Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is sounding the alarm regarding new alleged audio of former Labor Secretary Hilda Solis leaving a voicemail for someone “off the record” to ask the individual to contribute and help organize a fundraising event for President Barack Obama’s campaign. Issa says Solis violated the Hatch Act, which prohibits political activity on official time.
In his opening statement during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on Wednesday, Issa played the voicemail Solis reportedly left to pressure a Labor Department employee to donate to Obama’s re-election campaign.
U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis talks as California Attorney General Kamala Harris looks on, left, during a news conference at a symposium on human trafficking on Friday Nov. 16,2012 in Los Angeles. The number of people identified as victims of human trafficking in California has increased steadily since 2010 as the crime has become a growing threat, authorities reported Friday. Credit: AP
Read a transcript of the controversial Solis voicemail:
“Hi—this is Hilda Solis calling, um, just calling you off-the-record here—Wanted to ask you if you could, um, help us get folks organized to come to a fundraiser that we’re doing for Organizing for America for Obama campaign on Friday at La Fonda at 6 p.m. Steven Smith, an attorney, and his staff are helping us [inaudible]. There are a lot of folks that we know that are coming but wanted to ask you if you might help contribute or get other folks to help out. I would encourage you to call this number, [inaudible]–that’s his assistant– at [phone number] and you can call [the attorney] yourself who’s a good friend, an attorney, good friend of mine, at [phone number]. And it’s for a Friday event at La Fonda [inaudible] we’re just trying to raise money to show that we have support here in [inaudible].”
Issa went on to slam the Obama administration for showing what he called an “indefensible” attempt to avoid oversight.
“It is deeply ironic that an administration claiming to be the most transparent ever, has resisted oversight of its political office and offered less corroboration than its predecessors,” he said.
Watch Issa's full opening statement below: