More Pombo Corruption
"California Republican Richard Pombo hits the road plenty as chairman of
the House Resources Committee. Now, the road is hitting back.
taking over the wide-ranging panel, a Sacramento Bee review shows, Pombo has
kicked up its travel spending beyond almost every other congressional committee.
He has authorized several hundred thousand dollars worth of staff trips funded
by special interests. And now, an extended family outing for which taxpayers
picked up the cost for an RV is highlighting benefits and costs of all this
"If elected," Pombo's Republican primary challenger and former GOP
congressman, Pete McCloskey, declared Friday, "I can promise the taxpayers I
will pay for any trips I take to the national parks."
In hopes of shaking the seven-term incumbent, the Democratic Congressional
Campaign Committee on Friday posted on its Internet site a two-minute television
ad attacking Pombo. While thead specifically targets Pombo's newly controversial
August 2003 trip — a trip that some park officials tell The Bee they don't
recall — it also paints with a broader brush.
Only one out of 21 House committees reported
spending more on domestic travel than Pombo's panel, congressional records show.
Pombo believes in the outside view so much that he has allowed his committee's
chief of staff, Steve Ding, to live in Stockton even while he is overseeing the
52-member panel's Republican employees. In the past three years, records show,
Congress has paid $87,000 for Ding's travel between the two coasts.
Pombo inadvertently highlighted a different kind of travel by having the
committee spend $4,935.87 to rent an RV in August 2003.
"As chair of the influential committee, Pombo has pushed to speed up
applications for tribal recognition, drafted a change in Indian gambling law
control so-called ``reservation shopping'' -- tribes seeking casino sites
outside traditional reservations -- and helped enable tribes to develop
own energy projects.
And in three years, tribes, their members and lobbyists (including the
disgraced Jack Abramoff) and other gambling interests have poured more than
$500,000 into Pombo's coffers, making him the third-leading beneficiary of
Indian money in Congress.
That generosity allowed Pombo to funnel nearly $350,000 to the GOP and its
candidates in the 2003-04 election cycle, helping to burnish his party
It also has drawn Pombo, by association, into the maelstrom around
Abramoff, who has pleaded guilty to federal fraud changes and agreed to help
investigators probing corruption in Congress."
"Duane Gibson, a Washington lobbyist under federal scrutiny in the Jack
Abramoff scandal, helped raise money for a California congressman who championed
legislation that would benefit Western mining interests that Gibson
Last fall, Rep. Richard W. Pombo (R-Tracy), chairman of the House Resources
Committee, attached an amendment to a budget bill — without hearings or floor
debate — that would have opened national forest and other public land to mining.
The so-called Pombo provision passed the House, but was deleted from the bill in
the Senate when several Western state senators and governors complained that it
would endanger vast portions of federal land.
Three months before Pombo inserted the amendment, Gibson and his lobbying
firm had a $1,000-a-head fundraiser for the congressman. Although the total
raised at the July event is not known, Gibson contributed $1,000, and additional
donations came from mining companies, including at least one that Gibson has
Washington lobbying —A Monday correction dealing with a Feb. 8 Section A article on a lobbyist's ties to Rep. Richard W. Pombo (R-Tracy) said the House had held hearings on a mining reform provision backed by Pombo but had not debated it on the House floor. A House member held hearings on mining reform in general, but not on the provision."
"FROM FEDERAL ELECTION COMMITTEE RECORDS:8/09/2003 - Off Road Business Assoc
(El Cajon, CA), gave Pombo $1000
8/11/2003 - Off Road Warehouse (San Diego, CA), gave Pombo $1000
8/12/2003 - Southern Motorcycle (San Diego, CA), , gave Pombo $1000
8/13/2003 - Off Road Business Assoc (Lakeside, CA), gave Pombo $2000
8/17/2003 - Cycle Parts (La Mesa, CA), gave Pombo $10008/18/2003 - Dune Buggy
Enterprises (Whittier, CA), gave Pombo $500
8/18/2003 - McMillin Homes (Lakeside, CA), gave Pombo $500 (Corey McMillin
was a major supporter of the Off Road Business Association)
8/18/2003 - Michelle Cassella (Perris, CA), gave Pombo $500 (on Board of
Directors of District 37, American Motorcyclist Association)ON
8/18/2003, POMBO HOLDS "CONGRESSIONAL HEARING" AT SEA WORLD IN SAN
DIEGO ON CALIFORNIA DESERT -- and the only witnesses are off-road industry reps
(see donation list above) and local anti-environmental politicians!" (Source)