California Will Have To Say No To Pombo Again

It’s been rumored for a few days now, but today it’s been confirmed: Richard Pombo, the far-right member of Congress beaten by Jerry McNerney in a memorable 2006 contest, is running to replace George Radanovich in CA-19:

Pombo confirmed his upcoming candidacy to McClatchy Newspapers, saying he looks forward to getting back into politics. He previously represented the 11th Congressional District, which includes Tracy and much of San Joaquin County.

“I do miss the policy issues,” he said. “A lot of the things that I worked on while I was there are very similar.”…

His home in the Tracy area isn’t in the new district he wants to serve. But Pombo said the boundary is just a few miles from his property and the issues are the same. Water is a defining issue for both districts, he said.

“It’s all California water issues,” he said. “They are very complicated, but it’s all the same issues I’ve dealt with for years.”

In other words, Pombo is going to revive his anti-Endangered Species Act shtick in order to try and win votes on the east side of the Valley – a place that actually hasn’t had the same kind of water issues as the Westside has. Still, the framing of the water wars is one of farmers vs. hippies, so Pombo thinks he can still get some mileage out of this in the Sierra foothills.

Of course, Pombo isn’t going to have it so easy. The same progressive and netroots forces that beat him in ’06 are already starting to put the band back together. Talking Points Memo offers a comprehensive list of his ethical challenges, while Matt Ortega, a veteran of the ’06 netroots mobilization against Pombo, is tweeting #dickpombofacts from his account, @MattOrtega, including these gems:

Richard Pombo’s 2006 campaign kickoff turned out ZERO people. NONE #dickpombofacts

Richard Pombo once tried selling 15 national parks: #dickpombofacts

Richard Pombo lied about contacts with Jack Abramoff, said he was never lobbied: #dickpombofacts

George Bush, Dick Cheney and John Boehner all campaigned for Pombo in 2006, and he still lost by almost 6 points #dickpombofacts

And as for the presumed GOP advantage in CA-19, Matt Ortega had this to say about what happened in CA-11 in 2006:

CA-11 went from safe GOP to lean Dem takeover in about six or seven months #dickpombofacts

Pombo still has to contend with Jeff Denham, who so far has shown no sign of wanting to jump out of yet another primary to make way for another candidate – at some point you might think Denham would tire of being the California GOP’s sloppy seconds – but the bigger point is that Pombo has already once motivated progressives and netroots to destroy his career. He probably thinks they can’t do it again in 2010. If so, he’s being as reckless now as he was four years ago.

3 thoughts on “California Will Have To Say No To Pombo Again”

  1. We never disbanded. Just a few weeks ago we got together for our annual holiday party/reunion. However, most of us chat and or work together throughout the year on various projects.

    I actually started on a post giving an update on what most of the key McNerney players were up to but couldn’t get over the schmaltz factor. Got tons of holiday party pics to that I wanted to share. Maybe this Pombo news will be the inspiration I need to finish up that post.  

  2. With Jeff Denham in the race for the Republican nomination, Pombo will have a much harder time convincing valley Republicans he is the better choice. Denham has no reason to get out just because Pombo is in. Denham isn’t exactly repulsive to the ares Republican or Democrats. Besides, Pombo is old news and is looking to revive a political career on life support.

    The decisions Denham made to move from one office to another actually makes sense. He didn’t want to take on his governor’s appointee, then saw opportunity to run for an office not affected by term limits when Radanovich dropped out.

    Denham and Pombo will duke it out with Fresno Mayor Jim Patterson in the primary. Good news for Democratic candidate Les Marsden, but it may not help much if he doesn’t start gaining some traction, attention and money.

  3. Actually, Denham should be making the case that the only reason Pombo is trying the 19th is that he knew his own district wouldn’t have again.

    It really gives a agina to contemplate the District that contains Yosemite N.P. being served in Washington by the man who proposed trimming the budget by selling off Park and Forest lands.

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