Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Petulant Pombo Performs Poorly at Tracy Press candidate night

Notes from May 15 Tracy Press forum for the Republican primary, with Pombo, McCloskey, and Tom Benigno in attendance:

Put it this way: If someone walked in off the street, and knew nothing about the race, he would not walk away convinced that Pombo should be re-elected. Pombo is going on the "rah-rah, hometown boy" support he has had for many years in Tracy, but I don't see him convincing any new voters with a performance like he gave last night. There were no new ideas or programs for the district. There were no calls for solutions to the district's problems, no leadership on how to improve transportation, air quality, housing affordability, or education, no programs to fight crime, no bold initiatives, nothing that would inspire someone to vote for him.

There sat Pombo, looking tired, a bit worn out, a bit bothered by the whole thing. The word that came to my mind was "petulant". "Petulant Pombo" -- irritated, annoyed. Putting up with the forum, but with a look like "why can't I be at a fundraiser right now, where everyone praises me and gives me money? I have been in Congress over 13 years, why do I still have to put with stuff like this? Why do I have to bother campaigning?"

Both McCloskey and Benigno slammed him on ethical lapses and his ties to indicted members of Congress (Tom DeLay), to indicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff and the whole Republican "culture of corruption". Pombo responded with an irritable defense of his ethics, in an "I am not a crook"-style speech.

Pombo's remarks also included frequent reminders that he grew up in Tracy and that he was fighting for what he believed in (without mentioning that those beliefs are far out of the mainstream). His family was there as were many of his local supporters. They cheered him when he spoke or when he made digs at McCloskey. Surprisingly, there were also a good number of McCloskey supporters who cheered when McCloskey spoke. The Pombo supporters were louder, but McCloskey's were not far behind.

Overall, my impression is that Richard Pombo is vulnerable. He is besieged by ethical questions and in a defensive mode. The right candidate running the right campaign through the summer and fall has a real chance of beating him. The district seems to be feeling "Pombo fatigue" and asking itself if there might be someone else they could vote for.

I mean, not everyone in the 11th District went to high school with him or knows his extended family. Those who didn't seem to be having a hard time finding reasons to support someone who has proved himself corrupt, unethical, and hellbent on rewarding his corporate contributors while overturning all of our environmental protections.

Articles on forum:
Trivalley Herald
Contra Costa Times
Stockton Record
Associated Press story
Tracy Press

20 Comments:

Blogger babaloo said...

The Tracy Press reported that at last night's event “A group of unidentified men showed their support for Pombo as they stood silently behind signs titled the ‘Wall of Shame.’”

Now, it makes perfect sense to me that Pombo supporters should hide behind a “Wall of Shame,” but frankly I’m a little surprised that they would so freely admit that Richard Pombo has been an embarrassment to his community.

3:48 PM, May 16, 2006  
Anonymous Rocky Balboa said...

Yo VPO.

Rocky here. Dis here's a pretty good post. You not only posts duh news, you also provides a paralysis of it.

Anyways, like I was saying, duh good ting is to see duh Repuglicans fighting among dem selves, instead of duh udder way around - within us Dem selves. Of course, morons like Rickey ButtaWipeO don't understand dis fundamentalist principle, which is why he always pickin a fight wit somebody like McNerney or in duh Inner Circle of dis blot on dis internet.

Yo Rickey: Let duh Repugs fight and don't be pickin fights amongst us Dems, ya hear dat? And don't be so high and mighty and all smug wit duh udder members of duh Inner Circle cuz fait intervened and you got one right fer a change. Woo woo woo.

I notice you ain't pickin no fights or messin wit Rocky. At least you loin sumtin in duh last few weeks.

Anyways, Rocky likin dis guy McClosky. It seems like he got a good left jab and a great right hook, if youse know what I'm saying. Rocky wished he coulda seen dis prize fight - how much was duh purse?

Again, I gotta ask youse guys if your sure he's a Repug?

And what about dis guy Beano? He seems like he took a few swings against Pombo as well. Did any of 'em land like dis guy McClosky's? Like I said, Rocky gotta loin more about Beano.

Damn. I wish I'd a seen dis fight. Will it be on cable or sumtin?

Rocky out.
Yo $.02 - Is you in? Fer how much? Whadda bout you Delta? Do youse guys all have real jobs and stuff like dat? Adrian sez I can't spend as much time on duh computer as I was for a while dere, but she promised to make it woith Rock's while. Heh heh.

Jealousy will get none of youse guys nowhere.

3:55 PM, May 16, 2006  
Anonymous Rocky Balboa said...

Yo Inner Circle.

