Sunday, September 24, 2006

Another Week, Another Oil Scandal For Pombo

Ang: Dems accuse Bush, Pombo of letting big oil steal billions (source)

"An East Bay congressman and other Democrats blasted the Bush administration and the House Resources Committee — chaired by another local lawmaker — on Thursday for letting oil companies rob taxpayers of billions in royalties.

Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez, and six other Democrats sent letters to committee chairman Richard Pombo, R-Tracy, and to a House Appropriations subcommittee chairman urging them to hold hearings on the Interior Department's failure to pursue the money.

The New York Times reported Thursday that four government auditors who monitor leases for oil and gas on federal property have sued, claiming the Interior Department quashed their efforts to recover money due the public. This news came atop lawmakers' previous concerns over royalty-free contracts and oil companies' short payments.

"There have always been schemes by various oil companies and gas companies to reduce their royalty payments and make nonpayments . . . but this is really the first time we've seen the federal government become part of that scheme," Miller charged Thursday on a conference call with reporters, noting Democrats' earlier calls for an accounting went unheeded.

"What you see is a pattern of corruption" both within the private sector and in government, he said. "If they keep acting like this, we're going to have to get two sets of handcuffs."" (More-At-Source)

Record: Oily mess ahead for Pombo (source)

"Miller and his allies - including Pombo's challenger, wind-energy consultant Jerry McNerney - want oil companies such as Chevron to renegotiate contracts they inked with Clinton administration officials that failed to include language requiring the firms to pay taxes when oil prices pass $36 a barrel.

Current prices are around $60 a barrel but reached $76 a few months ago.


Pombo's committee has had frequent contact with the department in recent years.

He had two Interior Department staffers working for his Resources Committee on mining and oil issues for more than two years; one helped develop part of the offshore oil-drilling legislation now under debate.

Critics cited this as an example of a compliant Congress doing the Bush administration's bidding. Kennedy dismissed the claim, saying Pombo has always supported increased drilling.

Pombo also made headlines last year when his committee staff pressured Kempthorne's predecessor to exclude U.S. Department of Fish & Wildlife officials - who were concerned about bird deaths - from discussions about new wind energy regulations; Pombo's family earns money leasing land in the Altamont to wind firms." (More-At-Source)

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
How Much Has Richard Pombo Taken From Big Oil?

"In response to LCV's endorsement, Jerry McNerney pointed out that Richard Pombo has received more than $400,000 from Big Oil." (source)

(cartoon courtesy of Defenders of Wildlife)

Friday, September 22, 2006

Jerry McNerney & Paid-For Pombo News

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
(picture from Jerry's Blog)

Jerry McNerney

"As an engineer and renewable energy specialist, Mr. McNerney brings considerable expertise on key issues to Congress. As Congress makes important decisions that will affect the future of American energy policy for generations to come, Mr. McNerney is well prepared for the task.

In addition to his commitment to renewable energy, Mr. McNerney supports strengthening important public health protections, such as the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts. He also clearly understands that global warming is a threat – and supports legislation to reduce global warming emissions.

Jerry McNerney said, "My opponent, Rich Pombo has received more than $400,000 from Big Oil. My campaign is powered by people who care, people like the folks in the League of Conservation Voters. I am proud to have their important endorsement.
" (source)

Jerry's Blog: Bush raises money for... McNerney? (New TV & Radio Ads!) (source)

Jerry's Blog: The Power of People (source)

Jerry's Blog: League of Conservation Voters endorses Jerry! (source)

SNTP: Jerry McNerney Named DCCC "Emerging Candidate" (source)

Jerry's Blog: Sept. 23-24: Join us for another Four-County Canvass! (source)

Richard Pombo Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

"President Bush will visit California in October to attend fundraisers for Republican congressmen John Doolittle and Richard Pombo." (source)

ABC: Bush to Attend Fundraisers for Doolittle and Pombo (source)

CC Times: GOP helps boost Pombo campaign (source)

SSP: CA-11: The NRCC is Nervous (source)

Copley: Group cites 6 California lawmakers as corrupt (source)

