Monday, February 20, 2006

Lamorinda Dem Club Candidates Forum

Really great event at the Lamorinda Dem Club. All three candidates (Filson, McNerney, Thomas) were passionate, eloquent, and energized.

Personally, I wanted to hear the candidates speak more about CA-11 issues rather than the much discussed national issues like Iraq, NSA spying, and the federal response to Hurricane Katrina.

I'd like to comment on one thing that jumped out at me during the evening. Both McNerney and Thomas included a statement something to the effect of: "I support a Bush impeachment". In my opinion, they could use more effective messaging around their position on this issue.

I believe Dems should be placing this issue squarely in the "Congressional Oversight" frame rather than in the "Impeachment" frame. The politics surrounding the narrower "Impeachment" frame are very difficult and we don't need the extra baggage it brings. (To be clear, I'm commenting on the messaging here not the underlying position on the issue.)

Overall, I'm really glad I attended and I'm heartened that there are 3 solid guys running for this seat.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Pombo wants credit for his freugal non-visits with Park Managers

Pombo wants us taxpayers to consider ourselves lucky that he didn't spend $25K for his visits to National Parks where he avoided meetings with Park Managers.

Kennedy said Pombo could have taken airplanes and stayed at expensive hotels, costing taxpayers $25,000 or more. Instead, Kennedy said, Pombo rented the RV and then decided to "take his family along at no additional cost to the taxpayer."

The quotes from Park Managers about Pombo's non-visits just get better and better. I guess the folks who manage these parks are all just partisans with an agenda...

"We had set up camping for him [Pombo] and gone to a lot of work and then he did not show," Pam Livermont, secretary for the park superintendent at Badlands National Park, said Tuesday. "He did not alert any personnel that he wasn't coming, and we never heard another word from him. We were disappointed."

More from think progress...

The chief park naturalist at Sequoia and Kings Canyon, William Tweed, searched his records Friday and couldn’t find a sign of officials meeting with Pombo. “I’m coming up with a blank,” Tweed said in an interview. “I do not personally remember him being here, (and that) is generally something we do recall. We pay attention, because congressmen are significant people for us.”

Joshua Tree National Park spokesman Joe Zarki, whose park was also on Pombo’s visitation list, likewise said Friday that “no one here at this point can say we met with Mr. Pombo.”

Thursday, February 16, 2006

A good question

How did Richard Pombo become Chairman of the House Resource Committee?

Interesting thoughts here.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Pombo's bold stance on oil industry giveaways

In a bold move for Richard Pombo, he opposes a giveaway of $7 billion over the next 5 years to oil companies.

"I don't think there is a single member of Congress who thinks you should get royalty relief at $70 a barrel" for oil, said Representative Richard W. Pombo, Republican of California and chairman of the House Resources Committee.

"It was Congress's intent," Mr. Pombo said in an interview on Friday, "that if oil was at $10 a barrel, there should be royalty relief so companies could have some kind of incentive to invest capital. But at $70 a barrel, don't expect royalty relief."

Not surprisingly, George Miller (D CA-7) has been fighting this royalty program for years.

Miller [...] opposed the royalty holiday when it was first proposed in 1995, chastised Congress for catering to the special interests. “This is the cost of Congress letting oil companies write public policy,” Miller said. “The oil and gas royalty holiday is one of the most egregious giveaways of taxpayer money in our history and it can and should be stopped.

This program is not justified, period. But it is even more outrageous coming at a time when Congress is cutting food stamps, home heating assistance and college loans for poor and middle class families. You just cannot justify giving away $7 billion in tax dollars to oil companies recording the largest profits ever in corporate history.”

Seems Pombo's "principles" kick in only after the oil and gas industry is flooded with profits and after this scandal was published in the New York Times. Great. Where was Pombo's leadership on this during the last 10 years?

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Pombo and Bush: "addicted to oil [money]"

Does anyone else find it ironic for Pombo and Bush to be talking about a renewable energy program?

After 9/11, the country and the world were united in an unprecedented way. A leader could have immediately urged for a massive renewable energy program. A leader could have brought business people, environmentalists, and technologists from around the country/world and made this a reality.

Instead, 4 years later, we have Bush orating about "renewable energy research" while his actions tell a different story.

Bush proposed a 22 percent increase in renewable energy research from the Department of Energy. He proposed increases in clean-coal technology along with wind, solar and nuclear power to supply energy to U.S. homes.

“What he didn’t say is that he’s reduced it … drastically over the last five years, far more than 22 percent,” said Jerry McNerney, a wind energy expert who also is running for the Democratic nomination. “So that’s a disconnect from reality.”

Instead, 4 years later, we have Pombo trying to drill a Wildlife Refuge which could yield America six months worth of oil.

“The president has been supportive in the past and continues to be supportive,” Pombo said, referring to his proposal to allow oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Instead, 4 years later, the oil industry is bursting at the seams in profits and paying the people who made it all happen.

According to information compiled by PoliticalMoneyLine, which tracks campaign donations, the political action committees for the top 10 oil and gas companies have doled out more than $712,000 in campaign contributions so far this cycle.

Around 85 percent of that money has been given to Republicans, a traditional ally.


Oil Money

Who got it
Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) $31,500
Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Mont) $23,500
Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas) $22,500
Rep. Richard Pombo (Calif.) $21,000


Instead, 4 years later...

Exxon. Just. Made. More. Profits. Than. Any. Other. Company. In. History.