Friday, January 25, 2013

Whose Side Will Teabaggers Be On If Neel Kashkari Challenges Darrell Issa In The GOP Primary?


In 2008, Obama narrowly beat McCain in California's 49th congressional district, Darrell Issa's San Diego/Orange County seat. This year Romney won 52.4 to 45.7%. Although the San Diego part of the district, which is the biggest part, is trending Democratic, the Orange County part-- which now goes all the way up past San Clemente to Laguna Niguel, Ladera Ranch and Dana Point-- is still rabidly Republican. Issa beat Jerry Tetalman in the Orange County areas 66-34% but only took 56% in the San Diego section. Overall, Issa probably feels pretty safe. He won 139,127 (59%) to 97,454 (41%)... and Steve Israel, who gave him a free reelection pass, has been reappointed DCCC chairman... so no need to worry about a serious challenge. At least not from that quarter. Could Issa be facing a serious primary though?

Do you remember Neel Kashkari? A financial industry predator, Kashkari was brought over to the catastrophic Bush economic team from Goldman Sachs by his old boss Henry Paulson, Bush's Treasury Secretary. Never confirmed by Congress, he was the Interim Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Financial Stability and is best known as the guy who ran T.A.R.P. He co-wrote a doomsday bank rescue proposal, entitled Break the Glass, that formed the basis of what became TARP. If you haven't already done so, now's the time to watch the video up top.

Kashkari doled out $700 billion dollars in taxpayer funds to his Wall Street pals on behalf of the Bush regime right after it-- and they-- had crashed the economy. Kashkari had some high-profile clashes with progressives like Dennis Kucinich and Elijah Cummings on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. But he also tangled with then ranking-Republican on the Committee (now Chairman), Darrell Issa. Now's the time to watch the video down below.

After the country was finally rid of Bush, Kashkari scurried off to make a fortune from his new bankster best friends. He washed up at PIMCO and has been a frequent guest on TV shows when they needed someone to twist the meaning of "entitlements" and talk about how the U.S. needs to cut back on Social Security, Medicare, jobless benefits, aid to veterans, etc. In recent years, Kashkari has been a generous donor to right wing politicians and has given thousands of dollars to Senate Banking Committee bigwig Bob Corker (R-TN), the ranking Republican on the International Trade and Finance Committee, the area Kashkari worked in at PIMCO. Last year he gave the RNC $15,000 and he's also contributed heavily to Rob Portman (R-OH), another Banking Committee Wall Street shill, Romney and, of course, George W. Bush. This week he announced that he's leaving PIMCO and looking into running for... something.
“As much as I have enjoyed my time at Pimco, I feel an obligation and a desire to serve my community through public service,” Mr. Kashkari said in the statement. “My time at the Department of the Treasury was the most rewarding professional experience of my life and I want to find ways to continue to serve my fellow citizens in some capacity.”

Staying true to his roots, he would run as a Republican-- even in overwhelmingly Democratic California. (Pimco’s headquarters, however, are in Newport Beach, Calif., an oasis of conservative politics in the largely liberal state.)
So what office will h run for? Is now the time to give Issa a little payback? It's slim pickings for Republicans-- even very rich ones-- in California. Although southern Orange County, where he lives, routinely elects Republicans to everything. But would the man who ran TARP for Bush go over well... even in Republican primaries? I hope we get to find out, especially in the 49th.

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