Harley Rouda – Con Artist Congressman

Dictionary.com defines “con artist” as “a person who cheats or tricks others by persuading them to believe something that is not true.” As Rod Serling used to say to start “Twilight Zone” episodes, “submitted for your approval” is the case of the Orange County Con Artist – Harley Rouda. Rouda would be just another scammer and con-man were it not for the fact that he is serving his first – and hopefully last – term in Congress from Orange County.

Rouda’s cons and flim-flam started long before he ran for Congress – more on that in a minute. However, his mission to convince people “to believe things that aren’t true” shifted into high gear during his 2018 campaign. He ran as a “centrist” Democrat, a moderate who could represent a population largely in the mainstream of conservative thought. Those were all lies, as shown by his sorry record of toeing the far-left line in Congress whenever Nancy Pelosi, AOC, The Squad or any other radical needed his vote.

The American Conservative Union (ACU) annually issues one of the most authoritative vote ratings for members of Congress. They are the go-to source to determine where a member stands on the ideological scale. For 2019, they rated House members on 26 separate votes.

Rouda cast what the ACU rates as a conservative vote 2 times out of 26  opportunities. For the math challenged, that gives him a 7 percent conservative voting profile. How bad is that? The notorious quasi-Marxist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) has the same 2 out of 26 record. Ilhan Omar, the Congresswoman who described the 9/11 terrorist attacks as “some people did something,” also has the same conservative rating as Rouda.

Rouda, Omar and AOC voting in lockstep. There is an iron-clad rule in politics – there are no coincidences in politics.

Rouda’s principles and honesty are gelatinous, his character as trustworthy as Gollum in “Lord of the Rings.” A look at his record would indicate that he became a charlatan long before running for Congress.

Rouda or businesses associated with him owed over $200,000 in 31 separate tax liens. Forget the dollar amount for the moment and think about the number 31. A couple of tax liens can easily be written off as forgetfulness or temporary financial hardship. But 31? That shows either frightening incompetence or purposeful evasion of financial responsibilities. 

Voters in his district ought to ask themselves if they’re comfortable with a Congressman whose actions fall in either category. They ought to ask themselves how irresponsible they’d have to be to collect 31 liens.

Many of the tax liens were for non-payment of Unemployment Insurance Tax. So while technically Rouda and associated companies were cheating a state agency, the people most directly cheated were injured workers who rely on unemployment benefits to get them through temporary periods of unemployment.

Several companies Rouda was associated with had their incorporation cancelled because of failure to “file necessary corporate franchise tax reports or pay any such taxes within the time period prescribed by law.”  Rouda and his wife had a mechanic’s lien filed against them that they let languish unresolved for seven years.

Beginning to detect a pattern? Is this really the man voters want crafting the nation’s $4.8 trillion annual budget?  

But wait, there’s more!

While Rouda was chief executive and managing partner of a real estate company, a former vice president sued the company for age discrimination and wrongful termination, alleging that she was fired while on leave for cancer. While employed by Rouda’s company the lady in question was diagnosed with cancer, treated with radiation and chemotherapy and developed a rare blood disorder. As a result, she was away from her office, but continued to work from home during her leave.

She won the suit and was awarded $1.8 million, including $700,000 in punitive damages. Seeking to cut its loses the company did settle with her, but the relevant words here are “punitive damages.” According to Wikipedia, punitive damages “are assessed in order to punish the defendant for outrageous conduct and/or to reform or deter the defendant and others from engaging in conduct similar to that which formed the basis of the lawsuit.” $700,000 worth of “outrageous conduct” – let that sink in for a moment.

But the Harley Rouda hall of horrors has many rooms – in one of which sat a mother who clearly didn’t trust and or feared her son. Rouda’s mother filed a restraining order against him in 2011. Though she subsequently passed away, the order does not deal with small matters and might offer a glimpse of Rouda’s true nature.