SNTP: Pombo Lies About McNerney's Immigration Policy (source)

McNerney to Pombo - "Time to Face the Music" (source)

Other Campaign News

"More than 150 volunteers canvassed nearly 10,000 households in Pleasanton, Dublin, San Ramon, Danville, and Stockton for Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund's "Defeat Pombo Day of Action" on Saturday, September 16." (source)

""Pombo's extreme anti-conservation record, including recently siding with oil companies to try to open California coasts to irresponsible offshore drilling, his consistent rubber-stamping of Bush's failed Iraq War policies, and his earned reputation as 'One of the 13 Most Corrupt Members of Congress' has galvanized unprecedented volunteer political activism to retire him in November among many who live in and around his district," said Ed Yoon, the Campaign Manager for Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund.

There will be two other major Defeat Pombo Day of Action: Saturdays, October 7 and October 28. Areas being targeted for those subsequent Days of Action are to be determined.
" (source)

Hank Shaw: CD 11: Debate set (source)

Daily Kos: Defeat Pombo Day of Action is a Success (w/ pictures) (source)

Record: Internet transforming campaign process (source)

Defenders of Wildlife: More Than 150 Volunteers Canvass for Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund's "Defeat Pombo Day of Action" on Saturday, September 16 (source)

Cal Majority Report: NY Times Poll: New Hope for California Congressional Upsets? (source)

Monday, September 18, 2006

What Kinds Of Industries Contribute To A Corrupt Congressman?

Friday, September 15, 2006

Another Week, Another Round Up & Some Ways To Help Defeat Richard Pombo

Take Action To Defeat Richard Pombo

"Two years ago, Jerry McNerney's campaign was just an asterisk in the polls. Now, because of your steadfast support, Richard Pombo is in very deep trouble.

How much trouble? According to Hank Shaw of the Stockton Record, the National Republican Congressional Committee has already dropped over $120,000 in polling and direct mail to save Pombo in a district it once considered "safe." By hammering voters with negative attacks on Jerry, the NRCC is hoping it can significantly depress turnout on Election Day.

Meanwhile, according to Shaw, there are unconfirmed reports that Senator John McCain just cut a television ad for Richard Pombo. This, after Pombo received fundraising favors from Vice President Dick Cheney and House Majority Leader John Boehner. “This is unprecedented for Pombo,” said Shaw. “Normally, he's the one helping other candidates.”

We’ve got Pombo on the ropes. You can deliver the knock-out punch right now:


Your people power – not Washington fat cats or Big Oil cronies – has helped Jerry raise just over $900,000 for this election cycle, which means we’re about to break the biggest goal of our campaign: $1 Million for McNerney!" (source)

Jerry McNerney's Blog: $1 Million for McNerney (see Jerry's new mail pieces!) (Source)

Read & Sign "Jerry's Ethics Pledge" Here.

Sign Up To Volunteer With Jerry McNerney for Congress This Weekend Here.

Attend An Upcoming Event

Write A Letter To The Editor

Spread The Word - Tell Your Friends & Family, " We All Live In Richard Pombo's District"

Join Jerry's Communities

Defenders Of Wildlife: Defeat Pombo Day of Action - Saturday, Sept. 16th (source)

Jerry McNerney

Jerry McNerney's Blog: "Turning heroes into victims" by Jerry McNerney (source)

Daily Kos: CA-11 / today's precinct walk for McNerney (and v. Pombo) (source)

A Progressive Alamedan: Jerry McNerney in Alameda: Quite a Success! (source)

Check Out Jerry McNerney's Beautiful New Web Site.

