Rep. Darrell Issa (R-49th District) on Tuesday confronted protestors at his Vista office, then climbed on the roof of his district office building and shot pictures of what was called the largest demonstration yet against his activities and policies in the embattled congressional district. He also reportedly threatened a reporter for being an alleged “operative” for his opponents.
This came on the heels of Issa giving supporters preferential treatment in awarding tickets to an upcoming town hall, shutting out hundreds of other constituents who wanted to attend.
Issa, the nation’s most vulnerable Republican incumbent, is feeling the heat after his vote for the wildly unpopular American Health Care Act early this month.
At his district office in Vista today, which has sustained the largest ongoing Resistance Tuesday rallies in the nation, Issa exhibited odd behavior. He demanded that protest leader Ellen Montanari of Indivisible 49 “step away” after rejecting her handshake.
Issa then delivered a piece of cake to a solo Trump supporter, climbed on the roof of his building and stood alone to gaze down on more than 300 protesting constituents. Later, he telephoned Joshua Stewart, a political reporter at the San Diego Union Tribune, and charged him with being an “operative” of his opponents. (See thread @jptstewart).
.then @DarrellIssa called me an "operative" for his opponents, and " It's interesting that the paper has become as small as your words.”
— Joshua Stewart (@jptstewart) May 30, 2017
Video of Issa on roof: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEsCzRYV0bg
Issa faces voters at a 9 a.m. Saturday, June 3 town hall at San Juan Capistrano High School. Indivisible groups from across the 49th district will rally outside the town hall with hundreds of supporters and a 30-foot-tall chicken.
Issa has attracted the attention of national news media as the poster boy for House Republicans who walked the plank for Trump on the vote for the American Health Care Act. After waffling for weeks, and snarling at reporters, Issa cast the deciding 216th vote in the final seconds, earning the enmity of his constituents.
Since his vote for the AHCA, Indivisible and other protesters have hounded Issa from coast to coast. Here is a timeline of Issa’s May of Misery.
ISSA HEALTH CARE BACKLASH TIMELINE MAY 2017
May 2 Feeling the heat, Issa snarls “none of your business” as a journalist asks how he will vote on ACHA.
May 2 Meanwhile, hundreds of protesters gather outside Issa’s district office in Vista, pleading for a “no” vote on AHCA.
May 4 On the day of the AHCA vote, local media interview frightened and angry constituents, including an outraged minister and the weeping mother of a child with autism.
May 4 Several national news outlets report that Issa cast the deciding 216th vote, to cheers from House Republicans. Contributions to his 2018 opponents spike.
May 4 An Issa spokesman quibbles with a San Diego Union Tribune editor on whether or not Issa cast the 216thvote for AHCA.
May 5 More than 100 protesters gather outside Issa’s Vista office to protest the AHCA’s ban of Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood.
May 5 MoveOn.Org publishes a video criticizing Issa’s AHCA vote and pledges to donate $1 to defeat him for every share on Facebook. (As of 5/29, it exceeds 103,000 shares.)
May 5 Indivisible groups rally against Issa and the AHCA vote in Balboa Park, hanging banners condemning the vote from the iconic Cabrillo Bridge.
May 7 Save My Care starts running ads against Issa’s AHCA vote.
May 7 San Diego Indivisible collaborates with Sarasota Indivisible to dog Issa by land and sea at a high-dollar Florida fundraiser. Local media press Issa on holding a town hall, which he promises to do within days of his return to the district.
May 8 Issa does not host a town hall that week. Instead, he attends another fundraiser at a Florida resort while constituents gather on an Encinitas overpass with lighted signs promising to “Repeal & Replace Issa”.
May 8 After denying to constituents any knowledge of a town hall, Issa’s staffer tells Union Tribune journalist Joshua Stewart that he will hold a town hall in Oceanside on May 31 at 7 PM. The spokesman promises to confirm a location by the end of the week, but fails to do so.
May 9 More than 800 protesters swarm the street outside Issa’s district office in Vista for a “Sick Day” rally. CNN goes live and local press cover it.
May 11 More than 400 Indivisible protesters march up the beach in Coronado to protest outside the spring meeting of the Republican National Committee at the Hotel Del Coronado. CNN breaks into primetime news three times. The protest targets Issa and the AHCA vote, and the urgency of an independent investigation of the Trump/Russia connection. San Diegans form the message “2018” on the sand with their bodies to promise Issa and the Republican Party that these two mistakes will cost them control of the House.
May 16 After a change in their permit disallows access to the sidewalk in front of his Vista building, more than 400 citizens continue to rally across the street from Issa’s office.
May 16 Issa’s internal stress again goes viral on social media after he makes a vulgar gesture to a reporter who asked his view of Trump’s Comey firing.
May 22 Vista city officials place new restrictions on protests and decline to extend permits. Protesters are not deterred and ACLU Observers now attend every Tuesday.
May 23 As hundreds protest again in Vista to “Clean House,” Issa’s aide lies to protest leaders about when Issa will decide on a location for the May 31 town hall in Oceanside. Issa’s congressional office had already changed both the date and location and mailed postcards to select voters with a preferential code to allow advance reservations. The new site, in San Juan Capistrano, is a conservative Issa stronghold.
May 27 After citizens with special codes reserved seats in advance, remaining tickets sell out in 2 minutes on Eventbrite once public access opens. Many voters settle for a waitlist. Hundreds of voters are expected to attend anyway and join the overflow rally outside the venue, along with a 30-foot-high inflatable chicken.
May 30 More than 300 protesters gather once more in Vista and bring a new banner to hang off a nearby overpass that reads “Expect Us in 2018.” Issa exhibits odd behavior by climbing on the roof and charging a reporter with working for his opponents.
Keep up the great reporting, Issa is not my Congressperson but Duncan Hunter is and he is no better than Issa, maybe worse.
Great Issa article. I was there & you described the story correctly. Love the timeline of his unraveling too. Great work Grapevine!!!