Theodore's World: Congressman Darrell Issa Warns Rahm" This Isn't Chicago...Back Off"

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August 05, 2009

Congressman Darrell Issa Warns Rahm" This Isn't Chicago...Back Off"

Congressman Warns Rahm" This Isn't Chicago


PDF document original letter

The Honorable Rahm Emanuel
White House Chief of Staff
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. Emanuel:

As you know, Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) recently raised questions about the failure of the stimulus and suggested on a national television show that stimulus money scheduled to be spent in futut. years ought to be returned to the American taxpayers.

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. These tactics have been characterized as "a hst to the nose" and a message to "Back off." V/hile this type of scare tactic may work in Chicago, it will not work to intimidate me or other Members of the United States Congress.

At the risk of adding to the "weeks of frustration" you've reportedly felt in response to criticism of the Administration's ineffective and wasteful policies,a please allow me to bring the facts about the stimulus to your attention. In selling the stimulus package, the Administration promised the Congress and the American people that the legislation would create or save 3.5 million jobs and prevent the U.S. unemployment rate from rising above 8%.

I thought the outdated and discredited Keynesian economic theory behind your effort was misguided and I opposed the stimulus. Unfortunately, recent economic data has validated my opposition.-The U.S. economy lost 433,000 jobs in June, bringing the unemployment rate to 9,5% These job losses come on the heels of other declining economic indicators, and bring the total number of American jobs lost since President Obama took office to over 2.6 million.

I and others have dared to bring these facts to the attention of President Obama, the Congress and the American people. You've unfortunately reacted by once again resorting to the playbook of the Chicago political machine. As Politico reports, you "launched a coordinated effort to jam" Senator Kyl and other Administration critics:

... After seeing Kyl and House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) againpaint the legislation as a failure on Sunday talk shows, 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.

The fact that the letters were coordinated by you to maximize the level of intimidation is supported by the timing, structure, and content of each letter. Not only were the four letters all sent the day following Senator Kyl's remarks, but they were also remarkably similar in tone and sentence structure. For example, consider the following comparison:

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 qre making available to your state, as Senator Kyl suggests, please let me
know lemphasis addedl.

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 lcnow femphasis added.

Politico reports that in response to these letters, Governor Brewer "knew she'd been thrown a high, hard one." The president of the ArizonaChamber of Commerce and Industry felt the need to respond to these tactics by penning a column under the headline:

"Mr. President: Don't Bully Arizona."13 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? 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.

Since I represent a district in the great state of Califomia, I hope that you will not take this letter as an indication of Governor Schwarzenegger's position on stimulus funds dedicated to California nor his position on any other public policy issue. I can assure you that any attempt to intimidate me or silence my criticism of the stimulus through such
Chicago-style tactics will be futile.

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."

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.

Please note that, for purposes of responding to this request, the terms o'fecords," "sommunications," and "refering or relating" should be interpreted consistently with the attached Definitions of Terms.

If you have any questions regarding this request, please contact Christopher Hixon or Brien Beattie of the Committee staff at (202)225-5074,

Wild Thing's comment.......

Daryl Issa RCOKS! Wow. Great letter!

Ranking Member Darrell Issa (R-CA) sent a letter to Emanuel saying “While this type of scare tactic may work In Chicago, it will not work to intimidate me or other Members of the United States Congress.”

Posted by Wild Thing at August 5, 2009 06:50 AM


I heard Rep Darrell on the radio yesterday and he says Rahm usually uses four letter words when speaking to him and always salutes him with his middle finger. It looks like this ballerina is just a masterpiece of depravity.

Posted by: BobF at August 5, 2009 07:44 AM

Good one, Bob. Masterpiece of depravity that fits the Balleria. The tuff guy from Chicago. In the mode of Heimy Weiss, only Heimy had some chutzpah where Emanuelle has a short middle finger other than that no similarities.

Just a punk trying to make a name for himself in the bigleagues. Like running with the big dogs the little ones stay on the porch. This would be Good advice for the Ballerina.

Posted by: Mark at August 5, 2009 09:10 AM

What Bob and Mark say is very true and accurate. The fact that this man has the ear of the Fraud President, on many issues, is the scary part.
Obama comes from the same school of political thought, as evidenced by his reaction to the Drudge Report airing of his earlier Health Care statements.
I doubt very much if there was a reponse by Emanuel's office to the letter.
If the Governor of AZ had any Huevos, the Feds would be told to take the Stimulus Funds and put them where the sun don't shine.

Posted by: SEAN. at August 5, 2009 10:25 AM

Could be a sign of desperation. The plan is unravelling. People of all persuasions are standing up. Dead-Fish believes Chicago tactics work outside of Chicago, they don't. I've heard, in D.C, once you're wounded, the other sharks will eat you. This administration may well be wounded.

Posted by: Jim at August 5, 2009 10:50 AM

I haven't heard of Congressman Issa before but I sure do like his grit. That letter is fantastic. It calls a spade a spade. Glad it is making the rounds on the internet. Emanuel probably never figured he would get called down publicly like this. Maybe in 2012 this mob will be heading back to Chicago.

Posted by: TomR at August 5, 2009 11:31 AM

Rep. Issa is my congressman. I'm liking him more every day.

Posted by: Anon at August 5, 2009 06:19 PM

BobF., oh wow, what low claas person
Rahm is and disgusting to the max.
Thanks for sharing about that.

Posted by: Wild Thing at August 5, 2009 07:58 PM

Mark, heh heh good one.

Posted by: Wild Thing at August 5, 2009 07:59 PM

SEAN, I agree, I think Obama and Rahm go
back further then anyone else Obama has
in his adminstration. I heard that on the
radio the other day.

Posted by: Wild Thing at August 5, 2009 08:02 PM

Jim, see that is important, I agree, I think
they are wounded too. Little by little
people that voted for him are seeing what he
is about. His response to the police thing,
and this about silencing people they see it
and have got to wonder if he would do it to
them too if they ever got on his displeased
list. He would too.

Posted by: Wild Thing at August 5, 2009 08:04 PM

Tom, I hadn't heard of him either. I am very

Posted by: Wild Thing at August 5, 2009 08:05 PM

Illinois' finest.

I can't wait to start working to thin out our herd of crooks here in Illinois. My nearest city has a pretty well organized liberty (tea party) group that is non-partisan that I am going to hook up with. I think we'll be busy this fall and next year for our state elections.

Posted by: Eden at August 5, 2009 08:06 PM

Anon, that is wonderful.

Posted by: Wild Thing at August 5, 2009 08:09 PM

Issa is our congressman too and he is of the few who love this country...and have common sense.

Posted by: Dani at August 5, 2009 11:29 PM

Eden, that is fantastic, these are so
great and I love how we the people are
speaking out. They thought we would be
silent and just wait till 2010 to vote
which is good too but it will be too
late then to try and stop this thing.

Your State has a lot happening, tons
of great people there too that want to
keep America from being destroyed.

Posted by: Wild Thing at August 5, 2009 11:46 PM

Dani, that is so fantastic. It is amazing
how when things get bad how the best ones
rise to the top and take a stand. Sometimes
people few knew about, then many like myself
will tell others about him too and how
wonderful he is. The really good ones like
Issa really stand out.

Posted by: Wild Thing at August 5, 2009 11:49 PM