View Jerry McNerney's Direct Mail

Richard Pombo

"As you probably know, Richard Pombo is a poster child for corruption, having been named one of the "13 most corrupt members" of Congress by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a non-partisan watchdog group. Pombo has ties to Jack Abramoff and Tom DeLay, paid his wife and brother more than $350,000 in campaign "consulting fees," and recently took a family vacation in an RV on the taxpayers' dime." (source)

Jerry McNerney's Blog: VECO-gate: Will Pombo Return the Cash? (Source)

Fox News: GOP Incumbent's Ties to Abramoff Stir Debate in California House Race (source)

Daily Kos: CA-11: "We All Live In Richard Pombo's District" (source)

Tracy Press: Spam leaves bitter taste (source)

Daily Kos: Dick Pombo - Another Republican For Sale (source)

Grist Mill: Pombo time (source)

SNTP: Had Enough? Let's Throw Richard Pombo Out! (source)

Other Campaign News

"Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger told advisers ruing a taped conversation that Cubans and Puerto Ricans are naturally temperamental because of their combination of "black blood" and "Latino blood."

"I mean Cuban, Puerto Rican, they are all very hot," the governor says on the recording of a closed-door meeting obtained by the Los Angeles Times and made available on its Web site Friday. "They have the, you know, part of the black blood in them and part of the Latino blood in them that together makes it."
" (source)

AP: Schwarzenegger's racial comments caught on tape (source)

Roll Call: Loyalty to Republicans Could Bedevil Oil, Drug Industries if Democrats Win (source)

SF Chron: Cheney punches California's ATM (source)

Sac Bee: Bush will visit Oct. 3 to raise Doolittle funds (source)

Rodger Schlickeisen Defends Defenders Ads

Mother Jones: Revolt of the Elders - Where sprawl meets rangeland, a GOP warhorse sets out to save his party from itself. (source)

Tracy Press: Proposed biolab draws criticism (source)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Richard Pombo Tied To Alaskan Oil, Influence Peddling Scandal

The Record: Probed oil firm linked to Pombo - It gave thousands to congressman (source)

"An Alaskan oil services company under federal investigation in connection with allegations of influence peddling has contributed nearly $18,000 to Rep. Richard Pombo of Tracy, a Record analysis of federal campaign finance records shows.

The investigation sparked a Washington state candidate for the U.S. Senate to return his contributions from Anchorage-based VECO Corp. the day after the FBI raided offices of several Alaskan state legislators last week.

Pombo's spokesman Carl Fogliani said they are keeping the cash for now." (source)

More from Hank Shaw at The Record.

California Chronicle: Oil Slick of Corruption Spreads South (source)

"The FBI brought in agents from all over the country, including Sacramento, to raid the offices of six Alaska legislators last week. They were looking for illegal dealings with an Alaska-based oil firm VECO that has long been a top Republican donor. But the money trail doesn't stop in Alaska.


...A month before the House Resources Committee, of which Pombo is chair, added a provision to open ANWR to a budget reconciliation bill, Rep. Pombo took almost the same amount from Alaskan donors for his political action committee-40% of which came from VECO executives.

VECO has made no secret of what it hopes to gain from their donations. "VECO is ready to assist efforts in every way possible to make new mega projects happen - specifically, an Alaskan gas pipeline and the opening of ANWR," the company said in a 2003 newsletter. In an October 2004 newsletter to VECO employees, executives wrote, "The right people in the White House, the U.S. Capitol and the Alaska State Legislature make a huge impact on oil and gas resource development and on the economy of Alaska." They cited opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling as one of their top priorities. "We try to get those people elected," VECO President Pete Leathard told Alexander's Gas and Oil Connections, an online newsletter covering the oil industry. "We put a lot of money into the effort," Leathard said.


Democratic congressional candidate Jerry McNerney, who is challenging Pombo for his seat stated, "I think all these questions underscore the need for stronger ethics rules in Congress, and reform of our campaign finance laws. A first start in that effort would be for Congressman Pombo to return the money that he received from VECO. It seems like every week there's some new scandal or rumor coming to light about Congressman Pombo's behavior. If we want people to believe in their government, we need a new direction in Congress. The people in the 11th district and the country expect and deserve the highest ethical behavior. They can expect that from me."" (source)

More from The California Chronicle

The Link Between Corruption & Anti-Environmentalism: Richard Pombo

Sierra Club: Two-Time Losers Turns out some of the most anti-environmental members of Congress are also ethically challenged. Sierra surveys the bottom of the barrel. (source)

"two-time losers: members of Congress who have LCV scores under 15 percent and who are ethically challenged." (source)

"SIX YEARS INTO GEORGE W. BUSH'S PRESIDENCY, anti-environmental extremism has become Capitol Hill's standard operating procedure. Hardly a major bill goes by that someone doesn't saddle with a rider to drill the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Neither war nor hurricanes nor $3-plus-a-gallon gas seems able to persuade the Republican majority in Congress to look beyond fossil fuel. Even proposals to sell off national parks and forests get serious consideration.


