representatives as of March 2013.
Congressional staff salaries
The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Issa paid his congressional staff a total of $1,032,736 in 2011. He ranked 30th on the list of the highest paid Republican representative staff salaries and ranked 129th overall of the highest paid representative staff salaries in 2011. Overall, California ranked 5th in average salary for representative staff. The average U.S. House of Representatives congressional staff was paid $954,912.20 in fiscal year 2011.
Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, Issa's net worth as of 2011 was estimated between $215,550,040 and $745,099,999. That averages to $480,325,019, which is higher than the average net worth of Republican representatives in 2011 of $7,859,232. His average net worth increased by 7.19% from 2010.
Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, Issa's net worth as of 2010 was estimated between $195,400,035 and $700,850,000. That averages to $448,125,017.50, which is higher than the average net worth of Republican representatives in 2010 of $7,561,133.
Wealthiest members of Congress
According to a report by The Hill, Issa is one of the three wealthiest members of Congress. His minimum net worth, earned through his car alarm business, was estimated at $355 million by the report. He is joined by Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Tx) and Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) on the list.
Issa and his wife, Kathy, have one child.
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Darrell + Issa + California + House
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
- Social media:
- Political profiles:
- Financial (federal level):
- Interest group ratings:
- Issue positions:
- Public statements:
- Voting record:
- Works by or about:
- Media appearances:
- Media coverage:
- CNN "California Districts Race - 2012 Election Center"
- "REGION: Saldana is against Bilbray as redistricting completed", nctimes.com, August 16, 2011
- Politico, "Darrell Issa made nearly $60M in 2012," June 24, 2013
- Biographical Director of the United States Congress "Darrell Issa," Accessed November 16, 2011
- Politico, "House committee chairs all men," November 28, 2012
- CQ.com - Roll Call, "House Committee Rosters for the 113th Congress," accessed January 18, 2013
- Darrell Issa, Serving California's 49th District "Committee Assignments"
- U.S. House "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff" Accessed January 4, 2013.
- Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
- Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
- Project Vote Smart, "HR 1960 - National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014 - Voting Record," accessed September 16, 2013
- Project Vote Smart, "HR 2217 - Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2014 - Voting Record," accessed September 16, 2013
- Project Vote Smart, "HR 624 - Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act - Voting Record," accessed September 16, 2013
- Washington Post, "Which lawmakers will refuse their pay during the shutdown?," accessed October 2, 2013
- Project Vote Smart, "HR 273 - Eliminates the 2013 Statutory Pay Adjustment for Federal Employees - Voting Record," accessed September 16, 2013
- The Library of Congress, "H.AMDT.136," accessed September 16, 2013
- Project Vote Smart, "H Amdt 136 - Prohibits the Enforcement of the Immigration Executive Order - Voting Record," accessed September 16, 2013
- Project Votesmart, "H Amdt 450 - Requires Congressional Approval for Any Rules Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act - Voting Record," accessed September 16, 2013
- Project Vote Smart, "HR 1797 - Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act - Voting Record," accessed September 16, 2013
- USA Today, "IRS knew of Tea Party profiling in 2011, report shows," accessed May 16, 2013
- Politico, "The IRS wants YOU- to share everything," accessed May 16, 2013
- Washington Post, "IRS officials in Washington were involved in targeting of conservative groups," accessed May 16, 2013
- Politico, "Darrell Issa slams IRS watchdog," May 22, 2013
- The Hill, "2012 GOP Lawmaker Endorsements for President," retrieved November 23, 2011
- Washington Post "Congressional earmarks sometimes used to fund projects near lawmakers' properties," February 6, 2012
- Washington Post "Mapping the earmarks," February 6, 2012
- California Secretary of State, Official candidate list
- Unofficial election results
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008," accessed March 28, 2013
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2006," accessed March 28, 2013
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2004," accessed March 28, 2013
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 2002," accessed March 28, 2013
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2000," accessed March 28, 2013
- Open Secrets "Career Fundraising for Darrell Issa," Accessed March 22, 2013
- Federal Election Commission "Darrell Issa Summary Report," Accessed July 23, 2013
- 'Federal Election Commission "Darrell Issa April Quarterly," Accessed July 23, 2013
- 'Federal Election Commission "Darrell Issa July Quarterly," Accessed July 23, 2013
- Open Secrets "Darrell Issa 2012 Election Cycle," Accessed February 20, 2013
- Open Secrets, "Election 2012: The Big Picture Shows Record Cost of Winning a Seat in Congress," June 19, 2013
- Open Secrets "Darrell Issa 2010 Election Cycle," Accessed November 16, 2011
- Gov Track "Darrell Issa," Accessed June 7 2013
- OpenCongress, "Darrell Issa," Accessed July 31, 2013
- National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," February 21, 2013
- National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," February 23, 2012
- OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
- GovTrack, "Darrell Issa," Accessed April 2, 2013
- LegiStorm "Darrell Issa"
- OpenSecrets.org, "Issa, (R-Cali), 2011"
- OpenSecrets.org, "Issa, (R-Cali), 2010"
- The Washington Post, "Issa, McCaul, Warner are wealthiest members of Congress," August 20, 2013
|U.S. House of Representatives - California
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