Saturday, August 26, 2006

Jerry McNerney Live Blogging This Morning (Sat. @ 11AM)

DownWithTyranny at Daily Kos: "tomorrow is Jerry McNerney Day at Firedoglake's Blue America series. Jerry will be joining us for a two hour live blogging session at 11 AM (West Coast time). Feel free to come along and ask Jerry whatever you'd like and see for yourself the difference between a Dirty Dick Pombo and an actual people's candidate." (source)

The DWT blog in which the above was posted is worth reading as is This Kid Oakland entry also at DailyKos.

SwingStateProject: Netroots August Fundraising Push: Support Jerry McNerney (source)

McNerney for Congress: Walk and phone for Jerry this weekend! (source)

Friday, August 25, 2006

Richard Pombo Does It Again & You Paid For It, Again.

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The Record: Incumbency has its privileges for Pombo (source)

"Rep. Richard Pombo, R-Tracy, recently mailed at taxpayer expense two glossy fliers to his constituents in San Joaquin County and the East Bay. They look like campaign mailers, and experts say they act like campaign mailers.

But they're not, at least in a legal sense. It's called "franked mail," and it is one of an incumbent congressional representative's mightiest weapons.

One mailer focused on Pombo's efforts to ease area traffic, the other on how much money he's brought home for police, fire and education.

Pombo's office declined to say how much the fliers cost or how many pieces it mailed. Such information is technically public but can only be determined by visiting the House Clerk's office in Washington, D.C.

A typical flier of the type Pombo mailed earlier this month costs about $35,000."

Here are some of Pombo's other tax-payer funded campaign style mailers.

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The tax-payer funded Pombo flyer on transportation reads, 'Congressman Richard Pombo - Delivering Results to Alleviate Gridlock In The I-205/I-580 Corridor'

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Here is a tax-payer funded flyer on energy policy. I blogged about this back in March.

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*Photo courtesy of Washington Post. The full sized images of this mailer are available Here on pages 4 and 5.

Washington Post (10/13/04): Bush Policy Gets a Ride on the House
Taxpayers Pay for Election-Year Mailing

"House Resources Committee Chairman Richard W. Pombo (R-Calif.) has launched an aggressive mail campaign -- at taxpayer expense -- to promote the environmental work of President Bush and a few vulnerable committee members in recent months.

This month Pombo mailed fliers to 100,000 residents in Minnesota, Wisconsin and a few western states touting the president's push for snowmobiling in Yellowstone National Park. Over the past year, he has sent similar fliers promoting the work of two western Republicans in competitive seats, along with a couple of mailings praising conservative California Democrats."

We're not just paying for his mailers. We're paying for his luxery car, his vacation, his propaganda website, and other political activities.

More on Pombo's bad habit from the DCCC:

"Pombo Sent Partisan Mailing Paid for by Taxpayers Less than One Month Before 2004 Election. As chairman of the House Resources Committee, Pombo used taxpayer money to send out a partisan mailing less than a month before the 2004 election. The 175,000-piece mass mailing went out to residents of Minnesota, Montana, Wisconsin and Wyoming and highlighted the politically charged issue of snowmobiles in national parks. The mailing, which used Bush's name five times, vowed that the committee "and the Bush administration are working together to protect your right to ride" on public lands - phrasing that critics charged was intended to persuade voters rather than inform constituents. Recently, lawmakers slapped a $5,000 postage cap on all committees and tightened advance review rules. [Sacramento Bee, 3/17/05; Roll Call, 4/4/05; Contra Costa Times, 5/1/05]

Pombo Asked for Franked Mail Budget 800% Greater Than Any Other Committee. As chairman of the House Resources Committee, Pombo has asked for a franked mail budget of $500,000 for the 108th Congress - of which he received $100,000, an 800 percent increase over the panel's 107th Congress allocation. Recently, lawmakers have slapped a $5,000 postage cap on all committees and tightened advance review rules. Pombo's mail spending was the reason for the new cap. According to Congressional Quarterly Today, "the restrictions follow a partisan dust-up last year in which Democrats accused Resources Committee Chairman Richard W. Pombo of abusing his panel's franking privilege by sending favorable newsletters to the districts of Republicans in close races." [Sacramento Bee, 3/17/05; Congressional Quarterly Today, 4/21/05]

