U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa to speak to Pinellas GOP May 15

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U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, will be the featured speaker next month at a Republican reception in St. Petersburg.

The Pinellas County Republican Executive Committee is hosting the event, which begins May 15 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the St. Petersburg Marriott Clearwater, 12600 Roosevelt Blvd. N.

Issa has been the principal GOP investigator on a number of controversial issues, such as the Internal Revenue Service scandal, the fatal Benghazi attack and the bungled Fast and Furious program. His appearance in Pinellas County will provide an opportunity to discuss his efforts “to hold the Obama administration accountable.”

The California lawmaker, who is the richest member of Congress, launched an IRS investigation last year in response to allegations in 2012 that the agency singled out and rejected Tea Party groups requesting tax-exempt status.

As for the investigation into Benghazi, Issa claimed Hillary Clinton, then-Secretary of State, told Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to “stand down” military units during the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, which could have prevented four American casualties.

Although both military leaders and select Republicans confirmed that Clinton gave no such order, Issa spent more than a year-and-a-half investigating whether there was a cover-up.

Issa was also the main Republican looking into the Fast and Furious program, when Justice Department officials realized federal agents in Arizona were using a controversial investigative tactic, resulting in hundreds of illegally purchased guns ending up in Mexican crime scenes. Two weapons were located at the scene of the killing of a Brian Terry, a U.S. border agent.

Tickets for the event are $50, which includes hors d‘oeuvres and a cash bar. Reservations need to be no later than May 8. To purchase tickets, or for more information, call 727-539-6009.


Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.