Rep. Issa says no place in GOP for Donnelly’s ‘ignorant garbage’

Darrell Issa
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) lashed out at California gubernatorial candidate Tim Donnelly after Donnelly tried to tie rival Neel Kashkari to Sharia law.
(J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) issued a scathing denouncement on Thursday of gubernatorial candidate Tim Donnelly over the fellow Republican’s attempt to tie his main rival, Neel Kashkari, to fundamentalist Islamic law.

“There is no place in any public discussion for this type of hateful and ignorant garbage,” Issa said in a statement. “As far as I’m concerned, this type of stupidity disqualifies Tim Donnelly from being fit to hold any office, anywhere. Donnelly is no longer a viable option for California voters.”

Donnelly could not immediately be reached for comment.

In Facebook and on Twitter, Donnelly said this week that Kashkari condoned the strictures of Sharia law because he once participated in a U.S. Treasury conference about Islamic finance. Sharia law is an Islam-based code that governs personal and business behavior and includes harsh penalties for homosexuality and adultery.


Kashkari called the attack “absurd on its face.” He delivered introductory remarks at a 2008 forum called “Islamic Finance 101” that was sponsored by the U.S. Department of the Treasury under President George W. Bush’s tenure and by Harvard Law School’s Islamic Finance Project. Kashkari was an assistant Treasury secretary at the time.

The forum, he said, focused on showing how free-market principles can be used in nations that follow Islamic finance rules, such as not allowing the charging of interest.

Issa, who endorsed Kashkari last week, is the most prominent Republican to denounce Donnelly’s comments. He said that he had faced similar “baseless charges” because of his Arab American background.

“I was offended and outraged that someone who would run for the highest office in our state would resort to such hateful and disgusting rhetoric,” Issa said. “It is crap like this that gives Republicans a bad name and there is no place in the Republican Party or in this race for someone like Tim Donnelly.”


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