Pombo Granted Taxpayer-Paid Leave to Staff for Last Month Before 2004 Election. Pombo publicly gave most of his 45 committee employees a month of paid leave in October 2004, some of whom left to work on campaigns. While it was widely understood that most of his staff would be working on Republican campaigns, it was maintained the Republican staff would be working on field hearings. Regardless, the granting of excess leave makes Pombo susceptible to the characterization that he bilked the government and taxpayers out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. "There was no one who was given government salary to go work on a campaign," Pombo said. [The Hill, 10/6/04; Contra Costa Times, 3/26/05]

Pombo's Staff Travel During Paid-Leave Period Covered by Taxpayers. While his staff was on paid leave in October 2004, the Resources Committee spent $6,000 on travel. Pombo's personal chief of staff was paid $1,851 for "travel subsistence" during the last weekend of October. Moreover, the 2004 Republican Staff Director of the Resources Committee, Steve Ding, travels to and from Washington almost every week. Ding is a resident of Stockton, CA, and such a payment could be seen as a contravention of House Administration regulations. [Statement of Disbursements, Clerk of the House, 2004 4th Quarter; Contra Costa Times, 3/26/05]

Pombo Used Official Committee Website for Partisan Attack on John Kerry. After John Kerry had become widely viewed as the presumptive Democratic nominee for President, Pombo posted a prominent press release attacking Kerry in a partisan and political manner, referring to Kerry as a presidential candidate. [Committee on Resources Website, 3/11/04]" (source)

Pombo / McNerney News Round Up

Richard Pombo

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Jerry McNerney/DailyKos: Bush gives Pombo "The Squeeze" (source)

McNerney for Congress: Handing out Big Tobacco checks on the House floor? - Why is John Boehner raising money for Richard Pombo? (source)

"Perhaps it’s because Boehner -- who replaced the disgraced Tom DeLay as House Majority Leader earlier this year -- shares the same ethical challenges as Pombo.

On Friday, Boehner is coming to Stockton to raise some big dough for Pombo. Pombo knows he’s in deep trouble and needs all the help he can get, even from a man (Boehner) who is infamous for
handing out checks from Big Tobacco on the floor of the House of Representatives.

No joke. According to the Washington Post, Boehner “handed out checks from tobacco lobbyists on the House floor in 1995 while lawmakers were weighing tobacco subsidies.” Boehner stopped handing out the checks only after two fellow Republicans, "appalled by it," confronted him
." (More-At-Source)

The Record: Not a representative meeting - Record readers take issue with Richard Pombo (source)

The Record: Incumbency has its privileges for Pombo (source)

SayNoToPombo: Pombo Transforms Himself Into Mr. Transportation (source)

SayNoToPombo: Pombo: GOP Incumbent In Danger (source)

Jerry McNerney

"I'm not a politician. I've spent my career developing wind energy technology. Like many Americans, my concern for the direction of our country has deepened over the last six years, with the tipping point coming in 2004 when I received a life-changing call from my son Michael. He called from his Air Force post to tell me his primary absentee ballot did not list a Democrat running against Pombo. He told me that he was going to write in my name and then asked me to run. Michael said he was doing his duty and it was time for me to do mine. I decided, that if no one else was willing to stand up against Pombo to fight for the future of America, then I would take up the challenge.

