Rep. Issa Finally Finds A Donor He Doesn't Like: Obama Commerce Secretary Nominee John Bryson

May 31, 2011 5:56 pm ET — Brian Powell

Darrell Issa

Political Correction has repeatedly pointed out Rep. Darrell Issa's (R-CA) record of showing preference for and granting unfettered political access to some of his biggest campaign contributors. Now, after none other than President Obama has nominated an Issa donor to the post of U.S. Secretary of Commerce, the California representative has finally discovered a donor he will oppose.

The words "I will nominate John Bryson" had barely escaped President Obama's lips before House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) was criticizing the decision, calling Bryson a "green evangelist" and attacking the pick as "deeply out-of-touch with our current energy challenge." The Hill reported on his statement:

"With gas prices at nearly four dollars a gallon, it's certainly eye-catching that President Obama has nominated a founder of an organization that opposes efforts to increase domestic oil production to serve as the nation's key advocate for our economic interests," Issa said in the statement. "The nomination of John Bryson to lead the Department of Commerce seems deeply out-of-touch with our current energy challenge."

Issa's criticism of Bryson, which stems from his role as a founder of the non-profit environmental advocacy group Natural Resources Defense Council over forty years ago, is a little surprising. After all, much more recently Bryson was the CEO of Edison International, a large energy company based in Issa's back yard of Southern California. Bryson ran the company from 1990 to 2008; during that period, Issa received at least $40,500 in political contributions from Edison's PAC.

As they say, there's a first time for everything — all it took for Issa to oppose a donor was for a Democrat to support him. 

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