Consumer crusader Ralph Nader on Wednesday chastised Rep. Darrell Issa for squandering his tenure as chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee by pursuing the IRS scandal and other “fanciful allegations.”
“I have been observing, with increasing dismay, your antics and the collateral damage and missed opportunities resulting from your Committee’s ‘oversight’ of the Executive Branch. History will not be kind in chronicling the manner in which you have run the Committee,” Mr. Nader said in a letter to the chairman.
He accused Mr. Issa of “showboating” and acting “shamelessly.”
“Shamelessness connects to behavior that is fact-less, priority-less, and clueless to the many duties that you choose to ignore with your frolics and detours,” he wrote. “Where is your leadership here?”
“You have abdicated your major responsibility as the Chair in pursuit of fanciful allegations, wrapped in your wrath, while ignoring extensive abuses such as huge corporate contract scandals or inadequate enforcement budgets that limit the abilities of agencies to bring violative corporate contractors to justice and preserve taxpayer assets throughout the federal government,” he said.
Mr. Nader, 80, said that Mr. Issa should have been chasing the “real” IRS scandal, which he described as Republicans cutting the tax agency’s budget by 14 percent, leading to reduced staff, less enforcement and more tax cheats evading payments.
He also faulted Mr. Issa for ignoring his advice, which Mr. Nader provided when the two men met at the start of Mr. Issa’s chairmanship, to post online the full text of all federal government contracts, leaseholds and grants.
Mr. Issa did not immediately respond to Mr. Nader’s letter.