To the surprise of many pundits and power-brokers, I captured more votes in the general election than any other opponent Richard Pombo had ever faced. I did that, and won a competitive contested primary in June, by telling people the truth: that we can't drill our way to energy independence, that those who have served our country deserve our steadfast support, and that we owe our citizens more than the culture of corruption and greed that has gripped our nation's capital.
" (More-At-Source)

SwingStateProject: Netroots August Fundraising Push: Support Jerry McNerney (source)

McNerney for Congress: Walk and phone for Jerry this weekend! (source)

Kid Oakland: Angelides, Bowen, McNerney and the grassroots angels (source)

Gilroy Dispatch: South County Democrats Hold Picnic: Speakers Urge Participation (source)

Saturday, August 19, 2006

D for Darfur

The Genocide Intervention Network, who's "mission is to empower individuals and communities with the tools to prevent and stop genocide", has released it's Darfur Scores.

"The Darfur scorecards educate concerned Americans about the opportunities Congress has to help stop genocide in Darfur. This information enables our members to be more effective advocates for Darfur. Detailing the performance of each member of Congress will empower constituents to reward champions for their work and hold accountable members of Congress who fail to take significant action against genocide." (source)

"In the ongoing genocide, African farmers and others in Darfur are being systematically displaced and murdered at the hands of the Janjaweed, a government-supported militia recruited from local Arab tribes. The genocide in Darfur has claimed 400,000 lives and displaced over 2,500,000 people. More than one hundred people continue to die each day; five thousand die every month." (source)

So how did Congressman Richard Pombo score?

"Richard Pombo has received a “D” for supporting very few pieces of Darfur legislation. We need more support from this representative in order to make a difference in Darfur — the issue must become a key congressional priority." (source)

Richard Pombo failed to join 133 of his colleagues in co-sponsoring the Genocide Accountability Act/Darfur Peace and Accountability Act and voted against the Funding Amendment for Humanitarian Aid and the Funding Amendment for Protection.

More at

Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund Airs New TV and Radio Ads on Rep. Pombo Ethics Record

Trying to get away with unethical behavior called "pulling a Pombo"

August 16, 2006

"Pleasanton, CA -- Today, Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund announced that it would air new TV and radio ads drawing attention to Rep. Richard Pombo's record on ethics issues, including taxpayer funded trips he has taken and his use of his government staff to work on political campaigns.

Both ads use humor to make their points. In one ad, a young student said she was "pulling a Pombo" for trying to get away with taking lunch from a school cafeteria without paying for it and using student yearbook money to buy a new pair of jeans, likening her unethical behavior to Rep. Pombo's and asking her parents and the school principal why she should be held to a higher standard than her Congressman (Pombo). In the second ad, a business employee said he was "pulling a Pombo" for trying to get away with taking home his company office supplies and convincing a co-worker to do the same, asking why they should be held to a higher standard than their Congressman (Pombo).

"Although the ads employ humor, there is nothing humorous about Rep. Pombo's ethical lapses. He used taxpayer money to go on private family vacations to 15 national parks and then proposed selling national parks off to developers. And he used government staff on taxpayers' dime to work on his political campaign. Voters in his district deserve to know just what kind of person is representing them in Washington," said Rodger Schlickeisen, President of Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund.

"I would never let my students or my children grow up with the impression that they can expect to get away with unethical behavior," said Richard Blackston (55), a school teacher of 24 years from Stockton. "We should expect our public leaders to be good role models of upstanding character for our children to emulate; unfortunately, Congressman Pombo receives an ‘F' in ethics." Read the full statement.

The ads will air on Sacramento television and Stockton radio for one week." (source)

Watch The Ad's At You Tube.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Veterans for McNerney

The Record: "Congressional candidate Jerry McNerney has announced that retired Air Force Lt. Col. William Evans has joined the Pleasanton Democrat's bid to unseat Rep. Richard Pombo, R-Tracy.

Evans, as chairman of Veterans for McNerney, will coordinate veteran outreach in the 11th Congressional District, which covers much of San Joaquin County. Evans served during the Vietnam War and lives in Pleasanton.McNerney's son Michael, who joined the Air Force because of the events of Sept. 11, 2001, will serve as the committee's honorary chairman with Evans.

McNerney also has earned endorsements from Gen. Wesley Clark and Veterans' Vision, a bipartisan group that supports the Homeless Veterans Assistance Act of 2006 and the Veterans Health Care Act of 2006." (source)

Barbara Boxer for McNerney & Nobody for Pombo

McNerney Blog: Join Barbara Boxer and Jerry McNerney on August 25!

