Sunday, October 22, 2006

Pombo: "One of the Nation's Worst and Most Arrogant Members of Congress"

The Pleasanton Weekly endorses Jerry McNerney:
Opinion - Friday, October 20, 2006

McNerney for Congress

What do Pleasanton, Tracy and Morgan Hill have in common? One of the nation's worst and most arrogant members of Congress, Richard Pombo. That's why voters in both parties have plenty of reasons to retire Richard Pombo.

When redistricting and gerrymandering brought the Tri-Valley together in the same congressional district with the Tracy-Stockton-Lodi and Morgan Hill areas, we inherited a Republican congressman who is vastly out of sync with the moderate political values of our region.

Richard Pombo, 45, a rancher who is completing his seventh term in Congress, is a protégé of former Majority Leader and now-indicted Rep. Tom DeLay of Texas, who rewarded Pombo's support by appointing him chairman of the House Resources Committee in 2003. DeLay promoted Pombo over nine more senior Republicans.

Pombo has used his position to raise money from Indian gaming interests, from convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff, and from mining and savings and loan interests.

The Washington, D.C.-based Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics listed Pombo on its list of the 13 most corrupt Members of Congress for his connections to the industries his committee is supposed to regulate.

Pombo unapologetically defends having his brother and his wife on his campaign payroll for years, as well as using taxpayer funds to rent an RV and tour the national parks with his family, and taking junkets paid for by industries that lobby his committee.

He advocates selling off portions of our national parklands to private interests, drilling for oil off the Pacific coast and gutting the Endangered Species Act, all consistent with the positions advocated by lobbyists that give money to his campaign committee.

Republicans and Democrats in the Tri-Valley should be embarrassed to be represented in Washington by a congressman with Pombo's values, ethics and political positions.

The better choice is Jerry McNerney, 55, a Pleasanton resident who has attracted bipartisan support in his effort to unseat Pombo. An engineer, McNerney has devoted the last 20 years of his career to the development of viable wind energy technology and is currently CEO of a start-up company that will manufacture wind turbines.

Far from being a political ideologue, McNerney represents the kind of citizen activist who wants to work on solving important problems, not use those problems to curry favor with special interests and as a way to raise campaign contributions.

Not surprisingly, with the fundraising help of special interests and campaign visits by both President Bush and Vice President Cheney, Pombo will far outspend McNerney in this campaign.

But Tri-Valley residents and their tradition of supporting moderate candidates can make a real difference in this election if they vote in sufficient numbers for Jerry McNerney. With a strong victory here, Pombo's San Joaquin county support can be overcome, and one of the nation's worst Members of Congress can be replaced with a person committed to ethical representation and to developing a sustainable national energy policy.

We recommend Jerry McNerney for Congress.


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