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Roll Call

Heard on the Hill: Political Theater

House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa should consider changing his name to director of Oversight Productions because the man sure does love theater.

In March, Roll Call reported that the California Republican had used the same branding, DEI, for some of the Oversight panel’s YouTube videos that he had used for his private company.

Earlier this week, the mogul was quoted chatting theater with the Washington Times.

In an interview with the Times, Issa said the Democratic National Committee may have violated campaign laws by filming a fundraising video starring President Barack Obama at the White House. Issa called on the Justice Department to investigate and said committee hearings would be forthcoming.

“It’ll be good theater,” Issa told the Times. “The Democrats will make the claim that somehow we were wrong. And we’ll remind them that this isn’t much different than what [former Chairman Henry] Waxman [D-Calif.] looked at. And then it will end.”

So the chairman of the Oversight panel will use hearings to push back the president? Oh my stars, how much has changed since last November.

After the midterm elections, Issa told Politico that, as committee chairman, he just wants to prove the pundits wrong.

“My job is not to bring down the president,” he said then. “My job is to make the president a success.”

OK, so the hearings are tough love? Sort of, except sans the love.

“President Obama has crossed the line bringing campaign and DNC fundraising into the White House,” Issa spokesman Jeffrey Solsby tells HOH. “He has an obligation to shed the light of transparency on this action so that the public can see how its resources have been used.”

At least one Democratic aide seems unconvinced. “It’s not every day that a Member takes the wind out of their own sails, but I guess Issa is enough of a blowhard to do just that,” the staffer says.

Clarification: July 28, 2011

This story has been updated to clarify that House Oversight and Government Reform Committee videos did not use the full name of Chairman Darrell Issa's (R-Calif.) company.

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