"As you may know, I proudly call myself a “Barbara Boxer Democrat.”

That’s why I’m excited to announce that Senator Boxer will be appearing at a special event on Friday, August 25, in support of our campaign to defeat Richard Pombo (see the invitation below).

Being a “Barbara Boxer Democrat” means standing up for progressive values. Like universal health care. Innovating our way to energy independence. And a real plan to increase America’s national security, including bringing our troops home from Iraq as soon as possible.

It means standing up for these values in both “blue” districts AND “red” districts. Barbara Boxer stood up for these progressive values in 2004 and received more than 50% of the vote in our congressional district while garnering more votes in a statewide direct election than any Senator in U.S. history." (More-At-Source)

More Info Here.

McNerney Blog: Are you ready to help Jerry this Saturday?

"Can't wait to send Richard Pombo packing on November 7? Well, to defeat Pombo, it will take knocking on doors and phone banking nearly every day right up to Election Day. This election is going to be won on the ground, face-to-face, neighbor-to-neighbor.

That's why your participation is so crucial. All Jerry needs this week is one day -- just a few hours on SATURDAY to hit the streets and the phones. If you're ready, our campaign field organizers in STOCKTON, TRACY and DUBLIN are ready for you!

Haven't walked or phoned before? No problem. Our campaign will provide in-depth training at each location. And you can be paired up with someone who is experienced.

Please come out this SATURDAY to call and door-knock for your democracy!" (More-At-Source)

More Info Here.

SNTP: Pombo's Big Precinct Walking Kick-Off

"This past Saturday, on a beautiful morning at the Pleasanton/Dublin BART station, Richard Pombo's campaign held their first precinct walk of the general election. They had a whole two people show up: Anne Volz and another unidentified staffer. They put up their "Pombo" sign at 10:00 and then waited in her black SUV. They waited there until 10:45, and then, after ZERO volunteers showed up, they packed up their campaign sign and headed home." (More-At-Source)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

", a people powered website to elect next CA-Gov, Launches!"

The headline is from the website launch announcment posted at Calitics.

"Inspired by Raising Kaine in Virginia, that helped elect Tim Kaine governor of Virginia (and soon, Jim Webb), and Lamont blog which recently helped win the nomination for Ned Lamont in the Connecticut Democratic primary. is another in a series of people powered grassroots websites. In this case put together by a dedicated group of blogosphere types..." (More-At-Source)

Governor Phil - grassroots reporting on the road to a new California -

DNC Blog: "California Democrats have a new place to turn to for news about Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides:

The site is a group project of local California Bloggers who, "created this site to serve as a place where California voters could learn more about Phil and engage in the 2006 Governor’s race, and we invite you to join the discussion and debate."" (source)

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Mike Machado Backs Jerry McNerney for Congress, Campaign Opens New Office

Machado Endorses McNerney

Record: "Two former supporters of congressional candidate Jerry McNerney's rival in the June primary election have endorsed the Democrat in his bid to unseat seven-term Rep. Richard Pombo, R-Tracy.

State Sen. Michael Machado, D-Linden, will appear at a McNerney fund-raiser later this month, and former presidential candidate Wesley Clark officially endorsed McNerney last week."

McNerney for Congress: New Campaign Office in Stockton Opens! (source)
"Over 100 enthusiastic Jerry McNerney supporters from throughout the San Joaquin County area gathered on Saturday to celebrate the grand opening of the new Jerry McNerney for Congress office in Stockton.

The large crowd, which included many local labor organizers and Democratic club members, was packed shoulder to shoulder in the 1300-square-foot office space, discussing politics and enjoying ice cream.

