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Thursday, August 18, 2011

rePUBLICan ENEMY #1, part 6

Aug 18th, 2011

Rep. Darrel Issa with Syria's Bashar Assad
It has been some time since Rep. Darrel Issa (R-CA) created an appearance of impropriety this appalling. Earlier in the year, I went after him here, here, here, here and here. Nobody seemed to want pay that much attention at the time.

I understand that an already flabbergasted electorate had many other distractions. The potential damage I warned Issa might cause by misusing his new and powerful chairmanship of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform wasn't nearly as interesting as the ceaseless parade of lunatics calling the president a socialist or suggesting that the government had no business mandating an end to segregation.

It would seem that Issa has taken full advantage of the country's disinterest. Today, Lee Fang has a jaw-dropper over at ThinkProgress:

"Has Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) turned the House Oversight Committee into a bank lobbying firm with the power to subpoena and pressure government regulators? ThinkProgress has found that a Goldman Sachs vice president changed his name, then quietly went to work for Issa to coordinate his effort to thwart regulations that affect Goldman Sachs’ bottom line." EMPHASIS OURS

In a year of mind-numbingly repetitive bar-lowering by elected American rightists, this has the virtue of being unique. When was the last time you heard of a "retired" lobbyist with a history ethics complaints creating the impression of a separate identity so that he might return to government and, for all intensive purposes, continue to lobby for the private sector.

Meet Peter Haller:

Peter
"Haller, as he is now known, went by the name Peter Simonyi until three years ago. Simonyi adopted his mother’s maiden name Haller in 2008 just as he was leaving Goldman Sachs as a vice president of the bank’s commodity compliance group. 


In a few short years, Haller went from being in charge of dealing with regulators for Goldman Sachs to working for Congress in a position where he made official demands from regulators overseeing his old firm.

It’s not the first time Haller has worked the revolving door to help out Goldman Sachs. According to a report by the nonpartisan Project on Government Oversight, Haller — then known as Peter Simonyi — left the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2005 to work for Goldman Sachs, then quickly began lobbying his colleagues at the SEC on behalf of his new firm. At one point, Haller was compelled to issue a letter to the SEC claiming he did not violate ethics rules."

Perhaps, citizens should take notice this time, call Rep. Issa and begin making inquiries.

Rep. Darrell Issa in Washington, D.C.
202-225-3906
Rep. Darrel Issa in Vista, CA.
760-599-5000

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