|U.S. Representative from California's 49th District|
From: January 3, 2001 - Present
|Successor||Incumbent (no successor)|
Darrell E. Issa (born November 1, 1953) is a U.S. Representative from California's 49th congressional district and a member of the Republican Party. He currently serves as Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and also serves on the House Judiciary Committee. After serving in the United States Army, he graduated from Sienna Heights University in Michigan with an ROTC scholarship. He would go on to launch a car-alarm business, Directed Electronics Incorporated, which went on to become the largest manufacturer of vehicle security systems in the United States. He became active in the technology-industry, and served as chairman of the Consumer Electronics Association. Issa's company earned him a fortune of $200 million.
Issa first entered politics in 1998 when he unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination to challenge Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer. However, Issa was elected the Congress in California's 49th district in 2000, upon the retirement of nine-term incumbent Ron Packard. He was easily reelected ever since but did not run again the 2018 elections.
In 2003, Issa contributed over $1.6 million to a signature-gathering drive for a petition to recall Governor Gray Davis.
In 2008, Issa defeated a Democrat, Robert Hamilton. Another opponent, Frank Ford, the founder of Arrowhead Mills, a natural foods wholesaler, withdrew from the congressional race because of health issues.
In the House Issa had a rather conservative voting record. He has voted with a majority of his Republican colleagues 93 percent of the time during the current Congress. Issa has been especially active in foreign affairs. On the eve of the War in Afghanistan he visited several middle eastern nations to build support for the United States. In 2007 he joined a delegation to terrorist-sponsored Syria led by Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
He is the chairman of the House Oversight Committee. Unlike the rest of Republican leadership, he's used this position to investigate into scandals involving the White House.
Darrell Issa has taken numerous decidedly non-conservative stances. He voted against an amendment which would have repealed taxpayer funding of sex-reassignment surgeries for members of the military. Commentator Mark Levin has called him a "RINO" because he did not support investigations into the IRS early enough. He made an insensitive comment about 9/11 in order to justify his opposition to 9/11 victims' relief programs. He has been referred to as "Jihad Darrell" for arguably defending Hezbollah.