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News Link • Corruption

A Businessman in Congress Helps His District and Himself

• NY Times
Most wealthy members of Congress push their financial activities to the side, with many even placing them in blind trusts to avoid appearances of conflicts of interest. But Mr. Issa (pronounced EYE-suh), one of Washington’s richest lawmakers, may be alone in the hands-on role he has played in overseeing a remarkable array of outside business interests since his election in 2000. 

1 Comments in Response to

Comment by Sean King
Entered on:

August 15, 2011

Follow-up Memo: Document shows Central Assertion in NY Times’ A1 Story is False
From: Frederick Hill – 202-225-0037

Earlier today, Rep. Darrell Issa’s office released a memo outlining clear factual errors and the unattributed rehashing of old partisan blog accusations that New York Times reporter Eric Lichtblau tries to pass off as his own original reporting in his hit piece of Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa.

Additional information retrieved since this earlier memo shatters the premise of the New York Times’ story. Real estate documents demonstrate that the story’s showcase example, a medical plaza the New York Times alleged had gained a 60 percent appreciation over three years is, in fact, false. The price Issa paid remains its current tax assessment.

The New York Times story, citing the medical plaza and federal funds Rep. Issa secured for his congressional district states, “the value of the medical complex and other properties has soared, at least in part because of the government-sponsored road work.” The story alleges that Rep. Issa’s 2008 purchase of “a medical plaza” for $10.3 million is now assessed by San Diego County “at $16 million – a 60 percent appreciation.”

This, however, is false.

According to the final settlement statement of the medical plaza property, the purchase price paid by Rep. Issa’s company for the property was $16.6 million. This figure, $16.6 million, is essentially identical to its current tax assessment and wipes-out the 60 percent appreciation the New York Times story alleges Rep. Issa’s commercial property enjoyed.

The crux of the story’s title, “Helping His District, and Himself,” is in fact premised on this one central example. The only question left is whether the Grey Lady has the integrity to admit critical mistakes on the part of editors and reporter Eric Lichtblau and retract its flawed and false attack on Rep. Darrell Issa.

Frederick R. Hill
Director of Communications
Oversight & Government Reform
Darrell Issa, Chairman
2157 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: 202-225-0037
Fax: 202-225-3974

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