17 October 2006

LATimes Slams Pombo

Today's Los Angeles Times: (10-17)

...Richard Pombo has tried repeatedly to eviscerate the Endangered Species Act. He has proposed selling federal wilderness for a pittance to mining interests. His latest bill wouldn't just open up vast stretches of the coast to drilling, it would slash the royalties that companies must pay for shale-oil leases, potentially costing taxpayers billions of dollars. And then there's his tarnished ethics record, which earned him a spot on a watchdog group's list of the 13 most corrupt members of Congress last year...It's the kind of behavior the state could do without.

Courtesy Breaking Blue blog

SFChron Endorses Jerry McNerney

Today's San Francisco Chronicle:

...In seven prior elections, [Pombo] has had an easy time...But this time his ethical stumbles and radical positions should catch up with him. His opponent, engineer Jerry McNerney brings a low-key probity that the district and House deserve.

Pombo...favors opening up federal waters for offshore drilling [and] wants to downgrade the science around endangered species designations...As for national parks, he thinks there are too many, and the less popular ones should be sold off.

It's not just ideology that disqualifies Pombo. It's ethics too...Even within his own party, Pombo is proving an embarrassment. He should be retired.

Courtesy Breaking Blue website

13 October 2006

Super Jerk!

Courtesy of Defenders of Wildlife - On Richard Pombo

“If you prefer the politics of extremes; if you're OK with selling off national parks; if backroom dealmaking and tainted money suit you; if you embrace out-of-balance budgets and the concentration of wealth — Pombo's your man.”
- Modesto Bee, Oct. 10, 2006

"His intention is clearly to disrupt the protection of threatened animals."
- Fort Wayne News Sentinel
November 30, 2005

“Mr. Pombo in my view represents all that is wrong with the national government in Washington today.”
Former Congressman Pete McCloskey (R-CA)

"He's the dark knight of the environment who wants to gut endangered-species protections and is now clearing the way for open-water drilling."
- San Francisco Chronicle
October 21, 2005

Newspaper: "Two House Members deserve defeat"

San Jose Mercury News Editorial - Oct 12, 2006

Even gerrymandering can't guarantee the re-election of California Republican Congressmen Richard Pombo and John Doolittle. Many voters have had it with their money-grubbing and their party's influence-peddling. It's about time. . .

And, under now-indicted former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, they condoned sleazy dealings with lobbyists and campaign donors to solidify their hold on power. Bills to curb those abuses and set higher ethical standards went nowhere in Congress this year. . .

Doolittle and Pombo embody Washington's incestuous political culture. By throwing them out, voters would signal the need for change.

Meanwhile, the Independent (which serves Pleasanton, Livermore and Sunol), endorsed Jerry yesterday, citing Jerry's honesty and integrity as qualities that set him apart from Pombo.

Endorsement of Jerry McNerney for Congress

Pombo, a congressman since 1992, is perhaps best known for his efforts to decimate the Endangered Species Act, despite the law’s overwhelming support by the American people. Pombo has helped create a plutocracy, a government in servitude to monied interests. He is one of the major players in the corrupt culture that now strangles Washington. . .

Courtesy of "Eden James, McNerney for Congress" Website. Visit it!

11 October 2006

Pombo lied about Abramoff lobby

From “Just Say No to Pombo” Weblog

Thursday evening at the Tracy Forum when Richard Pombo was questioned about his connections to Jack Abramoff, according to Erica Werner of the AP, Pombo strongly denied ever being involved with Abramoff.

Really? The AP story exposes a different version of the story:
Records show the disgraced lobbyist [Abramoff] billed a client for at least two contacts with Pombo a decade ago.

The lobbying records released by the Northern Mariana Islands show that Abramoff billed once for calls to Pombo, chairman of the House Resources Committee, and a second time for a discussion with him, while lobbying in 1996.

On more than two dozen other occasions from 1996 through 2001, Abramoff associates called or met with members of Pombo's staff, including his chief of staff, the records indicate. As the contacts picked up, Pombo voted Abramoff's way on a bill important to Abramoff's clients.

Here are the particulars of the Pombo/Abramoff deal:
One focus was legislation in the Resources Committee, of which Pombo was then a junior member, to give the Marianas a nonvoting delegate to Congress. Then-Marianas Gov. Froilan Tenorio was opposed. Abramoff and his associates lobbied the Hill, including a July 29, 1996, contact with Pombo's office.

Three days later the bill was narrowly defeated in committee. Pombo voted no.

"I have great news!" Abramoff wrote to Tenorio on Aug. 1, 1996. The delegate bill "was DEFEATED at the markup which finished about an hour ago. ... We were able to add four conservative Republicans to the block of Democrat opponents and defeat the bill by a vote of 13-12." […]

On Sept. 10, 1996, Abramoff billed for a discussion with Pombo. Two days later he gave Pombo a $500 donation, the first of what would become $7,500 in campaign contributions. Pombo has since donated the money to charity. On Nov. 21, 1996, Abramoff reported putting in calls to Pombo and other lawmakers.
And what do you imagine Pombo’s response is?

