Saturday, December 03, 2005

Odds and Ends

My girlfriend and I have company this weekend, so I might not be as responsive this weekend as I normally am. So before I get distracted, I would like to note a couple of different points that I might not be able to fully explore anytime soon.


  • Pombo got a lot of bad press this week. The Duke Cunningham story certainly set off a lot of stories about the corrupt lobbyist Jack Abramoff that mentioned his ties to Pombo. But more importantly, the Cape Code Times did a series about a local Native American tribes’ effort to be recognized by the Federal government. (You can read them here, here, and here). It turns out that Pombo happened to get $40,000 worth of donations from this tribe and their lobbyists (including Abramoff) right before he did them some legislative favors. One of the articles carried the following in the sidebar, which is a pretty nice summary of what the fuss is about:

    - Jan. 22, 2003: Lobbyist Jack Abramoff donates $2,000.
    - Sept. 16, 2003: Wampanoag lobbyist Kevin Ring donates $1,000.
    - Sept. 21, 2003: Wampanoag leaders Glenn Marshall and Shawn Hendricks and four other tribe members donate $12,000.
    - Sept. 28, 2003: Herbert Strathers, a Detroit businessman with gambling interests and benefactor to the Wampanoag, donated $2,000.
    - Sept. 29, 2003: Abramoff donates $5,000 to Pombo‘s political action committee.
    - March 31, 2004: Marshall testifies before the House Resources Committee about the tribe‘s three-decade federal recognition battle.
    - September 2004: Pombo files bill that would fast-track federal recognition for tribes who submitted petitions prior to 1988.
    - Feburary 2005: Pombo refiles the bill.
    - July 24, 2005: The Bureau of Indian Affairs negotiates agreement with tribe to place it on the active consideration list and sets March 30, 2007 as decision deadline.
    Source: Center for Responsive Politics.

    Importantly, Nick Juliano in the Tracy Press picked up the story and devoted quite a bit of space to it.

  • Margee Ensign responded to my post about outreach from candidates. She said she’d be happy to guest post something, but wouldn’t be able to do it until near the end of the year. It makes some sense that she’d have her events and raise the money she could before posting something. Hopefully she’ll have some positive developments to report within the next month or so.

  • For those wondering, Scott Chacon wrote me back and confirmed that he was out of the race. He says he’s totally behind Ensign, but didn’t give any reason for why he decided to back her. For those who don’t know, Chacon was a McNerney supporter in 2004. I think he became disaffected by McNerney’s (or probably more accurately McNerney’s campaign manager’s) distrust of things like blogging. At least, that’s the impression I get from this post and from what I’ve heard through the grapevine. To be clear, McNerney seems to have changed directions and embraced blogging, as evidenced by his official campaign blog. In any event, I want to reiterate my earlier comment about Chacon: he’s a great asset to Ensign’s team.

  • There are a couple of interesting angles on McNerney’s endorsement by the San Joaquin-Calaveras Central Labor Council that I haven’t written about. I’m going to put them here because they might be clues as to what will happen with the other labor councils in the district.

    First, apparently there was some discussion in the SJ-CLC about whether to postpone the endorsement meeting so that Ensign could come speak at it. However, the decision was made that she got into the race too late and so she wasn’t even invited. Ouch. Whether the other labor councils will take the same line is unknown. I can’t find out when they’re having their meetings so it’s unclear if she’ll have any time to get her campaign up and running before they make a decision. My guess (and it’s not informed at all by any evidence at this point) is that the longer they wait, the more pressure there’d be to invite Ensign to see if she has any momentum behind her.

    Second, a reader pointed out to me that a bio of Lisa Tucker, Filson’s campaign manager, which I linked to earlier, contained this gem: “Currently [4/8/05], Tucker provides strategic guidance and materials to I.B.E.W. Local #302 to capitalize on legislative and political opportunities to advance a legislative agenda and secure more local jobs for their members.” IBEW Local 302 is the Martinez, CA local. So this means that Tucker has some pre-existing relationships with a large, active union in Contra Costa County (one incidentally that includes the Chair of the Co Co County Democratic Central Committee as a member). This, plus Ellen Tauscher’s influence in Contra Costa County might mean that Filson has a leg up on the Contra Costa County Central Labor Council endorsement. Of course this is just speculation, but seemed interesting enough to merit space on the blog.



  • We raised $220 from four sources through our ActBlue link just last week. If you haven't given money to oust Pombo yet, it's a great time to get involved. Register your disgust with Pombo and help us kick him out of Congress.

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