Among the actions from which Rouda was officially restrained were “directly or indirectly harassing, annoying, interfering with, harassing by telephone, assaulting or doing bodily harm to plaintiff…at her residence or elsewhere… From selling, mortgaging, moving, destroying, encumbering, secreting, or disposing of or attempting to dispose of any of the personal property, household goods furnishings, retirement accounts, investment accounts, business interests, real estate, personal and/or intangible property of plaintiff.”

That’s quite a list of “don’ts”. Family disputes are of course part of life. A mother feeling the need to get a legal restraining order protecting her from the actions listed above is quite another.

I started this column on a political note regarding how Rouda had lied to his constituents about his beliefs. His voting record is that of a dedicated leftist, marching in lock-step with some of the farthest left members of Congress – or of the North Korean Politburo for that matter. As out of step with this district as that is, it’s not the most compelling reason voters should reject him.

Voters should reject Rouda because character counts.

The character, ethics and values a member of Congress brings to that office is, on a day to day basis, more important than any votes that will be cast. The character of members of Congress reflects not only the inner person but also reflects on the character of the constituents who elect them. The voters of Rouda’s district – of all parties and all ideologies – are good people. They deserve better than him.

Unemployed workers counting on unemployment insurance payments couldn’t trust Harley Rouda. An employee on leave for cancer treatment couldn’t trust Harley Rouda. His own mother didn’t trust Harley Rouda.

Why should you?

Bill Saracino is a member of the Editorial Board of CA Political Review.


  1. So, why is this scumbag not in prison?

  2. Hypocrisy runs rampant in GOP says

    So, why isn’t Trump not in prison?

  3. Why I Fear Harley Rouda
    When Rouda won the CA-48 seat in 2018 from Dana Rohrabacher, I began looking into what type of representative he would be for the district and, at first, was mollified by his claim that he would pledge to legislate as a moderate Democrat who would represent “the vast majority of voters who tend to be between the 20 yard lines.”

    In following him however, I became alarmed that he would not stand by this pledge as his actions began to speak louder than his words. Over time, I saw that he stood more and more with the radical members of the House of Representatives and, at this point, his voting record parallels Nancy Pelosi 100% of the time and the ultra-socialist AOC 92% of the time! But lately, with many of our cities being being trammeled by wanton violence, looting, and burning, my concerns of Rouda staying within the “20 yard lines” have grown into manifest fear.

    It would seem that he is an out-and-out devotee of crippling law enforcement in our society.

    The Indivisible Project (or Indivisible) is a left-of-center tax-exempt organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. and founded in late 2016 by two left-wing activists with congressional experience and ties to the leftist economic policy advocacy group Prosperity Now. It was a response to the election of President Donald Trump and established to provide liberals a practical guide about “Resisting the Trump Agenda.” The organization supports the Green New Deal and has espoused a goal to replace all elected officials who don’t reflect their views with “diverse, progressive, local leaders.”[1]

    It appears that Rouda is among a group of California Democrats who have accepted monetary support from this group and was in bed with these actors during the 2018 campaign — even while he was uttering his pledge to keep it “between the 20 yard lines”. To quote a Washington Free Beacon article from August 31, 2020:

    “Rouda has also campaigned extensively with Indivisible. He called their endorsement a ‘great honor’ in his 2018 run against former GOP congressman Dana Rohrabacher, thanking the group for its “grassroots fund raising and support.” Cox also said he was ‘honored’ to receive Indivisible’s endorsement in 2018. The group is again backing Rouda and Cox in 2020—the pair has accepted a combined $2,000 from Indivisible Action since February.”[2]

    I am originally a supporter of Michelle Steel and the more I follow Rouda the more I turn from mere concern for this man to outright fear. Any candidate who would accept donations from such organizations — bent on shredding the fabric of our society — and clearly violate his campaign pledge is an untrustworthy person and certainly has no business representing our interests in Congress.

    [1] https://www.influencewatch.org/non-profit/the-indivisible-project-indivisible/
    [2] https://freebeacon.com/2020-election/embattled-california-dems-team-up-with-defund-the-police-group/

  4. Astounding …spread this far and wide in Orange County!

  5. ExCaliExpat says

    Sounds like your average rank-and-file Democrat legislator in California…

    They all have some sort of corruption associated with them…

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