Issa responds: NYT ‘hit piece’ ‘riddled with factual errors and careless assertions’

In a lengthy article Monday, The New York Times attempted to connect House oversight committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa’s private business interests with his public service as a Congressman. Drawing on talking points from the far left-wing Center for American Progress, the Times story implied that Issa’s mission in Congress isn’t to protect citizens from their government.

The California Republican was quick to strike back at the Times’ reporting, contesting what he considers to be factual errors and incorrect statements strewn throughout the piece. Issa’s contentions begin with the first sentence of the Times story.

“Here on the third floor of a gleaming office building overlooking a golf course in the rugged foothills north of San Diego, Darrell Issa, the entrepreneur, oversees the hub of a growing financial empire worth hundreds of millions of dollars,” Times reporter Eric Lichtblau wrote. According to Issa’s Congressional office, that building does not overlook a golf course.

The New York Times also reported that Issa had split a “holding company” he owned into “separate multi-billion dollar businesses.” Issa does not own a “multi-billion dollar business,” never mind several of them, according to his office.

The Times also hit Issa for what the newspaper asserted is a tie between Toyota and the congressman’s former company, Directed Electronics. The article states that Issa’s company provided car alarm systems to Toyota, so as a result, Issa may have taken a relaxed approach to the Japanese automaker during an investigation into the company’s vehicles’ safety.

“Mr. Issa brushed aside suggestions that his electronics company’s role as a major supplier of alarms to Toyota made him go easy on the automaker as he led an investigation into the recalls,” Lichtblau wrote.

Issa’s congressional office again directly countered the Times’ reporting: Directed Electronic is not a supplier of alarms to Toyota at all, his office says, much less a “major supplier.”