What's the connection between a bad environmental voting record and corruption? Follow the money. Votes against clean air and water are not cast out of antipathy to summer zephyrs and babbling brooks but to help some favored campaign contributor make an extra buck. For legislators willing to sacrifice wildlands or public health to corporate profits, it's not that big a step to feel entitled to a cut of those profits--especially when they see their former colleagues and aides cashing in with lucrative K Street lobbying jobs. Not everyone with a poor LCV rating is on the take, of course, but of all those implicated in the current scandals swirling around Washington, D.C., none has a good environmental record. In fact, all but a handful fall among the worst of the worst.

The scandals these environmental slackers embroiled themselves in fall into two broad categories. One involves disgraced super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who represented sweatshop owners in the Northern Mariana Islands and bilked Native American tribes of millions of dollars while he advanced their gambling interests or undermined those of their competitors. A second set of scandals grew from the shenanigans of military contractors Mitchell Wade and Brent Wilkes, who are alleged to have bribed Cunningham and possibly others in exchange for hundreds of millions of dollars in Pentagon contracts." (source)

Pombo's League of Conservation Voters Score: 6% (source)

"Pombo is the chair of the House Committee on Resources, which also oversees Native American affairs. Among Jack Abramoff's clients were the Mashpee Wampanoag of Massachusetts, who were seeking formal recognition as a tribe (the first step toward opening a casino, should Massachusetts ever allow it). Abramoff directed tribe leaders to donate $12,000 to Pombo's Rich Political Action Committee, with further donations coming from the lobbyist and others. In short order, the Mashpees were put on "active consideration" for recognition by 2007.

In line with his official concern for national parks (scouting new locations to sell off?), Pombo charged the government $4,935.87 to rent an RV so he could visit Yosemite, King's Canyon, and other parks. And since he was tooling around enjoying the scenery, he decided to take the family along, at taxpayers' expense.

Pombo has lobbied for wholesale weakening of the Endangered Species Act, oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and dilution of citizen participation in the National Environmental Policy Act. He also advocated selling off many national park and national forest parcels, as well as millions of acres of public land, to mining interests, developers, and oil and gas companies. Working with Representatives John Doolittle (R-Calif.) and Tom DeLay (R-Tex.), he quashed an investigation into the dealings of Texas financier Charles Hurwitz, owner of the Pacific Lumber Company, the largest liquidator of California's last privately owned redwoods. Hurwitz donated generously to all three." (source)

More Campaign News

Jerry McNerney

"Just as the crew of newly-minted precinct walking experts was about to head out the door, a surprise guest arrived to give them one last pep talk—it was Jerry McNerney himself!

Introductions, handshakes, and big smiles spread across the training room and the call center.

The volunteers were very happy to see Jerry, and they were also happy that he brought along a loaf of his wife Mary’s homemade cranberry bread. At the end of a very successful day almost every volunteer agreed to come back next weekend.

They want to work for a better America—and maybe they’re hoping to get the cranberry bread recipe, too.
" (source)

"Speaking to supporters in Dublin, Jerry McNerney, Democratic candidate for Congress in the 11 th district, said, "As we've all suspected, only the wealthy have seen their income rise since the last economic peak. While income for top-earning households rose in the last five years, everybody else fell-from about 3 to 5 percent. This uneven recovery hits hardest at those on the bottom rungs of our economic ladder."" (source)

Jerry McNerney: Labor Day Weekend: The Vitality of the American Dream (source)

Jerry McNerney: Happy Cheap Labor Day (source)

McNerney for Congress: Surprise Guest Fires Up Stockton-Area Precinct Walkers and Phoners (source)

Jerry McNerney's Blog Has Undergone A Successful Facelift. Very Nice.

