Monday, October 16, 2006

Pombo Is A National Disgrace

Today the San Jose Mercury News endorsed Jerry McNerney.
Republicans should give Pombo the boot
Mercury News Editorial

There are times when voters realize the best thing they can do in a race is to hold their noses and vote for their party's candidate.

In the 11th Congressional District race involving Richard Pombo, Republican voters must avoid that temptation. Instead, they should cast their ballots for Democrat Jerry McNerney.

Pombo, the seven-term congressman from Tracy, will take delight in proclaiming that we oppose his re-election because we don't like his radical views that call for eviscerating smart environmental laws.

He's right.

But the case for why Democrats and Republicans should support McNerney's candidacy in the sprawling 11th Congressional District goes far beyond Pombo's desire to sell off national parks, drill for oil off the Pacific Coast and make the Endangered Species Act extinct.

Pombo is a national disgrace to the Republican Party. His unseemly connections to scandal-ridden lobbyist Jack Abramoff should be an embarrassment to all Republicans. A Washington watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, put him on its list of the 13 most corrupt Republicans and Democrats in Congress. And his questionable connections to oil companies, gambling interests and mining companies have been well documented.

It's past time that mainstream Republicans let Pombo know there isn't a place for his kind of politics in their Big Tent.

McNerney, of Pleasanton, does not have the political experience that one would hope for from a candidate running for Congress. But as an engineer who is CEO of a wind-power company, his thinking on energy issues is more in alignment with those of California's mainstream voters.

Pombo has been trashing McNerney's positions on foreign policy, implying that he would allow rogue nations to trample over the United States. But McNerney's call for a timeline for strategic redeployment of U.S. troops in Iraq, and his view that our country needs to take steps to move away from increasingly being isolated in a hostile world, should be welcomed everywhere.

Pombo is such a bad role model that even Pete McCloskey, Pombo's challenger in the primary election, couldn't bring himself to endorse his fellow Republican this fall. Declaring ``enough is enough,'' McCloskey said he will vote for McNerney on Nov. 7. So should all voters in the 11th Congressional District.


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