Darrell Edward Issa was born the second of six kids in 1953 in Cleveland, Ohio. Which is why the Buckeye State moved and is currently hiding behind Pennsylvania. Even at an early age, his parents realized that their son was … different. Unique. While his brothers and sisters played together, Darrell was a dark loner. Having no interest in silly sports, games and playing outside with friends, he spent most time in his room poring over law books that he had stolen from local libraries. Law and order became a part of Darrell, and his siblings soon became sick of it.
For instance, as dinner time approached, he prepared for what he enjoyed most of all. One by one, his brothers and sisters would arrive home from their various activities. As they did, Darrell would meet them at the door with a look they had quickly grown to hate. Pretending that he was an important government official with an overwhelming ego, he would commence a hearing that he of course would head. They’d push him aside and knock him down. His sisters would kick him. He’d respond tears in his eyes, demanding that they all be removed from the “proceedings”, levied with a stiff fine.
After a little while, Mom intervened. After a sharp slap to Darrell’s head, she pulled his siblings together and asked them to play along with their brother; this was his time, she said without a smile. Begrudgingly, they all agreed to stop hurting him.
Young Issa realized that Mommy had “fixed” things and happily resumed his daily hearings, free to grill his family members about who they were with that day, what they had done, and why. (This included his parents, by the way.) When they tried to answer his questions, he’d shout them down, bellowing and demanding answers. One at a time, they allowed their older brother to mock and dehumanize them. This would go on for about an hour or so, until dinner was ready.
As he grew, Issa, known in school as “Sir LissaLot”, continued his game with anyone who’d put up with his crap. He held mock hearings on things such as slide-rule thefts, the 5th grade food-fight cover-up, the 8th grade prom porn scandal and who knew what and when did they know it. He gained a reputation as a cold, self-serving belligerent bully, picking on library assistants who he was sure were involved in the Dewey Decimal System scandal.
It was inevitable that he would go on to establish the High School Oversight and District Reform Committee. He would hold his hearings almost daily, whether anyone would attend or not. Often he would have no choice but to turn a mean eye toward the school janitor as he moved through the room emptying trash cans, etc. Issa would bark at him: “What’s in those cans! What’re you trying to hide. I want those items turned over to the committee by 8 am tomorrow!” Most times the janitor would flip him the bird, which of course would wind up with him being held in contempt.
Darrell Issa continued on in such a manner throughout the years: in the military, at church, in the legal division of a local bowling club, etc. He was at this time in his life, charged several times with grand larceny auto. His mom intervened and all charges were eventually dropped. A gun-related arrest dogged him after an unregistered firearm was found in his glove compartment. His defense was that since the car had been stolen, he wasn’t responsible for anything found in the car. He was sentenced to a 6 month probation and fined. To this day Issa believes that the record has been expunged.
He became a politician. He knew what he could get away with as a congressional lawmaker. 10 years after he assumed office as a California Representative, he giddily accepted the position as Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. His very first hearing was to investigate the people responsible for his appointment.