The highlight of the afternoon came when Jerry McNerney addressed the crowd, giving heartfelt thanks for their participation in the campaign and describing his candidacy as a clear alternative to the ineffectiveness and corruption of Richard Pombo..
." (More-At-Source)

Richard Pombo vs. Fishermen, Rivers, & Constituents

Roger Fleming of the Conservation Law Foundation claims that "Rep. Pombo's bill doesn't look out for fishermen." (source)

Richard Pombo vs. The Klamath River
The Stanford Progressive:
"Fishing rights' clash with aggressive farmers, and the conflict on the Klamath has created a strange bedfellows alliance between commercial fishermen and Native Americans. The two groups, normally opposed on political grounds, have come together with environmentalists and environmental justice groups in lawsuits filed against the U.S. government for failing to adhere to the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and save the few remaining salmon. Each year, the populations of threatened Chinook and endangered Coho salmon coming up the Klamath have dropped.


By September of the following year, the catastrophic dimension of the government's decision to allow irrigation was revealed. The 2002 salmon harvest was tragically small. Approximately 80,000 salmon lay gasping for breath on the banks of the Klamath, unable to reach their spawning grounds alive. Since then, each year's salmon run has gone lower, suffering from disease and high heat, pushing the "endangered" salmon species near extinction and the "threatened" species closer to an "endangered" listing. If Congressman Richard Pombo of California has his way, the Endangered Species Act may yet be reformed and crippled to the extent that the listings as they stand hold even less water, so to speak, than they already do.


California Republican Congressman Richard Pombo has sponsored House Resolution 3824, which the House subsequently approved. Should HR 3824 pass in the Senate, it would undermine the Endangered Species Act, removing every restrictive provision and altering the system by forcing taxpayers to reimburse would-be habitat-destroyers if they voluntarily decided to protect endangered wildlife.

This bill would prove devastating to the future of the dwindling Klamath River salmon population, which was once teeming with life..." (More-At-Source)

What's He Hiding?
Congressman Richard Pombo has yet to respond to the 100+ constituents who submitted a letter asking him to respond to some of allegations of conflicts of interests and corruption surrounding him. ""One can only conclude from this non-response that the “allegations” must not just be allegations." (source)

Who's Next?
Bob Ney (R-Oh), who like Richard Pombo has ties to corrupt Republican lobbyist, Jack Abramoff, has decided against seeking reelection. "Ultimately this decision came down to my family," the six-term congressman said in a statement posted on his campaign website. "I must think of them first, and I can no longer put them through this ordeal." (source)

LA Times on California's "Big Six" California Republicans and Lobbying;
"It is a cozy world where personal relationships count for millions of dollars and a latter-day "Triangle Trade" has developed among powerful committee chieftains...It is also a world dominated by a few California Republicans.

The November elections will decide whether five of California's "Big Six" chairmen...continue to hold their powerful positions...


Washington is no stranger to scandal involving government officials, private interests and well-connected middlemen. But the current controversies reflect a new reality that is defined by several factors, including the increased money involved in lobbying, new fundraising demands on chairs and the increased use of earmarks...


Pombo, who often wears cowboy boots, draws a large portion of the money he raises from groups with interests before his Resources Committee.


Washington has at least 15,000 lobbyists, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. That number has held fairly steady, but spending on lobbying has increased 41% in the past five years to an estimated $2.2 billion, making it the third biggest enterprise in Washington after government and tourism." (More-At-Source)

Thursday, August 03, 2006

General Wes Clark Endorses Jerry McNerney!


"Jerry McNerney received the endorsement of General Wesley Clark today in McNerney’s bid to unseat Richard Pombo. This major endorsement follows last week's endorsements from Republican primary candidates Pete McCloskey and Tom Benigno.

“Californians deserve a partner in Washington who values sustainable, clean energy, a sound national security and a robust economy,” General Clark said. “That partner is Jerry McNerney whose informed, honest approach to public service is needed in Washington now more than ever. I am pleased to endorse him today.”

General Clark praised McNerney as a leader who will help restore honesty, integrity and accountability to Washington. “In voting for Jerry McNerney, Californians have an opportunity to turn things around before it’s too late. To change politics-as-usual, we have to vote for someone besides the usual politicians,” Clark said." (More-At-Source)

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)