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article imageIssa: Rahm Emanuel using Chicago 'playbook' to intimidate others

By Michael Krebs     Aug 4, 2009 in Politics
House Republican Darrell Issa - serving on the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform - criticizes Whie House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel for using a Chicago 'playbook' on political bullying.
Washington DC is becoming an increasingly nasty place, with White House bullying tactics designed to intimidate and wear down opposing legislators and governors across the country - at least this is the assessment of House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Ranking Member Darrell Issa.
In a press statement released on Tuesday, Congressman Issa claimed that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has been resorting to a Chicago-style "playbook" that acts as a "scare tactic" against legislators and governors who question the approaches of the Obama White House.
“While this type of scare tactic may work In Chicago, it will not work to intimidate me or other Members of the United States Congress,” Issa stated.
“I and others have dared to bring these facts to the attention of President Obama, the Congress and the American people,” Issa wrote. “You’ve unfortunately reacted by once again resorting to the playbook of the Chicago political machine.”
Congressman Issa sourced a Politico report that characterized Emmanuel's approach to having “launched a coordinated effort to jam” Senator Kyl and other Administration critics. He accused Emmanuel of having distributed intimidating letters to governors in an effort to strong-arm support fo White House initiatives.
“The fact that the letters were coordinated by you to maximize the level of intimidation is supported by the timing, structure, and content of each letter. Not only were the four letters all sent the day following Senator Kyl’s remarks, but they were also remarkably similar in tone and sentence structure,” Issa wrote.
Congressman Issa then outlined two examples in detail.
"Letter from Ray LaHood, Secretary of Transportation:
On Sunday, Arizona Senator Jon Kyl publicly questioned whether the stimulus is working and stated that he wants to cancel projects that aren’t presently underway. I believe the stimulus has been very effective in creating job opportunities throughout the country. However, if you prefer to forfeit the money we are making available to your state, as Senator Kyl suggests, please let me know [emphasis added].
Letter from Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior:
Some key Republican leaders in Congress have publicly questioned whether the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is working and suggested cancelling all projects that are not currently in progress. I believe they are wrong. The stimulus funds provided through the Recovery Act are a very effective way to create job opportunities throughout the Country. However, if you prefer to forfeit the money we are making available to Arizona, please let me know [emphasis added]," according to Issa's press release.
Issa's letter to Emanuel then asks the White House to supply documents and a time-line describing the letter-writing push in more detail. The Committee is investigating the matter further.
More about Issa, Rahm Emanuel, Chicago, White house, Obama
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