Tag Archives: Tom Benigno

CA-11: Republican Challengers to Pombo on KQED’s Forum

( – promoted by SFBrianCL)

They are now on the radio in the Bay Area on KQED 88.5.  Both Pete McCloskey and Tom Benigno are challenging Paid-for Pombo.  If you aren’t in the Bay Area or if you can’t listen, they run a podcast at the website.  The Dem candidates, McNerney and Filson are not scheduled to appear.  However, I’m sure we can bug them to get the Dem nominee on after the primary.

Also notable is that Pete McCloskey has said that he would support the Dem nominee over Pombo.  I’m not sure if he’s said that before, but I thought it was interesting.

Capitol Weekly published an article on June 1 about the race:

“Mr. Pombo stands for everything that’s evil, in my mind,” McCloskey told Capitol Weekly.

Much of the media coverage of McCloskey’s run has centered on Pombo’s efforts to revise the Endangered Species Act (ESA), which McCloskey helped write while serving in Congress from 1967 to 1983. While Pombo has claimed he act doesn’t work, environmental groups and McCloskey have both claimed he is trying to destroy the ESA. One draft of Pombo’s ESA overhaul built in a 2015 sunset clause for the act. Debating Pombo in a high-school auditorium in Tracy last month, McCloskey launched right in on this charge.

“His purpose, and he said so in a book 10 years ago, is to destroy the Endangered Species Act,” McCloskey said, referring to Pombo’s 1996 book This Land Is Our Land: How to End the War on Private Property.

However, McCloskey said Pombo’s ESA efforts constitute “10 percent” of the reason for his run. In Tracy, he spent far more time hammering away at Pombo’s vote against prosthetic research for Iraqi War veterans. While Pombo has defended this vote, saying it was about base-closing legislation he opposed, McCloskey supporters like to point out Pombo’s zero rating from the group Disabled American Veterans.

In recent years, the Democrats increasingly have opened their doors to pro-business and even more socially conservative candidates. Meanwhile, some in the GOP have tried to expel secular, pro-choice “Republicans in Name Only.”  “I’ve been a Republican since 1948, before Pombo was born,” McCloskey said. Later, he added, “They would call Barry Goldwater a RINO today.”(Capitol Weekly 6/1/06)

I’m not sure how McCloskey will fare, but as he has said, I would support anybody over Pombo.  If it’s another Republican, but this time an honest, respectable Republican, I would support him.