Rocky here. Anyways, like I wuz sayin, I wanted to loin more about dis guy Beano, duh udder Repuglican in duh race. So Rocky asks Adrian, he asks, "Yo Adrian. You wid me honey?" And she sez yes, so I sez, "Does dis guy Beano have a website?"

And she sez, she sez to me, "Yes Rocky, its 'timeforbeano.'"

And I sez, "Adrian honey, no friggin way. If its time for Beano its cuz she who smelt it dealt it. Or if it wuzn't you, it wuz probability yer brudder Paulie cuz dat guy can knock a cat outta a tree at 100 yards." Paulie really can stink up duh joint woise den you could possibly imagine, kinda like Pombo, if you know what I mean. Heh heh.

And den Rocky thought Jeezus! Maybe its dat Rickey ButtaWipeO guy being a creeping prick again, and he's outside of my window right now, prowlin around trying to take some unauthored pitchers of me and Adrian and postin 'em on some internet website somewheres widdout proper retribution like some friggin CIA agent or sumtin. And its really dis chicken ButtaWipeO guy dat is duh source of duh fowl-smelling swamp gas dats waftin in through a window dat Adrian is smellin, so like she and Paulie would be off duh hook. You know what I mean?

So I wuz just about to go outside, and if ButtaWipeO should be so unlucky as to be on my property I was gonna give 'em a stiff upper left of duh kind dat it sounds like dis guy McClosky gave to Pombo last night, on account dat Rocky warned him not to be showin up nowheres on dese here premises. Rocky gonna show ButtaWipeO what it REALLY means to be a defender of private property rights, if you know what I mean.

And just as dis thought occurred to me, Adrian comes over to Rocky and she sez, "No Rocky, I said 'tomeforbenigno.'

Boy did Rocky feel dumb.

So anyways, Rocky went and checked out dis guy Benigno's website cuz I know how to do dat even if I ain't yet figured out how to do duh special underline trick dat Mr $.02 was tryin to teach me. So after loining more about Beano, well, Rocky don't know nuttin about how Repugs tend to tink. Sometimes he don't know if Repugs even tink at all.

But it don't seem like dis guy Beano has a chance in dis horse's ass race, if you ask me, like Steve Thomas, on account dat even duh cheapskate Two Cents ain't throwing none of his hard-earned moola over to Beano leaving him wit squat. And as youse guys taught me, you gotta have moola to win.

So duh new Rocky Poll released today wit a "n" of one - and dats yours truly - is now McNerney, McClosky, Thomas, Beano, Pretty Boy and Pombo. On account of duh fact dat puttin Beano or Benigno or whatever you wanna call 'em higher den Pretty Boy makes sense as it might soive to keep duh Repugs fightin amongst demselves longer den maybe dey otherwise would. Plus, Filson rates low on account of duh friggin morons he associates himself wit, even if it wasn't ButtaWipeO outside of my window.

Rocky out. Any longer on dis computer today and I'm gonna get in trouble wit Adrian.

7:51 PM, May 16, 2006  
Blogger CF said...

Gosh, Rocky, you shouldn't call the CNA morons!

LINK

8:02 PM, May 16, 2006  
Blogger VPO said...

Rocky, where wuz ya last night? You missed the big one, with Pombo-Palooza reeling on the ropes, being punched just like one of his cows kicked him in the face, by both McCloskey and Beano. They just wouldn't let up! I woulda felt sorry for the guy, it being in front of his wife Adrian, sorry, I mean Annette, and the kids and the rest of his assorted relatives and what not, but, hey, the guy sucha stupido he deserved it.

This guy got both pockets stuffed fulla Abramoff dough, and he's standing there saying he ain't a crook. Yeah, and the Pope ain't Catholic no more neither!

So no sympathy for that guy. He can pack the whole goddam gymnasium with his brothers and uncles and sisters and cousins and even bring the friggin cows for all I care -- he is going to down big time, cause the people of the 11th district got eyes and ears, not to mention noses that can smell bullshit a mile away.

And with that old war horse McCloskey hammering on him and Beano jumping in, right there in the middle of f'ing Tracy, for chrissakes! -- it was a sight to behold. You shoulda been there, Rocky -- Adrian gotta let you out sometime, specially when such a big rumble is going on.

8:39 PM, May 16, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. 2% of a buck again (and once again off topic):

Robert Kellar (aka Rick?) speaks via e-mail (I swear...):

===================================

Richard Pombo is on the run!

In case you missed last week’s big news, a recent poll, done by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, revealed that in a head-to-head match-up “Pombo loses to Steve Filson 49% to 41%.” No other Democrat has ever been in this position before. We have Pombo on the ropes and it is because of your support!

