April 1, 2003
Noise Free America
For immediate release
Madison: Darrell Issa, a Republican Congressman from Orange County, California, has won April’s Noisy Dozen award from Noise Free America for promoting dangerous boom cars, the use of racing-equipped hot rods on public roads, useless and annoying car alarms, and the violently loud “Boom and Vroom Car” lifestyle.
Issa is the former chairman of the powerful Consumer Electronics Association. He is also the founder of Directed Electronics, VIPER car audio, and VIPER car alarms.
Issa is a member of the Congressional Automotive, Performance, and Motorsport Caucus, which advocates legalizing noisy racing equipment on city streets. The Specialty Equipment Market Association, which represents the $26 billion hot rod industry, calls Issa “one of our own.”
As head of the Consumer Electronics Association, Issa traveled around the country lobbying against municipal noise ordinances. He attempted, unsuccessfully, to change Chicago’s ordinance banning loud boom car equipment that is “plainly audible” from 75 feet. Chicago’s ordinance has cut boom car business by one-third.
Issa’s commitment to aggressive noisemaking can be seen from his company’s advertisements:
-Orion High Performance Car Audio: “Powered by Hardcore Attitude.” “Subwoofers That Will Command Respect On the Streets.” “Be Loud. Be Obnoxious.”
-VIPER Audio: “Cold Blooded.” “Violent Fury and Multi-Channel Mayhem.” “No Escape From the Hellacious Pounding of the Subwoofers and the Aggressive In Your Face Power.” “No One Dares Come Close.”
Mark Huber states that “there is truly no escape from the hellacious pounding for millions of people across the United States. Thousands of neighborhoods have been ruined by pounding boom cars, hot rods, and car alarms. Local officials are overwhelmed by the industry’s financial and political power.”
Noise Free America’s director, Ted Rueter, states that “it is simply amazing that a member of the United States Congress is such a prominent member of the noise industrial complex. I doubt that his constituents know that he actively promotes the destruction of their communities.”
“Recently,” Rueter continued, “Issa voted for legislation to ban commercial telemarketing, on the grounds that it was annoying invasion of personal space and privacy. What hypocrisy! Boom cars, hot rods, and car alarms are much more invasive–and physically damaging.”
Mark Huber stated that “for Darrell Issa, a Noisy Dozen award isn’t enough. The man has made a fortune promoting noise and forcing it into the homes of millions of people. He has destroyed the peaceful quiet that was once a highlight of the American way of life. He has replaced it with violent, vulgar, and unending noise. Darrell Issa deserves Noise Free America’s Lifetime Achievement award.”
According to Rueter, “No one has done more than Darrell Issa to increase noise levels. Because of the noise industry’s ruthless promotion of sonic terror, millions of children have no quiet place to play or study. Excessive noise levels also contribute to chronic fatigue, hearing loss, and sleep deprivation.”
Noise Free America is a national citizens group dedicated to opposing noise pollution. Previous winners of the “Noisy Dozen” award include Gray Davis, Jesse Ventura, and Circuit City. Noise Free America’s web site is http://www.noisefree.org.