Monday, January 30, 2006

CA-11 blog agrees with Pombo

The ca-11 blog agrees with the logic behind Richard Pombo's public statements on financial aid cuts for students and tax cuts.

Rep. Richard Pombo, R-Tracy, in a meeting with the Times editorial board later Thursday, said reductions are key to reducing the federal deficit and defended the tax breaks as important to working families.

"We cut $50 billion out of a $2 trillion budget," Pombo said. "Where is the Democrats' alternative? Whose taxes do they want to raise? You can't have it both ways."

To prove the ca-11 blog agrees with this logic, here is a conversation I had with my wife just yesterday...

Brian: Honey, I've taken a $100,000 cash advance on our credit cards and I gave it to our millionaire neighbor. Oh by the way, since the interest payments are so large I cut the contributions to our the kids' college fund by $2,000 /year.

My wife: What!? Why did you borrow money we'll never be able to pay back and give it to our neighbor? He doesn't need it.

Brian: Working families like us must give more money to millionaire's because they create jobs for the economy and that ends up helping us.

My wife: Are you kidding me? He'll just invest that money in stocks and keep it for himself. That suply-side economics b.s. has been debunked by every credible economist. And what the hell are you doing messing with the kids college fund? How will we send them to college?!

Brian: You can't have it both ways honey. How else can we get that money to our neighbor? What are your ideas for that?

Monday, January 23, 2006

Pombo does the Abramoff two-step

Shorter Richard Pombo: I'm not involved with Abramoff because he always sent in his surrogates to lobby me. And by the way, Abramoff was primarily looking for clients rather than engaging in lobbying.

The Contra Costa Times interviewed Pombo and asked him about Jack Abramoff. (warning mp3 file possibly behind a subscription site)

Rough transcript:

Interviewer: Have you ever met Jack Abramoff?

Pombo: Yeah. I've met him. I've seen him probably, I don't know maybe, half a dozen times. Um, different big Republican events n'stuff. And I had lunch one time, I was having lunch with John Doolittle, and Abramoff came in and sat down and had... John invited him to have lunch with us and he sat down. I had never met him before that. That was probably, I don't know maybe 4 years ago. It was the first time I met him. Um, he was a big player. Always very, very involved with the political side, of stuff.

He never lobbied me, on anything. I can't ever remember a single time that he ever asked me about a bill, about a vote, about anything. I know, I read that I'm one of his best friends. But I mean, there are a lot of guys who are his best friends now because they're on the target list. I mean thats, the game.

Interviewer: But it wouldn't be unreasonable for him to want to meet with you and ask you about bills...

Pombo: No it wouldn't have been. On stuff that was comin' before my committee, you know there were different guys that worked for that firm [Greenberg-Traurig] that would come in and talk to me. That, you know, 'cause the clients were represented by the firm so, different guys would come in and talk to me and bring in, you know, the head of this Tribe or the, you know, the other guy and say, you know, this is our issue, this is why want it or why we don't want it or, you know, whatever the case may be but he [Abramoff] just never, never did. And I don't know how much of that he [Abramoff] really did. In him, actually going in and lobbying.

Interviewer: Well, he sent his people in, you know, and his staff...

Pombo: I think he did a lot more trying to find clients than he did actually lobbying us. 'Cause most of the guys I've talked to, they're supposedly his best friends, have the same kind of story, that, you know, unless they went to a fund raiser with him or something like that, that he didn't do a lot of that.

Interviewer: His, or his people, to influence you...

Pombo: Try to influence me? The guy, different people that worked for that lobbying firm, sure they tried to influence me. That's their job.

Interviewer: Right.

Pombo: They bring in somebody and say, this is why we think, you should do this, you know, pass this bill, or vote against that bill, or whatever. And, you know, 10 minutes later, you got the guys from the other side coming in telling you the opposite.

emphasis mine

Thursday, January 19, 2006

McCloskey enters CA-11 race

From the CC Times.

Too early to tell but this has the potential to develop into an interesting situation if McCloskey can bring some legitimacy to the table while at the same time raising difficult questions for Pombo about his ethics and legislative record.

McCloskey is characterized as a potential Wild Card.
[...] McCloskey is often unpredictable and outrageous, an invaluable trait in a cash-strapped race in which press coverage and word-of-mouth cost nothing.

Gotta love his quote from the Sacramento Bee:
Still, McCloskey is sure that he can at least force Pombo to confront some difficult issues."I ain't going to get elected," he said. "But somebody's going to know they were in a hell of a fight."

Pombo begins his smear strategy right out of the gate. I wonder when the "swift boat" ads will begin about McCloskey's service as a Marine in Korea.
"From what I've heard, Mr. McCloskey sounds more like a liberal Democrat candidate than a Republican," said Pombo, who was 11 years old when McCloskey challenged Nixon for president in 1972.

McCloskey wrote the ESA legislation that Pombo has been trying to dismantle. Very interesting.
McCloskey, who served eight terms in Congress from 1967 to 1983, wrote the 1974 Endangered Species Act that Pombo has worked to alter for the past 13 years. Pombo finally passed a bill out of the House last year that would fundamentally change the way the country protects threatened plants and animals, although the bill faces an uncertain fate in the Senate.