So what is Pombo saying about this? Nothing, but his actions speak louder than words. Pombo has started to run a TV ad in direct response to Steve’s Veterans Forum last month with General Wesley Clark. And Pombo now sends members of his staff to Steve’s campaign events and has even hired someone to research Steve and his family!

Never before has Pombo run TV ads or searched for sleazy ways to undermine a Democratic challenger this early. It is clear he knows what all of us have known from the beginning. Steve Filson is the strongest candidate in this race and Steve has the message and leadership experience to turn this red seat blue!

There is more good news!

Last week, the Sacramento Bee determined that “Filson is the right choice for Democrats”. The Bee noted:

Steve Filson of Danville spent 20 years as a Navy pilot, then as a commercial pilot and manager of flight operations for United Air Lines. While this is his first run for office, he has worked on campaigns, including for Rep. Ellen Tauscher, a Democrat who wins in a Republican-leaning district.

. . . He speaks eloquently about the need for a strong Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. to protect private-sector pensions and a strong Social Security system.

And today, Steve earned the endorsement of the California Nurses Association. They, too, see an opportunity for change. They believe Steve “will do an excellent job in representing [the 11th] district on health, labor, and women’s issues, and supporting clean money elections which are important issues to Registered Nurses.”

This is all great news, but we still have a long way to go. Soon Pombo will unleash his million-dollar slime machine to attack our message and misrepresent our plan for the future of California's 11th District. We must be ready to fight back! Please contribute your dollars or volunteer your time and help us bring leadership, responsibility, and fiscal discipline back to Congress. Whether it is $20, $50, or $2100, every contribution will help us send Richard Pombo back to his ranch for good.

Thank you!

Robert Kellar
Campaign Manager

P.S. We still need your help! Your generous contributions make successes like these possible. And we need your continued financial support in order to remain strong. We must be prepared to fight Pombo’s slime machine so we can be sure that every voter hears our message loud and clear. Please make a donation today!

===================================

The above message (sent tonight) speaks for itself -- and I would say more about the event last night in Tracy (McCloskey vs the Dickster) but I am still getting over the disappointment (which means I strongly disagree with the assessments of others that have posted, but not others who attended and I talked to at length after the event from various points of view).

$.02 out.

9:14 PM, May 16, 2006  
Blogger CF said...

That e-mail went out to anyone that signed up on Filson's website.

Why so coy about your feelings about the debate? I'm curious what your take is.

9:24 PM, May 16, 2006  
Anonymous Rocky Balboa said...

Yo Mr. cf. Or is it Mrs cf?

Rocky here. As I keeps askin youse guys, how duh hell come youse all make up dese silly-ass names to call yerselfs when you should all jist be honest like Rocky and call yerselfs by yer real names? Like my two friends Matt and Nick. You know what I mean? And what duh hell happened to dose two guys anyways? Some of youse jist seem to drop off duh face of dis earth, only to reappear weaks later in dis here blot on duh internet.

Anyways, like I wuz sayin. Foist of all, it sounds like yer a fan of Pretty Boy and dats all right by me. You sound like a better quality of human bean den dat ButtaWipeO guy. If dere's more like you out dere, maybe Rocky reconsider Pretty Boy's place in Rocky's poll and he go up a notch or two. After all, Beanos place is up fer grabs, if youse play yer cards right. Hell, nuttin is set in concrete shoes fer Rocky right now, cept fer maybe Jimmy Hoffa. Heh heh.

Secondhandedly, Rocky already congradulated Pretty Boy once on account of dat udder big city newspaper enforcement he got last week along wit McClosky duh Repuglican. Cuz Rocky try to be fair, unlike ButtaWipeO who ain't never said nuttin good about nobody if you don't mind me being negative.

Toid, you see Rocky ain't got no problem congradulatin Filson again on account of anudder formal enforcement action being takin by duh California Noises Ass. Butt are you sure it ain't duh California Ass Noises and it ain't like one of dem phony front groups a shit-throwing SORE LOSER like ButtaWipeO would set up?

I mean I bet the cheapskate Two Cents would make dis connection: Ass Noises and Buttwipes. Tink about it - it ain't Rocky science, if you know what I mean. In fact, if it is a CAN enforcement rather den a CNA enforcement it makes even more sense as "can" is anudder word for butt. I mean dis whole ting keeps connectin up in duh way Mr $.02 is teaching me to tink, isn't dat right Mr $.02?

Yo Mr $.02 - whaddya tink of dis here idea of Rocky's? Is dis a ButtaWipeO phony group, some udder scam, or what?

