Rep. Darrell Issa, Republican from south Orange County, announced that he will not seek re-election in 2018.
Issa’s seat was expected to be one of the most hotly contested districts in the country in 2018, considering that he won re-election in 2016 by less than one percent of the vote. Hillary Clinton carried his district by eight points and won Orange County, the first Democrat to do so in more than 80 years.
Before taking office, Issa was dogged by allegations that he was involved in an arson plot related to his California business. Once he was elected, his tenure in Congress was dominated by missteps and embarrassments.
Issa leaves Congress with a track record of abusing his power as head of the House Oversight Committee by chasing wild conspiracy theories while wasting taxpayer money doing so.
Issa was a main agitator spreading misinformation about the tragic terrorist attack in Benghazi where four Americans lost their lives. Rather than seeking to learn from tragic mistakes that happened, Issa spread obviously false information about non-existent “stand-down” orders.
Issa spent millions of dollars spearheading an investigation into the IRS or alleged targeting of conservative groups. While Issa managed to make headlines, the investigation concluded that the IRS did not target conservative groups, but rather, targeted both liberal and conservative groups. The bogus investigation cost tax-payers more than $20 million.
He once even canceled a hearing when he found out that the information to be presented contradicted the story he was telling the press.
When he lost his position as chairman of the House Oversight Committee, he tried to sneak into a private meeting of that committee, only to be escorted out moments later.
Leading up to the 2018 election, Issa has been the target of one of the longest, most sustained protests in the nation. A group of roughly 400 protestors gathered each week outside Issa’s Vista office, for more than 50 weeks in a row, to state their displeasure at Issa’s close ties to the Trump administration and his record in Congress.
Issa once hid from the protestors on the roof of his office.
Starting in 2019, Issa will no longer need to hide from constituents who are upset at his lackluster performance in Congress.
His decision to slink away before the 2018 election means he can spend all the time he wants on whatever roof he would like to occupy.