A Get Out the Volz Campaign
Well, let's see if our comments can turn this one into a Filson / McNerney up-wind peeing contest. At least McCloskey is going after the real bad guy, Pombo. This is his latest press release.
For Immediate Release
Contact: John McManus, 209-463-1200
Abramoff Net Drawing Tighter Around Pombo
McCloskey Calls On Pombo to Return Tainted Money From Abramoff Team Lobbyists and Admitted Congressional Bribers
Lodi, CA. Former Congressman Pete McCloskey called today on Richard Pombo to return several large contributions he has received from recently-admitted felons Tony Rudy and Neil Volz, both former Congressional staffers who went to work as members of Jack Abramoff's disgraced K Street lobbying team. Mr. Volz pleaded guilty on Monday to conspiracy to corrupt members of Congress and their staffs with free trips, tickets to events, and meals over a four year period, while Mr. Rudy, Tom DeLay's former Deputy Chief of Staff, pleaded guilty on March 31 to a variety of similar charges.
"Mr. Pombo has received a total of $1250 from Mr. Rudy while he was lobbying for Jack Abramoff, $1000 of which went to RichPAC on 10/23/03," said Mr. McCloskey. "This was just five days before a bill, H.J.Res.63, which Mr. Pombo co-sponsored and which provided an increase of $20 million in assistance for the Northern Marianas Islands, passed the full House after being approved by Mr. Pombo's Resource's Committee about a month earlier." According to court documents, one of the specific felonious charges Mr. Rudy admitted to was "working to get federal money for the Northern Marianas Islands, which both Abramoff and Buckham wanted." Ed Buckham was Mr. Rudy's partner at Alexander Strategy Group, a now defunct lobbying firm at the center of the burgeoning Abramoff influence-peddling scandals. The Northern Marianas Islands were Abramoff's first major client, paying him millions of dollars to preserve a scandalous system of sweatshops that the US government had earlier levied over $9 million in fines for labor violations.
Mr. Volz, former Chief of Staff for embattled Congressman Bob Ney (R-OH), gave $500 to Mr. Pombo on 1/27/03 - just days after he was installed by Tom DeLay to head the powerful House Resources Committee. Mr. Volz gave Mr. Pombo another $500 on 4/21/05, the same day he received thousands of dollars in additional contributions from members of the Mashpee-Wampanoag tribe that were seeking federal recognition.
"Is Mr. Pombo going to ask us to believe, as he did with Mr. Abramoff, that these two lobbyists also never lobbied him? Even though one admitted specifically in court that he illegally conspired to obtain money for the Marianas, and for which we see Mr. Pombo co-sponsored the very bill that delivered the goods?" asked McCloskey. "If so, that would be three highly-paid lobbyists, all in the business of lobbying and all now admitted felons, that never lobbied the guy while they were employed as lobbyists even though they showered him with Abramoff-derived money and perhaps other perks as well."
McCloskey continued, "I urge Mr. Pombo to come clean on these matters and to give back or donate all of the tainted money he has received from Team Abramoff to worthwhile charities, not just a portion of the amount he has received from Abramoff directly. Richard Pombo embodies the "pay to play" racket that has brought such disgrace to the Republican Party and our nation. It is because he spends his time and energy meeting the needs of these corrupt special interests that he has little time left to secure funds for our crumbling levees or our jam-packed freeways."