GOP congressional nominee Vernon Parker got a boost today from U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif, who came to Tempe to endorse Parker and invite him to serve on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee if elected.
Parker is facing Democrat Kyrsten Sinema in the November election for Arizona’s new Congressional District 9, which leans slightly Democratic.
Issa, Parker and Matt Salmon, a former congressman and current Republican candidate in Congressional District 5, hosted a crowd of more than 100 people at Monti’s La Casa Vieja in Tempe, shaking hands with supporters beforehand and taking a little time to talk to the media afterwards.
“Vernon’s life story is the life story that makes for a great congressman,” Issa said. “The best Congressmen and women are people who come because what they bring to Washington is what Washington needs. That’s why I’m here today.”
Issa has used his high profile position as the Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to publically rail against the Obama administration on issues including the failed “Operation Fast and the Furious” gun walking program that allowed Mexican drug cartel members to buy American guns in Arizona gun stores and take them across the border to Mexico.
Two of the guns found at the site of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry’s murder site in Southern Arizona were eventually linked back to the program.
Much of Issa’s speech harkened back to September 11, 2001, and focused on the threats facing the United States then and now, including the recent killing of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens in Libya.
Issa said that, if Parker gets elected, he wants Parker to join him on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee to help root out waste and fraud in government.
“When Vernon gets to Congress, I want him to be on the inside team that puts together a plan to make government smaller and more efficient,” he said. “My committee is a recruited committee. All of my freshmen were asked to come.”
He said that Parker’s experience working as a special assistant for President George H. W. Bush and as an assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Agriculture gives him a needed inside knowledge of the Executive Branch, and the tools to help hold the president accountable.
“We need you, because you know how government works,” Issa said to Parker. “You know where the waste is, you know how much savings, how much more we could do without coming back to the men and women in this room for more of their hard earned dollars.”
Salmon said that the competitive district will be very tough for a Republican to win, and urged supporters to do everything they can get Parker elected.
“I’m telling you, if Kyrsten Sinema wins and others like her, that’s the first vote she’ll cast, for Nancy Pelosi,” he said. “And we’re back in harm’s way all over again.”
Parker said he already has ideas of how the committee could reign in spending and waste in the federal budget.
“There are so many ways we can consolidate, so many ways we can hold the executive branch accountable for their spending – because it is way out of control,” he said.