Richard Pombo

"In the 11th Congressional District, Congressman Richard Pombo is arguably the only Northern California Republican incumbent congressman facing the possibility of a serious challenge in November. But he appears to be keeping the president's wind up for the war on Iraq about as far away as possible. He will not talk with us on the subject. On his campaign Web site there is no mention of the war -- no pictures of Richard Pombo and the president." (source)

The Record: Probed oil firm linked to Pombo It gave thousands to congressman (s ource)

California Chronicle: Oil Slick of Corruption Spreads South (source)

L.O.C./DailyKos: Let's Follow the Money: PFDs (source)

Sierra Club: Two-Time Losers (source)

Richard Pombo: We Have a Choice on Energy Independence (source)

More On The 11th C.D. Race

"So when staged a protest last Wednes-
day in San Ramon Central Park calling attention to Richard Pombo's stance on the Iraq War, she attended and expressed her concerns about the Tracy Republican's position.

Pombo's bid for an eighth term representing the 11th Congressional District has galvanized not only ordinary citizens such as Berman, but a plethora of groups that are attempting to unseat the chairman of the House Resources Committee.


Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund, recently upped its full-time staffing level in its Pleasanton office.

Ads posted on Craigslist seek volunteers willing to come to the district to knock on doors for the group. Members follow the congressman around, showing up at his district office, at events and political fund-raisers with signs and props.

And a few weeks ago, the Defenders even launched a series of television ads that paint Pombo as corrupt.

The Sierra Club, another group that lobbied against Pombo in the primary, is also slated to step up its efforts following the Labor Day holiday, particularly on the issue of oil drilling.


Whether the groups, bloggers and citizens will make a difference come November will be revealed on election day when the ballots are counted. But it does make the race one that not only constituents, but politicos, the media and others nationwide plan to watch." (source)

Argus: Groups' anti-Pombo campaigns recharge (source)

Washington Times: National significance seen in California 11th District (source)

Defenders of Wildlife Is Running 2 More TV Ads In Pombo's District
Watch "Abe" and "George" Pull A Pombo Here.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Pombo Caught Red Handed Video - An Excerpt

Pombo got caught Red Handed and off-guard. He looks noticeably uncomfortable and comes off as arrogant and suprised in the video. I typed out a couple of the questions and Pombo's answers to them.

Watch This Video. Watch It Again If you Have Already. Or Pass It On To Friends and Family.

Here is an excerpt:

Patriot # 1: "Congressman Pombo, Why are you known as one of the 13 most corrupt members of Congress?"

Congressman Richard Pombo (Exxon-Mobil): "..."

Patriot # 2: "Congressman Pombo, Are you going to respond to your constituents concerns?"

Congressman Richard Pombo (Exxon-Mobil): "..."

Watch The Video - Pass It On.

Why Wont Congressman Pombo Meet With His Own Constituents?

Dirty Dick Pombo News Round Up

Richard Pombo

How Much Did You Pay For Pombo To Send You Political Mailers?
"Rep. Richard Pombo, the Republican representing San Joaquin County and nearby areas, spent $46,786 on franked mail." (source)

"Many of Pombo’s constituents received up to two pieces of direct mail from his congressional office that had all the hallmarks of a political campaign mail piece. One mail piece, called “Putting Families First”, apparently targeted only women voters who are considered in this CA-11 election to be a critical “swing” voting bloc. The other, called “Transportation Update,” was apparently sent to all voters to coincide with the visit by the Bush-appointed Transportation Secretary Maria Cino that week." (source)

"In a separate occasion on August 16, Pombo was spotted by protesters from Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund and Political Action at the Contra Costa Country Club in Pleasant Hill where Pombo drove himself to in the luxury Lincoln LS paid for by taxpayers to speak to a partisan political event sponsored by the Contra Costa County Republican Party." (source)

Pombo & Oil Drilling
"Feinstein said the bill, sponsored by California Rep. Richard W. Pombo (R-Tracy), would result in new oil drilling along the coast. Pombo, who chairs the House Resources Committee, guided the legislation through the House while the Senate passed a separate bill that extends an oil-drilling ban off western Florida to 2022, but does not offer the same protection for California." (source)

Keepin' It In The Family
"When Richard Pombo holds his big-top fundraiser in the Comcast Skybox at the circus in Stockton this weekend, his family will be part of the high-wire act. Pombo has a history of paying his family fees out of campaign contributions. And the current cash circus appears to be no different with wife Annette selling the $300 family tickets for the event.