Pombo spokesman Brian Kennedy disputed the reported contacts, saying direct lobbying by Abramoff "never happened" and the staff-level contacts were "greatly inflated." Abramoff, who pleaded guilty in a congressional corruption investigation, is "an admitted felon" who can't be trusted, Kennedy said.
Ouch! Did Pombo just resort to the classic “You can’t trust him because he copped a plea before I did” defense? And just when you thought the guy couldn’t go much lower. I would definitely add some questions about Abramoff and the Marianas to your list: (209) 836-3326.

[UPDATE:] For a really in-depth look at the Pombo/Abramoff/Marianas connection, check out this post by SNTP's Matt O. over at firedoglake.

Tags: CA-11, Richard Pombo, Jack Abramoff, Marianas Islands, Marianas, NCMI, ethics, corruption, bribery, Jerry McNerney
posted by babaloo @ 3:23 PM

Tom Benigno said...
Remembering someone you meet. I had a friend who meet a girl one time and he ended up with a child by her for the rest of his life. So for Pombo to say he only met Abramoff a couple of times, dosn't mean he couldn't have passed money to Pombo. That is what we mean this guy is in denial, Incumbent Denial. They think what ever they do is ok as long as it's good for those who donate to him. We must break this pattern of corrupt Government.
Honesty, integrity, ethics, Mc Nerney has all those traits. vote for Jerry Mc Nerney.

Tom Benigno
3:55 PM, October 10, 2006 Tom Benigno said...
So what's new. Abramoff skimmed off 42 million from the people he delt with. The interest alone alone for one year would get Pombo elected. These guys are crooks.

We all live in Richard Pombo's district

From Jerry McNerney's Blog
Kid Oakland writes:

One of the reasons that Manhattan and Austin and Madison and Santa Monica are such "hot beds" of liberal campaigns and causes is that we already have good representation in Congress. I mean, if we all lived in Richard Pombo's district the first thing we'd all do is work to kick the bastard out. Well, as true as that may be, I've got some bad news:
We all live in Richard Pombo's district.

As long as the GOP holds the House of Representatives it's as if guys like Richard Pombo and Tom DeLay are in our backyards having a barbeque with their cronies. Polluting the air. Gutting environmental regulation. Putting a steady stream of pro-corporate, anti-gay, anti-woman legislation before the nation. As it stands, there's nothing we can do about it. They own the House, and as long as they do, everything else we do politically in this country is like putting a band-aid on an artery.
The single most progressive thing any of us can work on is to win back the House. The House is the slam dunk of American politics. It rewards simple majorities and party discipline. It really is like setting up a barbeque in the other person's back yard. And, currently, friends, they do the cooking and we do the looking.

Will Pombo Return VECO's Oily Cash?

From Jerry McNerney's Blog

Richard Pombo is under fire again and Jerry McNerney is calling for Pombo to come clean.As Hank Shaw of the Stockton Record and Lisa Vorderbrueggen of the Contra Costa Times reported yesterday, Pombo has taken $18,000 in contributions from VECO -- an Alaskan oil services company under federal investigation for influence-peddling involving lawmakers. What's VECO connection to Pombo and why did this Big Oil firm lavish so much cash on him? According to a 2005 article in the Lodi News-Sentinel, VECO is itching to drill in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR):
"Nearly 40 percent of the Alaskan money deposited into Pombo's political coffers came from two executives of VECO Corp., a company that could be among those benefiting from the opening of ANWR."
VECO has made no secret of what it hopes to gain from their donations.
"VECO is ready to assist efforts in every way possible to make new mega projects happen -- specifically, an Alaskan gas pipeline and the opening of ANWR," the company said in a 2003 newsletter. In an October 2004 newsletter to VECO employees, executives wrote, "The right people in the White House, the U.S. Capitol and the Alaska State Legislature make a huge impact on oil and gas resource development and on the economy of Alaska." VECO cited opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling as one of their top priorities. "We try to get those people elected," VECO President Pete Leathard told Alexander's Gas and Oil Connections, an online newsletter covering the oil industry. "We put a lot of money into the effort," Leathard said.
With VECO under federal investigation, Jerry McNerney is calling on Pombo to immediately return VECO's contributions, just as Republican Senate candidate Mike McGavick of Washington state did last week. Like Pombo, McGavick was also a recipient of VECO largesse. The day after the FBI's raid on VECO, McGavick returned $14,000 in contributions from VECO executives.
“I think all these questions underscore the need for stronger ethics rules in Congress, and reform of our campaign finance laws,” McNerney said. “A first start in that effort would be for Congressman Pombo to return the money that he’s received from VECO."
This wouldn't be the first time, of course, that Pombo has returned checks from scandal-soaked contributors with a special-interest agenda. As Shaw reported yesterday, Pombo has returned "$7,000 he received from felonious Indian gaming lobbyist Jack Abramoff, $2,000 from disgraced San Diego Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham and $1,000 from indicted Abramoff associate Joe Volz."
According to Vorderbrueggen, the League of Conservation Voters also called for Pombo to give back the money.
"We just hope Rep. Pombo doesn’t get a sunburned palm from having it open so often,” said President Gene Karpinski. “Here’s another… example of how he has abandoned the 11th District in California and become a puppet of Big Oil. As working families back home struggle with record high energy prices, Rep. Pombo sits in Washington allowing himself to be showered with more special interest cash than virtually every other member of Congress."
So why hasn't Pombo returned VECO's oily cash yet?