Rep. Issa Uses Congressional Hearings To Ask Campaign Donors For Tips On How To Govern

April 18, 2011 5:29 pm ET — Brian Powell

The House of Representatives is not in session this week, but Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) is keeping members of his House Oversight and Government Reform Committee working hard with a series of field hearings taking place in town halls across the country. While the specific topics vary, the hearings generally revolve around regulatory impediments to job creation. Issa is using the hearings to solicit testimony from business leaders about which government regulations they feel are obstructing their ability to hire and grow, ostensibly so that he can then take action to have these regulations removed.

Issa started off the week of field hearings on a partisan foot, however. The first hearing, titled "Policies Affecting High Tech Growth And Federal Adoption Of Industry Best Practices," included as witnesses Issa campaign donors and unabashed cheerleaders of his legislation, from whom he received over $16,000 in 2010 alone.

Issa's first witness was Milo S. Medin, Vice President of Access Services at Google, Inc. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Google gave $6,000 to Issa's campaign committee in 2010.

Next, Issa brought in Stuart McKee, Microsoft's National Technology Officer. Microsoft was also a campaign donor to Issa, giving him $10,000 in 2010 and totaling over $21,000 in previous election cycles.

Issa's last witness was the CEO of Rivet Software, Patrick Quinlan, who, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, has not donated to Issa's campaign. However, Rivet's website has published a post urging support for legislation sponsored by Issa. Additionally, Quinlan has written a lengthy op-ed for ColoradoBiz magazine which praises Issa-sponsored legislation.

This isn't the first time Issa has asked his cronies in corporate America for legislative advice. One of his first tasks as the new chairman of the Oversight Committee was to collect letters from over 150 business leaders and trade organizations outlining a "hit list" of government regulations they wanted to see eliminated.