What does DynCorp hope to buy from Darrell Issa?
In the runup to the 2010 election, it was clear that Republicans were positioned to retake the majority in the House of Representatives and that Darrell Issa was in line to become chair of the Oversight Committee. Issa's upcoming power certainly didn't go unnoticed in lobbyist circles, and Issa saw an influx of new donors in the leadup to election day.
Meanwhile, the incident touched off further investigation. The Associated Press uncovered a wide range of poor behavior by contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan, including drunkenness, drug use and prostitution. And last July, DynCorp employees on a State Department contract were involved in an auto accident in Kabul that killed four Afghans
and led the angry crowd to light two DynCorp vehicles on fire before police intervened. The incident came a month after DynCorp posted higher-than-expected profits
with a 31% boost in revenue thanks largely to its government contracts in Afghanistan.
More than a third of DynCorp's $3.1 billion in revenue
comes from State Department contracts despite their history, and heading into this Congress, they've dramatically boosted their financial backing of influential lawmakers. In the past, intense and expensive lobbying efforts helped blunt efforts to rein in the horrifying abuses carried out by DynCorp employees and other government contractors. As the seemingly endless string of failed contracts, millions of wasted taxpayer dollars and ethical abuses continues, DynCorp is still in business -- big business -- but may sense the potential for trouble.
But we don't know.
For Oversight to work, the watchdog must not only be credible, but be verifiably credible. Thus far, Issa is neither. And he doesn't seem particularly interested in taking steps to become either one.