Thursday, August 03, 2006

Pombo News Round-Up

Defenders of Wildlife: Local Residents Challenge Rep. Richard Pombo to a Town Hall to "Explain Himself"
Constituents' Letter to Pombo Questions Why Pombo Is Known As One of the Most Corrupt Members of Congress (source)

"Local residents of the 11th Congressional District held press conferences in San Ramon and Stockton to challenge Rep. Richard Pombo to a town hall during the August congressional recess to "explain himself" as to why he is known as one of the most corrupt members of Congress.

More than 100 of Rep. Pombo's constituents have signed a letter requesting a town hall meeting, and the letter with their signatures were hand-delivered to his district offices following the press conference in each city.

"I am a life-long Republican who have voted for Congressman Richard Pombo in the past, including the last election, but I need some good explaining from him this year on a series of apparent ethical lapses that he is known for," said Peter Petroski, a resident of Danville. "I'm joined by more than a hundred others who live and vote in his district to ask him to a public town hall to explain himself.

"The hand-delivery of the constituents' letter to Pombo's district offices, including the request for a town hall meeting during the August Recess, were met by surprise, feint ignorance, consistent evasion from the Pombo district office staff. In Stockton, Pombo's chief scheduler in Washington, DC even told nearly 30 constituents who gathered at his district office, "We can't schedule anything because the computer is down." (Note to the press: Digital pictures available upon request.)"

Why did Congressman Pombo use taxpayer money for a family vacation in an RV to seven national parks and not pay the money back to the government?" asked Norm Rhett, a resident of San Ramon. "Congressman Pombo needs to explain himself."Constituents' letter to Rep. Pombo reads as follows:

From Your Concerned Constituents

The Honorable Richard W. Pombo
United States Congress, CA-11
2411 Rayburn HOB
Washington D.C., 20515

July 25, 2006

Dear Representative Pombo,

As your constituents, we are extremely concerned about a number of allegations questioning the legality and ethics underlying a number of activities, especially some relating to your use of campaign contributions and your acceptance of free travel. These include:

? Your support for eliminating a 25-year bi-partisan moratorium that has protected our coastlines from excessive offshore drilling after you have received more than $240,000 from oil and gas companies. (HR 4761; Federal Elections Commission)

? Your payment of more than $450,000 in campaign funds to your wife and brother for "consulting fees", including payments to your wife that went into a joint checking account which meant the payments benefited you directly. (Federal Elections Commission; Knight Ridder, 3/12/06; Clerk of the U.S. House; Contra Costa Times 1/23/06)

? Your continuous efforts to weaken our environmental protection and conservation laws that have drawn criticism from all across the country. Here at home, the San Francisco Chronicle called you "the dark knight of the environment" and the Sacramento Bee referred to your proposals as "dim" and "slimy". Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund named you Congress' "Wildlife Villain of the Year." The Humane Society identified you as Congress' "Leading Opponent of Animal Welfare". The League of Conservation Voters has named you "The Chair of the Dirty Dozen". Ocean Champions says you are "the oceans' biggest political enemy." And Republicans for Environmental Protection, which is a strictly partisan group promoting Republican champions of the environment, say your are the "worst in Congress." (San Francisco Cronicle, 10/21/05; Sacramento Bee, 9/28/05; Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund; The Humane Society of the United States; League of Conservation Voters)

? Not long ago you used taxpayer money for a family vacation in an RV to seven national parks. On your committee website you called it "a family vacation". When asked about it by reporters, you changed your story and called it a business trip. Yet, officials at two of the parks you claim to have visited say they never saw you. (Tracy Press, 2/9/06)

? The non-partisan government watchdog group, Center for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington released a 13-count ethics complaint against you and called for an IRS investigation of foreign trips paid for by industry interest groups. The group has also named you one of the 13 most corrupt members of Congress. Four others on this list have already been convicted or have resigned from office, or are under investigation. (Stockton Record, 5/5/06)

As voters and your constituents, we deserve a clear explanation from you. As such, we invite you to attend a town hall meeting which we will organize during the August Recess that will give you the opportunity to explain yourself to us and others in the district on these ethics-related allegations. Please take this opportunity to explain yourself to the voters in your district." (source)

DCCC: Mr. Pombo's Staff (source)


Rodger Schlickeisen (Defenders of Wildlife): Pombo is adrift offshore (source)

Daily Kos: Pombo Fiddles While Climate Burns (source)

Berkeley Bubble: Pombo's Political Kryptonite: Abramoff (source)

Drill, Drill, Drill.

AP: Senate approves more offshore drilling, but not as much as the House wants (source)

SF Chronicle: Not off our coast (source)

Oregonian: Welcome to (Corporate Name) National Park (source)


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