Now Rocky's jist kidding dere Mr cf. He don't mean no disrespect; he jist dancing like a friggin butterfly rather den tryin to sting you like a friggin Bee. Wedder dat Bee is from Sacramento or Modesto don't matter nuttin to Rocky, you won dis enforcement. So Rocky says congradulations Pretty Boy, and to all duh people doing positive tings instead of bein buttwipes.

So what's wit yer friend ButtaWipeO? Why can't he show a little class, instead of his big smelly ass? Why can't he say sumtin good about McNerney or duh fightin Repug McCloskey and depreciate all duh good work dey are doing? Maybe wit duh Noises enforcement of Pretty Boy, one of 'em could be persuaded to deal wit ButtaWipeO cuz dey trained to deal with buttwipin in a highly professional manner.

Why don't you jist try to talk some sense into this guy if you know 'em and lets the Repugs fight amongst demselves instead of us? If he's so friggin dumb he don't get dis simple idea, Pretty Boy is goin down and Pombo is gonna be left standin in November. You know what I mean?

And one more ting Mr cf, if you don't mind me not capitalizing your name but since you didn't yerself I tinks it probability OK. Rocky don't tink he called dose Noises "morons," and if any of youse tinks I sorta insinerated it den Rocky sorry. Rocky don't tink all Filson supporters are morons, only ButtaWipeO, and he keepin a close eye on duh one who calls hisself Gibby Boy. But jist cuz the Noises are professsionally trained to deal with buttwipes like ButtaWipeO don't mean dat the Noises are morons or dat all youse guys supportin Filson is morons too.

You seem like a nice guy Mr cf - like I say, you continue to treat Rocky wit respect and you get it back in return. You get on Rocky's bad side, or flirt wit my Adrian, or put unauthored pitchers of me on websites, or by criticizing anudder Dem den you better watch out. Youse Filson guys - one of you at least - could show some class and say sumtin nice about Jerry.

Rocky out. And dis time he means it.

10:34 PM, May 16, 2006  
Anonymous just wondering said...

So...this CNA endorsement....it confuses me because I've heard Filson say that he was opposed to Single Payer health care, so I'm just wondering what kind of arms had to be twisted to get CNA to endorse him....or if Filson has flip flopped on his stance on single payer to get this endorsement. Just wondering.....and very confused.

1:50 PM, May 17, 2006  
Anonymous rick said...

I found this observation in Vorderbrueggen's recap to be interesting:

The third candidate, retired businessman Thomas Benigno, was largely incoherent and prompted frequent quizzical looks as the audience struggled to follow his often unintelligible answers.

Did anyone else have a similar take?

8:14 PM, May 17, 2006  
Anonymous jbmendel said...

That's more or less the impression I got from his website and the few comments he left here.

8:38 PM, May 17, 2006  
Blogger VPO said...

No, actually Beano made a bunch of good comments, such as that "Richard" had started out all innocent and good but that Washington had corrupted him and turned him bad. And this was with Pombo sitting right next to him. Lisa is exaggerating there. Some of what Beano said made sense, and he was right on about Pombo's descent into corruption.

10:09 PM, May 17, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that CNA endorsement says they are supporting Filson because he supports CNA's "clean money" initiative.

does he actually support clean money? it's an issue that i care about, but i haven't seen anything on clean money from filson. only radio silence. mcnerney, it would appear, supports clean money.

it would be great to know if both dems are clean money supporters. it's a litmus-test issue for me.

cf, you're a relative of filson's right? do you have any insight into filson's position on clean money?

thanks in advance for your response.

10:43 PM, May 17, 2006  
Blogger VPO said...

So Anony 2% says I would say more about the event last night in Tracy (McCloskey vs the Dickster) but I am still getting over the disappointment (which means I strongly disagree with the assessments of others that have posted.

What's this disappointment all about? That McCloskey didn't fire up Pombo more? Now, I'm not saying McCloskey hit it out of the park. He was kinda like Bonds lately, missing some swings or hitting singles. Everytime Bonds gets up to bat, the crowd is all oohing and aahing to see that ball go flying over the left field wall. But then he does not -- is the crowd disappointed? I guess so, but the guy has still 713 homers to his name, and the rest of us don't have any.

So McCloskey was not batting 4 for 4 at the forum, I would say that. He had some gaffes, like saying San Jose county or that Pombo has done nothing for the levees. But he corrected himself for the most part. And he did hit Pombo hard on the ethics.

So I was watching Pombo and could see that he is going on momentum. How long can that schtick of him being the pissed off outsider trying to straighten Washington out, when he is now the champion insider? In fact, if he had any morals, he would vote himself out of office for being part of the whole corrupt mess over there at the Foggy Bottom.

