Issa puts Wall Street ahead of military and veteran constituents
We spend the majority of our time here talking about the things that Darrell Issa does: His hearings, his subpoenas, his hypocrisy, his shady ties to donors and big corporate interests. But it's important to also remember the things he doesn't do. He doesn't investigate tens of billions wasted in Afghanistan and Iraq by defense contractors who support his campaign
. He goes to bat for the nuclear utility companies
instead of reviewing the safety of the nuclear plant in his district. And despite representing Camp Pendleton, thousands of service-members and their families, Darrell Issa has done nothing to hold anyone on Wall Street accountable for the ongoing foreclosure crisis that for years has disproportionately torn apart military communities
In the midst of the worst surge in mortgage defaults in seven decades, foreclosures in U.S. towns where soldiers live are increasing at a pace almost four times the national average, according to data compiled by research firm RealtyTrac Inc. in Irvine, California. As military families...signed up for the initial lower rates and easier terms of subprime mortgages, the number of people taking out Veterans Administration loans fell to the lowest in at least 12 years.
We've never faced a situation like this, not in the Vietnam War, World War II, or the Korean War, where so many military are in danger of losing their homes,'' said Paul Sullivan, executive director of Veterans for Common Sense, a Washington-based advocacy group started in 2002 by Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans. ``No one asked them for their credit score when we asked them to fight for us."
Foreclosure filings tripled in the cities surrounding Norfolk Naval Base and the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base near Oceanside, California, RealtyTrac said. Havelock, North Carolina, site of Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, saw foreclosures more than double.
That was in 2008. Things haven't gotten any better since. In fact, things have gotten worse for our active-duty servicemembers and veterans. Fast forward to 2010
More than 20,000 veterans, active-duty troops and reservists who took out special government-backed mortgages lost their homes last year — the highest number since 2003.
The rate of foreclosure filings in 2010 among 163 zip codes located near military bases rose 32 percent over 2008, according to RealtyTrac, a foreclosure research firm. This compares with a 2010 increase in foreclosures filings nationally of 23 percent over 2008.
And if that isn't horrible enough, the communities around Camp Pendleton -- mostly represented by Darrell Issa -- have been especially hard-hit
in this devastating crisis:
Eight Southern California cities ranked among the top 20 towns near military bases with the highest foreclosure rates in the nation in 2010, according to RealtyTrac. Half of those – Murrieta, San Diego, Oceanside and Fallbrook – are by Camp Pendleton.
So far, the Wall Street bigwigs that presided over the crisis haven't been held accountable. Darrell Issa and his subpoena power has nominally looked into foreclosures, but with a focus on federal relief programs
and no attempt to hold anyone in the private sector responsible for their role in the crisis. As the military communities in Issa's district continue to be crushed by foreclosures, Issa's spending more energy on partisan attacks of the bipartisan FCIC commission
. Why? Because the commission -- tasked with investigating the cause of 2008's financial meltdown -- found those Wall St. corporations to be culpable.
The financial sector has been particularly generous to Issa over the years, delivering more campaign cash
through the years than any other sector except the Communications and Technology sector -- in which Issa spent his entire pre-political career. Issa's made no secret of his ties to the big corporate backers
of the GOP, and it can be seen in his continuing attempts to protect Wall Street from culpability. He's become so insulated in fact that he imagines "middle class" to be more than five times the median income
in his district.
But while Issa and his corporate friends keep working to protect Wall Street from accountability, the servicemen and women, their families, and the veterans that make up such an important part of Issa's district are being devastated. They served our country, risked their lives, trusted us to hold up our end of the bargain; and Darrell Issa is in Washington to represent them.
It's hard to see how Issa's priorities in Washington are doing anything to help them weather this crisis.