Ca-11 News Round Up
Record: Constituents get face time with McNerney
"McNerney shook hands and listened intently to the estimated 40 people who lined up to chat with the freshman congressman, who upset seven-term incumbent Richard Pombo in November. Aides scribbled notes and talked to several of the constituents afterward.
"I want people to know we're here for them," McNerney said shortly before leaving for a similar session later Monday at a Tracy coffeehouse. "People come in here with things they're passionate about, and all I have to do is tap into their passion."
Emery and several others who spoke to McNerney at Sherwood Mall said they couldn't recall Pombo, R-Tracy, being so accessible.
"This is wonderful with him coming and talking to anyone in the mall," Emery said. "I wish every congressman would do this."" (source)
CC Times: McNerney drops in on a Pleasanton Safeway
"The freshman congressman who last fall unseated Republican giant Richard Pombo stood inside a Morgan Hill Safeway on Wednesday, offering an ear to his new constituents.
Lobbyists pay to have this kind of face time with members of Congress. But inside the darkened supermarket (the power was out) Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, was ready -- eager, even -- to hear what District 11 residents had to say, no cover charge needed.
McNerney this week launched what will be a running series of hourlong, face-to-face meetings with constituents. McNerney spokesman Andy Stone said the staff chooses "community hot spots" such as grocery stores and shopping centers, "because it's where people congregate naturally."
Since launching the "Congress at Your Corner" program, McNerney has visited Stockton -- where he chatted with folks inside a shopping center's food court -- and Tracy, where the setting was a coffee house." (source)
Jerry McNerney: Why supporting the troops means opposing the President
"Last week, I joined with my colleagues, both Republicans and Democrats, in casting a vote against President Bush's proposal to escalate the war in Iraq. I did so because it is my duty to do everything I can to bring about a responsible end to the violence and make sure our troops have the support they need.
Recently, the Washington Post reported that the Marine Corps and Army brigades that the president proposes to send to Iraq don't have enough advanced armor kits for Humvees. These "up-armored"' Humvees offer our troops the best protection against the roadside bombs that have caused so many of the casualties in Iraq. In addition, reports also show shortages of trucks and other crucial equipment such as jamming devices and radios. Lodging and logistical support is also reportedly in short supply.
This demonstrates the severely misguided nature of the president's proposal. A plan for military action must include necessary resources to achieve the objective. The president's plan doesn't do that. Another critical consideration is the impact the dispatch of an additional 21,500 combat soldiers -- along with thousands of support personnel -- will have on our military.
Already, our ability to meet future challenges is strained. Deploying additional troops will significantly hinder our ability to effectively wage the global war on terrorism. In fact, it is the global terrorist threat that still must be addressed in a comprehensive way." (source)
Tracy Press: Iraq occupation ‘misguided’
"Congressman Jerry McNerney, a California Democrat from the 11th District, voted to support a symbolic Democratic resolution Friday that opposes troop increases and calls the occupation of Iraq “misguided and badly managed.”
McNerney supports a public timetable for withdrawal, even though he said he is worried about the effect of pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq. He said that Iraqi police and military forces, if trained properly, could quell the country’s violence without the presence of U.S. troops.
McNerney said Iraqis should take care of Iraq’s security, while the U.S. should rely more on diplomacy.
“I am very, very concerned (Bush and his administration) are looking for a pretext to bomb Iran,” he said, adding that he would not vote to send America to war against Iran."" (source)
Record: House condemns surge in troops to Iraq
Environment California: McNerney bill a 'win-win' deal
Lodi News: Lodi businesses applaud new small-business tax relief bill
Lodi News: McNerney, Cardoza decry lack of transportation funding
Richard Pombo (R-PAC/West)
Merced Sun: Pombo returns to Washington as lobbyist
"Former San Joaquin Valley congressman Richard Pombo is stepping through the revolving door to work for a lobbying and public relations firm that specializes in Western resource issues.
It's a match made in political heaven, Pombo's fans and critics agree." (source)
Record: Pombo lands job with Oregon lobbying group: Ex-congressman hasn't ruled out another election
"The former congressman from Tracy said the day he conceded defeat to Pleasanton Democrat Jerry McNerney that he would focus his energies on the cattle ranch he runs with his brothers. But the itch to re-enter the policy wars over land rights, endangered species, mining, oil drilling, farming and fishing was too strong.
Pombo took a job last week with the Oregon-based lobby shop Pac/West Communications, a group that had fought along with him over the years.
But even as he spoke excitedly about his new career, Pombo said he still might challenge McNerney to regain his old seat.
"To be honest, I haven't made 100 percent sure I'm not going to run," Pombo said Friday. "I'm just going to wait it out and figure this out when things settle down. I want to see if this is something I want to do again."" (source)
Carl Pope: Just When You Thought It Was Safe
"Richard Pombo has moved on to a more appropriate line of work; he has become a lobbyist for a firm that specializes in representing the Neanderthals of the American economy -- companies that make their profits from irresponsible exploitation of natural resources, not the innovative deployment of human skill and technology.
The firm in question, Pac/West, is based in Oregon, but Pombo will be representing it in California. Pac/West Communications last year won a $3 million contract with the state of Alaska to coordinate a campaign for opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration -- something Pombo of course supported.
The company's President, Paul Phillips, understandably has a soft spot for the kind of ethical challenges Pombo consistently ran into in his political career. In 1990, while in the Oregon legislature, Phillips was fined $17,000 for soliciting employment from Nike from his legislative office. He later served as Nike community affairs director.
Pombo has followed a similar trajectory with Pac/West. A year ago Environment Science and Technology reported that Pombo had close ties to Pac/West. Pac/West created the sham Save our Species Coalition that fronted for Pombo's bill to gut the Endangered Species Act. It hired Steve Quarles, the DC lobbyist who wrote that bill, then created an "astro-turf" program to make it appear that Pombo enjoyed public support for his efforts to endanger wildlife. For his part, Pombo urged industry contacts to support Pac/West. And, in August 2005, Pac/West returned the favor by hosting a fund-raiser for Pombo in Wilsonville, Ore., where the firm is headquartered. Paul Phillips donated $1000 to Pombo's campaign. Members listed on IRS documents as directors for Project Protect, another PacWest front group, donated an additional $3000." (source)
ANG: Pombo signs on as lobbying consultant
"Defenders of Wildlife President & CEO Rodger Schlickeisen, whose organization's lobbying arm helped lead the battle to unseat Pombo last year, said he's not surprised to see Pombo land this job "with the special interests because, as far as we're concerned, that's where his heart and his mind resided anyway.
"It does challenge the notion that he kept trying to instill in his constituents ... that he was not a man of Washington, that he had not bought into the establishment, that he was not in bed with the special interests," Schlickeisen said." (source)