Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Issa to Emmanuel: This Ain't Chicago

In a terse press release from the Committee on Oversight and Political Reform, Republican Ranking member Darrell Issa of California provides the strongest indication to date that Republicans refuse to be intimidated by the Chicago-style politics of Barack Obama and his capo, Rahm Emmanuel.
Issa’s stirring release came in response to a group of 4 letters issued by Obama cabinet members to Republican Governor Brewer of Arizona whose Senator, John Kyl, questioned the soundness of the Obama stimulus package:
“Following Senator Kyl's remarks, according to Politico, you coordinated an "assault" on
Senator Kyl and other critics of your policies by directing four cabinet secretaries to write
to Jan Brewer, the Governor of Arizona, asking pointedly if, in light of Senator Kyl's
remarks, Governor Brewer wished to forfeit taxpayer money directed to Arizona by the
stimulus.” http://republicans.oversight.house.gov/media/letters/20090804EmanuelStimulus.pdf
The letters to Brewer were issued nearly simultaneously and with very similar language by 4 different cabinet members. The pointed language in each letter seems designed to drive a wedge between the state Governor and the Senator who represents Arizona:
Letter from Ray LaHood, Secretary of Transportation:
On Sunday, Arizona Senator Jon Kyl publicly questioned whether the stimulus is working and stated that he wants to cancel projects that aren’t presently underway. I believe the stimulus has been very effective in creating job opportunities throughout the country. However, if you prefer to forfeit the money we are making available to your state, as Senator Kyl suggests, please let me know [emphasis added].

Letter from Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior:
Some key Republican leaders in Congress have publicly questioned whether the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is working and suggested cancelling all projects that are not currently in progress. I believe they are wrong. The stimulus funds provided through the Recovery Act are a very effective way to create job opportunities throughout the Country. However, if you prefer to forfeit the money we are making available to Arizona, please let me know [emphasis added]. http://republicans.oversight.house.gov/News/PRArticle.aspx?NewsID=625
Congressman Issa contends that these missives were intended to obstruct the ability of members of Congress to do their jobs:
“At what point do you believe your practice of Chicago-style politics violates a public official’s right to speak out in favor of alternative policies,” Issa asks. “The American people have a right to know what role you played in developing the threatening letters to Governor Brewer and whether you intend to continue to engage in these tactics in the future.”
He then calls for specific responses and documents from Rahm Emmanuel:

In order to assist the Committee with its investigation of this issue, please provide
the following information by close of business on Tuesday, August I1,2009:
1. Your response to Politico 's report that "White House chief of staff Rahm
Emanuel directed that the letters from the Cabinet secretaries be sent to
[Governor] Brewer, according to two administration officials."la
2. A full and complete explanation of the development of the four July 13 letters
from the cabinet secretaries to Governor Brewer, including but not limited to the
role you or any other White House official played in writing the letters or
encouraging the writing of the letters.
3. All records and communications between you and Secretary LaHood, Secretary
Salazar, Secretary Donovan, and Secretary Vilsack refening or relating to the
decision to send the July 13 letters to Governor Brewer.
4. A full and complete explanation of the role of the Democratic National
Committee and the White House Office of Political Affairs in authoring,
encouraging, facilitating, or directing the four July 13 letters from the cabinet
secretaries to Governor Brewer.” http://republicans.oversight.house.gov/media/letters/20090804EmanuelStimulus.pdf
Cleary the bullying tactics that are the specialty of the Chicago political machine work best when done behind the scenes. Congressman Issa’s bold attempt to shed some daylight on the calculated machinations of the Obamanistas illuminates both the unwillingness of this administration to tolerate criticism of their failing policies and the unethical practices its members are willing to pursue in order to achieve their political goals. We haven’t seen dirty tricks like these since the Nixon administration. It appears that Richard Nixon was a choir boy compared to these Chicago thugs.

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