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Darrell Issa

Darrell Issa (pronounced Eye-sa) (born January 1 1954), American politician, has been a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives since 2001, representing the 49th District of California. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio, was educated at Siena Heights College in Adrian, Michigan, served in the United States Army, and was a businessman before entering the House.

Issa is one of the wealthiest members of the United States Congress. He made his fortune selling car alarms. Some of his political opponents have charged that his knowledge of car alarms comes from a youth spent stealing cars. In 1971, Issa was accused by a fellow soldier of theft of an automobile. In 1972, Issa was charged with with stealing a Maserati sports car in Cleveland, Ohio; Issa blamed his brother. In 1980, Issa was charged in connection with a scheme of faking a theft of his car in order to collect insurance proceeds; again, Issa blamed his brother.

Issa also blamed U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer of providing the media with these cases that Issa prefered not disclosed.[1] Issa's campaign website also notes that he was charged with arson and convicted of possession of an unregistered firearm.[1]

Issa came to national prominence when he personally financed the 2003 California recall effort against California Governor Gray Davis. It was widely assumed that Issa would run on the ballot to replace Davis; in the end, he declined to run, saying that there were plenty of other candidates. Issa said that his mission had been accomplished: to force the recall of Davis. Issa said he wanted to continue representing his district in Congress and work towards Middle East peace. Recall opponents interpreted his tearful announcement as a sign that even Issa realized his chances of becoming governor were very slim. Just before Issa's announcement, popular actor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced he would run for governor.

Issa is an Arab American and has regularly drawn the ire of Jewish and American patriotic groups for his stands on the Middle East. In 2001, Irv Rubin and Earl Krugel of the Jewish Defense League were charged with conspiracy to bomb his office. Charges against Rubin were dismissed, and Issa's campaign admits: "When a charge is made and a charge is dropped, that is a false charge."[1]

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