Monday, April 03, 2006

News Round-Up


Billionaires For Pombo - A Key Constituency

Contra Costa Times: "'Pombo-ized' bills worry lawmakers"
"Some senators have expressed concern that any bill they pass, even if it gains bipartisan consensus, would still have to be blended with Pombo's aggressive rewrite. And Pombo's bill goes way too far in easing environmental protection, according to many critics.

For example, Sen. Lincoln Chafee, R-R.I., the chairman of a key subcommittee, has said he fears any Senate bill might be "Pombo-ized" when it goes to a conference committee where
House and Senate versions are reconciled.


In September, Pombo, chairman of the House Resources Committee, introduced a comprehensive rewrite of the Endangered Species Act and pushed it all the way through the House in just 10 days.

It is the closest Pombo has ever come to reaching his career-long goal of weakening one of the nation's most powerful environmental laws." (

AP: "Rep. Pombo drops his cowboy hat to appeal to wider audience"

"The rancher and chairman of the House Resources Committee is closer than ever to his goal of rewriting the Endangered Species Act to expand property rights — his mission ever since the obscure fox species blocked development of a neighboring town 25 years ago.

The prospect of long-fought success has made Pombo a target in the November election. The conservative Republican has abandoned the cowboy hat in his official congressional photo and is looking a little more worldly as he confronts a changing electorate in his district.


As for ethics, Pombo is among lawmakers who got thousands of dollars in questionable contributions from Abramoff or his clients while supporting the lobbyist’s causes. After that came out, Pombo gave $7,000 to charity that he had received from Abramoff. The congressman denies taking any positions because of the money.

Pombo has been criticized for billing taxpayers $5,000 to rent an RV to tour national parks and for letting a top committee aide who lives in California bill for frequent travel to Washington.

Pombo asserts: “I don’t break the rules.”" (


AP: Bad San Joaquin air has a cost: $3 billion
"The San Joaquin Valley, one of the country's most polluted air basins, could save as much as $3 billion per year in health costs if it met federal air regulations, researchers said Wednesday.


The valley has no days during the year that are "safe air days," researchers said. On days with poor air quality, especially during the winter and summer, people are discouraged from going outdoors. " (

Record: Survey sketches Altamont commuter
"The average commuter crossing the Altamont Pass is a middle-aged man from Tracy making between $75,000 and $150,000 a year driving alone to his job in Alameda County, according to a commuter survey released Friday.


About 73,000 San Joaquin County residents commute to neighboring counties for work. Of those, 50,000 commute across the Altamont Pass, according to COG's most recent estimate.Of those surveyed, about 84 percent said they were commuting over the Altamont Pass to jobs in the Bay Area.


About 47 percent of survey respondents said they would take a job closer to home if they still earned their Bay Area salary.

Nearly 23 percent even said they would be willing to take a slight pay cut to work closer to home.That doesn't surprise local economic officials, who say the average Bay Area-bound commuter is probably making about 20 percent more than he would at a similar job in San Joaquin County. " (


Hill: "GOP green group backs Pombo rival"
"Republicans for Environmental Protection has endorsed former Rep. Pete McCloskey (R-Calif.) for the GOP nomination in California’s 11th Congressional District instead of the Republican incumbent, Rep. Richard Pombo." (

Contra Costa Times: "RV fetish in congressional District 11?"
"GOP challenger Pete McCloskey Jr. took delivery of a 30-foot RV he dubbed the "Real Republican Express!" It's modeled after the RV for Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the "Straight Talking Express!"
McCloskey staff members say the RV will serve as a rolling campaign office, fully equipped with a computer, fax machines and coffee pot. (Rumor says it will sport a bumper sticker, "Not paid for with taxpayer dollars.")" (


Three More McNerney Endorsements

"The California Teamsters Public Affairs Council delegates voted to endorse the McNerney for Congress campaign. The California Teamsters Public Affairs Council represents approximately 250,000 Teamsters Union members in the state.


Additionally on Monday the International Association of Machinists #1173, representing portions of California’s 11th District, voted to endorse Jerry McNerney’s candidacy for Congress.

South County Democratic Club Endorsement

This past Saturday, the members of the South County Democratic Club voted to endorse Jerry McNerney in his candidacy for the 11th District. The club represents southern Santa Clara Country which includes the city of Morgan Hill that is in the southern part of the 11th Congressional District." (


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