Hank Shaw, of the Stockton Record says, "Federal records show that Rep. Richard Pombo used campaign funds to pay his wife and brother a total of $255,916 over the past two years -- or 25 cents for every dollar the Tracy Republican raised for his re-election effort."

Reports filed with the Federal Election Commission also show Pombo's campaign paid the congressman's wife, Annette, an additional $39,938 from 2001 to 2002. His brother Randall received $169,299 during the same period, bringing the total payments to the family since 2001 to $465,153. "And that's not peanuts," quipped McNerney.

FEC regulations permit salary payments to family members for "bona fide, campaign-related services," according to a 2001 advisory opinion. However, "Spending 25 percent of what you raise on two staffers, especially when they happen to be relatives, raises some serious questions," observes Larry Noble of the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks federal campaign financing. As Fred Wertheimer of the Washington, D.C.-based watchdog group Democracy 21 observes, "This adds up to a quarter-million dollars, which is nearly two times as much as a member of Congress makes." He also noted Pombo's contributors probably did not intend for him to spend so much of their money on his wife and brother.

But Pombo's contributors may not mind, as long as he continues to protect their interests. In the campaign cycle that ended in 2004, nearly two-thirds of his $1.1 million in gifts came from energy, agribusiness and developers." (source)

Jerry McNerney: Three-ring Pombo Cash Circus Comes to Stockton (source)

SNTP: Pombo Violates The Hatch Act (source)

Defenders of Wildlife: Congressman Richard Pombo again uses taxpayer funds for his personal political benefit (source)

LA Times: Feinstein Urges Defeat of (Pombo) Oil-Drilling Legislation (source)
Pete McCloskey: Does Pombo need this support? (source)

Jerry McNerney

"Jerry McNerney is a nationally recognized expert in wind engineering and renewable energy, with a PhD in mathematics. During his career in wind energy, McNerney's work contributed to saving the equivalent of approximately 30 million barrels of oil, or 8.3 million tons of carbon dioxide - the main greenhouse gas - as well as other harmful pollutants. The Democratic nominee for California's 11th Congressional District, Jerry has been married for 29 year and has three grown children." (source)

Howie Klein/FDL: Jerry McNerney Turning Northern CA a Deeper Shade of Blue (source)

SNTP: Sunday On The Ranch With Jerry (source)

Progressive Alamedan: Come Meet Jerry McNerney in Alameda! (source)

The Iraq War & The 11th C.D.

"Since the Iraq war began, Congressman Richard Pombo (R-Tracy) has joined Republicans in Congress to spend more than $300 billion on President Bush’s failed [Iraq] policy… The cost of the war to taxpayers in the 11th Congressional District is more than $974 million and counting." (source)

"It's well-known that five Tracy citizens have died in the Iraqi conflict, but now a nonprofit group has worked out each Tracy citizen has paid more than $1,000 for the war.

Tracy’s taxpayers have shelled out $89 million for the Iraq war, for which five Tracy soldiers have given their lives, according to calculations announced by a national nonprofit group.

That’s about $1,100 for every man, woman and child living here." (source)

Tracy Press: War costs mount (source)

Argus: challenges Pombo on home turf (source)

SNTP: War Is Hell (source)

Other Stuff

Defenders of Wildlife changed the design of their Pombo's In Their Pocket website. Check It Out.

SF Chronicle: Democratic Congress no longer a long shot (source)

Huffington Post: Campaign 2006 - Sweet 16 Congressional Races (source)

SF Chronicle: GOP candidates keep Bush out of the picture (source)