He needs to spend more time with Annette and the kids. If Annette invested all the money he gave her for "campaign services", he could be living high on the hog and skip trying to overturn every environmental law in the country. He's made a ton of money off being a Congressman, time to let someone else feed at the trough.

11:16 AM, May 18, 2006  
Anonymous Vicki said...

The fact is, all 3 Democratic Candidates support Clean Money. I'm sure if Jerry was asked by CNA, he told them that.

What we need to know is if he was asked.

Clean Money is the key to getting an honest government again. Any candidate that doesn't support it is definitely suspect. It's a key issue for me too, as are many others...which is why I work for Jerry McNerney

6:33 PM, May 18, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hello,
i am a Republican. And a Jew. Not a Republican Jew. I saw the wall of shame posters. regardless of .....well if Richard Pombo Sucked, why wont you put the contents of the the "wall of shame" posters up?

They were of McJewhater's anti-semetic comments. All of which channel 5 (CBS) filmed showing McJewhater confirming he said the Jewish extermination never happened????????
you guys are incredible. better beat Pombo than help elect the third Reich. We will remember into the general election what your priorities were.
Semper Fi.
(yes. Military service too.)

9:43 PM, May 18, 2006  
Anonymous jbmendel said...

Hello,
I am a Democrat. And a Jew. But my whole life doesn’t have to be about being Jewish, nor do I have to interpret a lack of strong support for Israel as anti-Semitism. McCloskey won’t make a perfect Congressman. None of them will. Obviously, the only people who I would be perfectly satisfied with would be myself or Aaron Sorkin (who I am fairly confident is not anti-Semitic).

Ask yourself if what Richard Pombo has done and continues to do is morally right. Exercising power over the environment while ignoring the responsibility that goes with said power (Genesis [2:15], Spiderman). Stealing from his constituents in the form of blatant corruption. Policies which put religious doctrine over saving lives. Policies endangering the religious freedom you and I enjoy. Sentences without verbs. Supporting fiscal policies which will leave your children’s generation worse off than your own. To take a big step out of secular-land, what would Hillel say about these policies?

So yes, beating Pombo is a priority. The people on this site disagree about a lot of things, but all three of the Democrats running and McCloskey all put common sense over dogma, compassion over greed, and responsibility to future generations over political expedience.

Be Prepared.
(Yes. Boy Scouting too.)

11:44 PM, May 18, 2006  
Blogger babaloo said...

"i am a Republican. And a Jew. Not a Republican Jew."

Huh? Nice trick.

The Tracy Press article simply said “A group of unidentified men showed their support for Pombo as they stood silently behind signs titled the ‘Wall of Shame.’” The article did not amplify on what was written in the fine print or what the nature of the "shame" was. And, of course, I automatically assumed that they were ashamed of being Pombo supporters. Seems absolutely reasonable to me.

But I am also aware of Pete McCloskey's past behavior to which Anonymous alludes, and it has perturbed me throughout this campaign. There has been so much emphasis on getting rid of Pombo that many have failed to adequately examine whether we are simply trading one evil for a different evil.

That being said, I think there's still something inherently laughable about Pombo hiding his supporters behind a "wall of shame." It may be the closest he's ever come to telling the truth.

11:48 PM, May 18, 2006  
Blogger VPO said...

The "anti-Semite" charge against McCloskey bothered me at first too, but when I examined it, I could see that it was a gross slander against him. I agree he should never have spoken to a Holocaust denier group. That was a mistake and set him up for these accusations. However, he may have given a speech to the group, but he certainly does not believe in what they espouse. Nor do I, or do any of his supporters.

I think the whole thing is a non-issue, showing the Pombo can't run on his record, but has to attack with baseless charges.

McCloskey's main point, I believe, was that the Israel lobby has too strong an influence in Congress and that has led to bad foreign policy regarding the Middle East. He is not against Israel or the Jewish people. That's a ridiculous charge and has no basis in fact. If he was, I would most certainly not have anything to do with him.

The "Israel" issue is obviously something of a third rail in politics. I wish it could be adequately discussed and debated, but anytime anyone steps even a bit out of line with the Israel lobby, they are called anti-Semite and the lobby rallies against them. That is not the way to have a reasonable discussion as to the US policy towards Israel and the Middle East.

Calling for an honest discussion of US policy towards Israel is not the same as being an "anti-Semite".

7:49 AM, May 19, 2006  
Blogger babaloo said...

We all believe the things we want to believe, but I do think we have some responsibility to look behind the curtain and make sure we understand just what it is that we're espousing. If you read this article AND its links, you just might have to question some of your closely held beliefs. Or not.

10:02 AM, May 19, 2006  

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