January 1, 2010

Noise Free America
For immediate release

Ted Rueter
[email protected]

Albany:Representative Darrell Issa,a Republican from California’s 49th District, has won this month’s Noisy Dozen award from Noise Free America for his utter hypocrisy on the issue of noise.

In 2008, Representative Issa co-sponsored HR 6209, the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act (CALM), sponsored by California Democratic Representative Anna Eshoo. The bill would compel the Federal Communications Commission to “prescribe a standard to preclude commercials from being broadcast at louder volumes than the program material they accompany.”

Representative Eshoo noted that “most Americans are not overjoyed to watch television commercials, but they are willing to tolerate them to sustain free over-the-air television. What annoys them is the sudden increase of volume when commercials are aired.”

A version of the bill passed the House of Representatives on December 15, 2009.

Representative Issa’s co-sponsorship of the CALM bill is utterly hypocritical. Issa is the former chairman of the powerful Consumer Electronics Association. In addition, he founded Directed Electronics, Viper car audio, and VIPER car alarms. Issa is a proud member of the Congressional Automotive, Performance, and Motorsports Caucus, which promotes legalizing “hot rod” racing equipment on city streets. The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), which represents the $26 billion hot rod industry, calls Issa “one of our own.”

In April 2003, Noise Free America gave Issa a “Lifetime Achievement Award” for advancing the cause of “violent, vulgar, and unending noise.” In 2003, Noise Free America noted that “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.”

The advertising campaigns of Issa’s companies demonstrate his commitment to aggressive noisemaking:

-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.”

Ted Rueter, Noise Free America’s director, stated in 2003 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 his constituents know that he actively promotes the destruction of their communities.”

This is not the first time that Representative Issa has demonstrated his complete hypocrisy on the issue of the invasion of noise and personal space. In 2003, Issa voted for legislation to ban commercial telemarketing, on the grounds that it was an annoying invasion of personal space and privacy,” stated Rueter. “What hypocrisy! Boom cars, hot rods, and car alarms are much more invasive–and physically damaging.”

Noise Free America is a national 501c3 citizens organization devoted to opposing noise pollution. Past “winners” of the Noisy Dozen award include Governor Gray Davis and Governor Jesse Ventura.