Rep. Darrell Issa (R-1%)

November 09, 2011 2:30 pm ET — Brian Powell

The Occupy Wall Street movement has taken hold across the United States in an explosion of frustration about high unemployment, out of control debt, flat-lined wages, and an almost surreal level of wealth disparity that has increasingly afflicted the middle class over the past 30 years. And while the movement's policy goals remain an open-source, fluid amalgam of populist agendas, it's clear who they claim to represent — they are "the 99%." But the 99% is not well-represented in Congress, and over the past few days their opposition on Capitol Hill has been given a face and a name: Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), the chairman of the powerful House Oversight Committee and a champion of the 1%.

Earlier this week, Issa called on U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch to investigate anonymously sourced and quickly denied Fox News "reports" that New York Communities for Change has "engaged in fraud through its participation in the Occupy Wall Street protests." In targeting an organization that advocates for the middle class and those living in poverty, Issa demonstrates once again his support for the 1% and deliberate efforts to undermine everyone else.

Why Issa is the face of the 1%:

  • Issa Is The Second Wealthiest Member Of Congress. Issa, whose car alarm business helped elevate him to his current net worth of at least $220 million, is the second-wealthiest member of Congress - body which is already disproportionately comprised of millionaires.
  • Issa Uses Congressional Resources To Elevate The Influence Of Big Business In Government And The Public Square. It is common practice for Issa to use his power as a committee chairman to invite Big Business political donors to Capitol Hill to voice their grievances before Congress and the American people.
  • Issa Shut Down An Investigation Into Corruption In The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission Because It Would Expose Republicans. After first scheduling a hearing into reported corruption within the ranks of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, Issa shut it down after Democrats published a report indicating that Republicans were culpable for much of the unethical behavior.
  • Issa Voted Against The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Bill. Dodd-Frank, enacted in 2010, was a bipartisan bill designed to "protect the American taxpayer by ending bailouts" and "protect consumers from abusive financial services practices."
  • Issa's Committee Attacked Consumer Advocate Elizabeth Warren. In an effort to de-fang the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau established by Dodd-Frank, Issa and his fellow Oversight Republicans held hearings to mercilessly grill the would-be administrator of the bureau, Elizabeth Warren.
  • Issa Has Aggressively Attacked Middle Class Workers And The Government Agencies Established To Protect Them. Issa and his committee have been waging a smear campaign against organized labor and the National Labor Relations Board after the NLRB opened a routine investigation into claims that Boeing, Inc. was punishing union workers in Washington state by adding jobs in the right-to-work state of South Carolina.
  • Issa Has Attacked Funding For Middle Class Educators And Postal Workers. Issa has advocated a drastic downsizing of the U.S. Postal Service workforce and slashing funds for public school teachers.