Issa schedules 1-hour sham town hall

Something is rotten in the 49th Congressional District and it looks a lot like Darrell Issa and his affinity for town hall shams/KPBS

This round-up written by Doug Porter, Ocean Beach alternative press legend, and first appeared May 24 at San Diego Free Press. For more, visit

Town hall

UPDATED: A fun trip through the mind of Issa’s press flack…

By Doug Porter

Nobody has ever accused Darrell Issa of being stupid. After initially promising a town hall for constituents on May 31st, the 49th District Congressman has announced a one-hour event for 9am Saturday, June 3rd at the San Juan Hills High School Theatre.

Located in San Juan Capistrano, the venue for Issa’s gathering is at the northern edge of his district in Orange County, far from the maddening San Diego county constituents who’ve dogged him over his stances on health care, RussiaGate, and immigration.

The eventbrite page to register for the town hall encourages would-be attendees to carpool, rideshare, or take public transportation. I doubt that anybody from Issa’s office checked on the availability of bus service because there doesn’t appear to be any.

The code doesn’t work for now. Try again after May 27th.

Another hurdle to be crossed for signing up involves entering a promotional code to RSVP. There isn’t one available to the general public, whether or not they are constituents of the 49th Congressional District, although that may be because registration doesn’t open until May 27th. (Emphasis added, see update below.) Proof of advance registration is, of course, required at the door to the event.

UPDATE: A communications guy for Rep. Issa contacted me asking for a correction.

I wanted to note that the event is completely open to the public and doesn’t require a promotional code. The event, as noted on the page, opens to registration on Saturday the 27th

He wanted me to say the event page “does not say that [promo code]. At all.”

So let’s take a closer look. 

So we go to the EventBright Page and click on ‘register’. (A similar sequence occurs if you enter through his congressional website)

This brings up a box with one active link– “Enter Promotional Code.” Note the grayed out ‘sales start May 27’.

So if you click on the promotional code link, you get this page. I used the code on the mailer.


So, according to Issa’s guy, I’m “leaving out important details.” I beg to disagree.

Issa’s town hall coincides with over 100 planned protests throughout the nation associated with the March for Truth, calling for an impartial investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and ties to Donald Trump and his associates.

Regional events connected with the March for Truth include EscondidoSan DiegoSan Bernadino, and Los Angeles.

Activists with Indivisible North San Diego County and others are undaunted by the roadblocks Issa has put up to allow himself a safe space to spew RepubliFacts™. They are already organizing a protest at San Juan Hills High School.

Speaking of sleazy CongressCritters, South Carolina Republican Congressman (Howard) Trey Gowdy’s performance during Tuesday’s House Intelligence Committee hearing about the Russia probe was nothing short of pathetic.

Coincidence? I think not

Former CIA Agent Phil Mudd took to CNN Wednesday morning to excoriate Gowdy for his partisan grandstanding during the testimony of former-CIA Director John Brennan.

From Raw Story (emphasis mine)

During the hearing, Chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) repeatedly questioned Brennan on “collusion.” Brennan refused to fall into Gowdy’s trap, however, and refused to rule out possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia because multiple investigations are still collecting evidence.

Trey Gowdy should have his ass kicked. He knows the difference,” Mudd said of Gowdy trying to use the words interchangeably. “If you are an American citizen and CIA is collecting intercepts of Russians of what you said, is it fair to go to court and say that is evidence of something you did wrong?”

Mudd noted that it would take more than a year to investigate “because the American citizens have a right to have evidence presented in a court beyond a conversation of Russian official reports.”

Gowdy is on track to replace Rep. Jason Chaffetz as chair of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

El Cajon Redistricts. (Yes!) Over 300 people showed up at a meeting about district elections for city council in El Cajon, and–gasp– democracy worked! The city council bowed to the wishes of constituents, approving a map including minority majorities in three districts.This means Chaldeans, Kurdish, Hispanic, African Americans, and 65 other ethnic groups living in El Cajon now have a fair shot at representing their communities. (h/t to James Elia for the info and hard work)

The deal for storing radioactive waste from the San Onofre nuclear plant was made following 17 private meetings with Southern California Edison Edison representatives and nine different coastal commissioners over 3 months leading up to the October 2015 hearing, including one the morning of the meeting, according to the Union-Tribune’s Jeff MacDonald:

The permit was strongly opposed by environmentalists, nearby property owners and others worried about the plan to entomb 3.6 millions pounds of spent fuel on the beach within a few dozen miles of more than 8 million people.

It won unanimous approval after commissioners were told they could not consider safety issues because waste storage is the exclusive purview of the U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The commission review was largely limited to land-use issues.

Under Coastal Commission rules, there was no public notice or attendance at pre-hearing discussions between Edison and Coastal Commission members and staff. The meetings with commissioners were disclosed after the fact, but only to people who went to commission offices — not online. The public was allowed to submit to commissioners dozens of comments related to the application, with the majority opposed.

The plan to store radioactive waste on the San Diego County coast until Congress approves a permanent repository is critical because the material remains dangerous for tens of thousands of years..

The legitimacy of the decision-making process probably won’t be remembered as rising sea levels in coming decades flood the site and authorities scramble to find a way to move the spent nuclear fuel.

Things are just ducky. (Not) The lack of actual legislative victories in this session of Congress (Supreme Court nominee excepted) is beginning to weigh upon the GOP leadership, as Jonathan Swan and Mike Allen at Axios explain:

Republican leaders are coming to the bleak conclusion they will end summer and begin the fall with no major policy accomplishments. Privately, they realize it’s political malpractice to blow at least the the first nine of months of all Republican rule, but also realize there’s little they can do to avoid the dismal outcome.

In fact, they see the next four months as MORE troublesome than the first four. They’re facing terrible budget choices and headlines, the painful effort to re-work the health care Rubik’s Cube in the House (presuming it makes it out of the Senate), a series of special-election scares (or losses) — all with scandal-mania as the backdrop.

So don’t forget: Persistence in Resistance Matters. Keep those calls and letters coming.

Looking for some action? Check out the Weekly Progressive Calendar, published every Friday in this space, featuring Demonstrations, Rallies, Teach-ins, Meet Ups and other opportunities to get your activism on.

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avatarDoug Porter
Doug Porter was active in the early days of the alternative press in San Diego, contributing to the OB Liberator, the print version of the OB Rag, the San Diego Door, and the San Diego Street Journal. He went on to have a 35-year career in the Hospitality business and decided to go back into raising hell when he retired. He’s won numerous awards for his columns from the Society of Professional Journalists in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. Doug is a cancer survivor (sans vocal chords) and lives in North Park.

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