Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Pombo tries to defend his actions to protect corporate raider Hurwitz

FROM SCOTT RESTIVO, www.votepomboout.org

Well, I have heard good BS and I have heard bad BS, but today, Pombo gets the all-out, unmitigated, BS award. This is his defense to the charges he helped DeLay contributor/corporate raider Charles Hurwitz out of a jam:

Pombo defends himself over reports on FDIC probe, Abramoff caseFrom the article - first this:
"At issue were attempts by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to recover $300 million from Houston millionaire Charles Hurwitz for his role in the 1988 collapse of United Savings Association of Texas, which cost taxpayers $1.6 billion."

So Hurwitz, ala the S&L scandals of the Reagan era, was bailed out by the taxpayers (us) to the tune of $1.6 Billion. Okay, that is bad enough. The FDIC thought it would try to recover a small portion of this huge sum. Article goes on:

"Pombo and Doolittle subpoenaed the agency's records on the case and in 2001 inserted some of the documents into the Congressional Record where they were accessible to Hurwitz's lawyers. Soon after the FDIC dropped its case against Hurwitz, a generous donor to DeLay who also gave some $7,000 to Doolittle and $1,000 to Pombo's 1996 re-election campaign."

Is this or is this not "obstruction of justice"? They used their Congressional power to subpoena documents important to the FDIC's case and published them in the Congressional Record! If this is not illegal (it should be), then it is grossly unethical and improper. Hurwitz essentially bought off DeLay, who then had his lieutenants do the dirty work, with campaign contributions thrown in as a bonus. Is there any wonder why DeLay saw that his sidekick, Pombo, was given the House Resources Chair over 5 more senior Republicans? This was Pombo's reward for his loyalty. More:

"Pombo, a strong property-rights advocate, said he and other lawmakers got involved because the Clinton-era FDIC was trying to get Hurwitz to settle his debt by selling the government forest land and trees his company, Pacific Lumber, owned in Northern California.

"The government wanted this guy's land and they didn't want to pay for it, and they were going to get it one way or the other," Pombo said on a conference call with reporters. "This is a classic property rights case where you had the government coming in and trying to take someone's property."

The enormity of this distortion is mind-boggling. It is the purest bullshit I have heard in a long time. The taxpayers bailed out Hurwitz for $1.6 BILLION and by seeking to recover maybe 18% of that cost, they are trying to take the guy's land? They were not trying to take "someone's property", they were trying to recover a small portion of the enormous cost of bailing this corporate raider out!

Also, we are not talking about "someone", we are talking about a huge corporation, MAXXAM, that had a history as a corporate raider, buying companies, then selling off their assets to pay the junk bond debt. In Pacific Lumber's case, the "assets" were the redwood forests that PacLumber was managing for long-term growth. They were a family-owned company before MAXXAM's hostile takeover, and were intent on keeping the Scotia, CA, mill and the company town going for the long-term. Despite my dislike of cutting virgin redwood forests, PacLumber's approach was at least reasonable and human, compared to the rapacious and cruel measures MAXXAM took, destroying the forests at warp speed, just to sell them off to pay their debt burden without any concern for the town or the workers' long term benefit. This is the worst kind of corporation, soulless, disconnected, existing solely to maximize profit for its investors, no matter what the cost to workers, the community, or the environment. (No wonder DeLay and Pombo wanted to help Hurwitz).

I suspect there are two reasons Pombo exposed the FDIC's case: 1) Tom DeLay asked him to and he wanted to suck up to the House Majority Leader even more than he already had; and 2) Environmentalists were involved in a major campaign to save the wonderful old-growth redwood forests owned by Pacific Lumber.

Pombo has shown a long history of hate and hostility to ANYTHING environmental. Any time he can stick it to the environmentalists, he does in as offensive manner as possible. He is an obsessed and dangerous man. He uses the words "property rights" in much the same way Bush uses "911" -- to justify just about any outrageous and illegal act, no matter whether it has anything to do with reality.

Just over 300 more days to get rid of this cretin. Let's do all we can to see him defeated!


Anonymous some guy said...

Thank you! I was waiting all yesterday to comment about this (maybe I need more to do). I agree that the argument that he was just trying to help out some poor guy who was being hassled by the government is complete BULL. I also read a quote from a FDIC rep that they weren't particularly interested in the forest, but mainly in cash reparations. The forest may have just been the best way they saw to go about it.

All of that aside, the manner in which Pombo and Doolittle went about this was atrocious! This seems like a gross violation of separation of power. The FDIC was going through the courts (judicial branch) to reimburse the taxpayers (us) for being screwed and Pombo and his boy (legislative branch) decided to take it in their hands to interfere. If Pombo really wanted to help out he could have donated to a legal fund or something else, but abusing his position in the Congress is outright unforgivable. He removed the court system's ability to operate by altering the procedure.

Do we really have to wait until November to get this guy out?

7:07 AM, January 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Corruption, corruption, corruption.

I'm sick and tired of this! Thanks for posting the information it has galvanized me to action with this new tool I learned about for Americans to use to fight government corruption.

The Office of the Inspector General!

I wrote and sent a complaint to the FDIC Inspector General this morning based on the LA Times article.

If you're interested in doing the same, you can find out how I did it at www.ThisIsWhatDemocracyLooksLike.com

7:44 AM, January 12, 2006  

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