Friday, May 19, 2006

Pombo perpetuates another ESA lie

Tip of the hat to the Progressive 11th Blog for finding this Adwatch review of a Pombo campaign ad. Turns out to be another ESA lie from Pombo. Last week, it was about a mythic Elderberry bush that blocked levee repairs causing a flood that killed three people. That proved to be a Pombo fantasy. Now it is about a small bird, the California Gnatcatcher, stopping the mighty U.S. Marines from properly training for combat. (The gnatcatcher lives in coastal scrub from southern California down into Baja and is listed as threatened due to loss of habitat along the coast.)

You would have to be pretty naive to believe anything Pombo says on endangered species, or the environment in general, for that matter. That's because he is not aiming for the truth; his goal is to raise a furor of righteousness about the ESA. Pombo carefully composes these messages based on distortions, half-truths, and outright lies with the main purpose of riling up his base and promoting his extreme far-right "property rights" agenda. Unfortunately, his hard-core believers take this junk as gospel. They are not ones to let facts get in the way of a good story, which Matt has pointed out is a saying from Pombo's grandmother.

From AdWatch on the latest Pombo campaign ad: Incumbent Seeking Re-Election To House

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- In this Adwatch, the focus is on an ad by Rep. Richard Pombo of Tracy, who is running for re-election in next month's primary. The ad claims Pombo saved lives of U.S. Marines by taking a stand on the gnatcatcher.

To find out if that was true, KCRA 3 took a closer look.

The ad was shown to three local experts who were asked to grade it on how truthful it is, how relevant it is to the issues about which voters care, how much substance and real information the ad contains -- as opposed to fluff and image -- and how likely it is to be effective with voters at this point in the campaign.

Barbara O'Connor is a public communications professor at Sacramento State University. Steve Swatt is a political analyst and former political reporter. Bob Waste teaches public policy at Sacramento State University.

The ad begins with a dire claim about the Marine Corps' combat training grounds at Camp Pendleton in southern California. The ad states, "When bureaucrats were closing 57 percent of Camp Pendleton because of the gnatcatcher, the Marine Corps testified that training would be seriously compromised."

KCRA 3's adwatchers said the first question many viewers will probably asked is, "Because of what?"

The gnatcatcher is a tiny bird that lives in the sage brush of Southern California. The federal government has labeled the bird as threatened.

In the late 1990s, the federal Fish and Wildlife Service considered declaring parts of Camp Pendleton as critical habitat for the gnatcatcher. But KCRA 3's adwatchers have a problem with how this describes that move as "closing" parts of the base.

Swatt said the government's effort does not mean that part of the base was actually closed. It just meant that the military has to consult with the Fish and Wildlife Service regarding efforts to protect the gnatcatcher.

So for truthfulness, this ad gets a C-.

Next, adwatchers looked at how relevant the ad was to issues voters care about. Waste said the ad is relevant because voters care about war preparedness. For relevance, the ad receive a grade of B.

Next, adwatchers looked at substance. O'Connor said the ad gives the illusion of substance, complete with flip charts and somebody giving a briefing.

At this point, the adwatchers focused on the ad's claim that Pombo supposedly solved the gnatcatcher issue. Pombo claims to have kept the training grounds open and that the move saved the lives of troops.

In 2003, Pombo wrote legislation exempting all military bases from critical habitat designations. But according to documents, three year's before Pombo's legislation the Fish and Wildlife Service already decided to exclude Camp Pendleton from this critical habitat decision.

So, the adwatchers said the scene in the ad of Camp Pendleton Marines being told they couldn't train because of the gnatcatcher could never have happened.

Waste said the ad is a substantial misrepresentation by a member of Congress who should know better.

For substance, the ad got a grade of C.

On the issue of effectiveness, ad watchers said playing on voters' sense of patriotism will tap into their emotions. For effectiveness, this earned the ad a grade of B+.

In summary, here are the ratings:
Truthfulness: C-
Relevance: B
Substance: C
Effectiveness: B+


Blogger VPO said...

Here is further refutation from the Defenders of Wildlife:


Pleasanton, CA.-- Rep. Richard Pombo's newest television campaign ad is packed with distortions and half-truths about efforts to protect some of California's endangered birds and the effect those efforts had on military training, the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund said today.

The ad claims that when federal bureaucrats "were closing 57 percent of Camp Pendleton"
to protect the California gnatcatcher, compromising military training, he stopped them. But a cursory glance at the public record tells a different story:

Fifty-seven (57%) percent of Camp Pendleton was never proposed to be "closed." Limitations on use were considered, but this was way back in 1999 and 2000. At that time, operating under the previous presidential administration, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) actually excluded all but a small portion of Camp Pendleton from the critical habitat designation to ensure that "mission critical military training activities" could continue. (Federal Register, Vol. 65, No. 206, 10/24/2000, Page 63690)

In the end, the FWS reduced the acreage in Camp Pendleton that was designated as habitat to only 3700 acres in response to military concerns "because the benefits of excluding these lands outweigh the benefits of including them as critical habitat." None of this was training land; most of it was land leased to the state parks. (Federal Register, Vol. 65, No. 206, 10/24/2000, Page 63691).

A military general actually praised the FWS' relationship with Camp Pendleton in 2002 testimony on Capitol Hill. General Michael J. Williams said of federal environmental agencies that "our relations with those agencies are good relations. And the compromises that we've worked out over time have been reasonable. It was the Fish and Wildlife Service compromise that enabled us to continue training at Camp Pendleton when there was a proposal to make over 50,000 acres, which is half the base, protected habitat." (Gen. Michael J. Williams, testimony, Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, 7/9/02)

And a GAO report said that the Department of Defense had failed to produce any evidence showing that environmental laws or other "encroachments" significantly affected military readiness. (GAO, Military Training: DOD Lacks a Comprehensive Plan To Manage Encroachment on Training Ranges, GAO-02-614 (June 2, 2002).

"Rep. Pombo has a history of distorting the truth to promote his efforts to undermine the Endangered Species Act. Now he's doing it to promote his re-election," said Rodger Schlickeisen, president of Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund.

3:37 PM, May 19, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another interesting note on this completely fraudulent ad -- Pombo is such an off-putting, arrogant individual his handlers can't even put him in the ad. He has to hide behind Duncan Hunter.

If he's done so much to protect the troops why can't he stand up and address the voters himself? If you were at the recent Pombo-McCloskey debate the answer is pretty clear -- Pombo is obnoxious. His manner, his style, his arrogance and his thug mug and goatee would turn off more votes than it would win.

This guy is pathetic.

3:51 PM, May 19, 2006  
Blogger VPO said...

Here is McCloskey's Press Release on this:

Pete McCloskey issued this statement regarding the ad:

"I trained at Camp Pendleton before leaving for Korea in 1951 and trained there nearly every year through 1965 when I volunteered for service in Viet Nam. The Marines have done a better job of preserving the native habitat and endangered species of most of the 400 square miles of Camp Pendleton than have many civilian agencies such as the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management. Pombo has stretched the truth on the gnatcather, as he did when he lied to the Senate in 1994 about the kit fox. No Marine has lost has life or had it endangered because of the manner in which the base commanders at Camp Pendleton and Miramar have mainitained the natural landscape entrusted to them. Major General Mike Lehnert, who participated in the original assault on Baghdad, has perhaps said it best when he told me last February, when I visited the base, "A country worth fighting for is worth preserving."

"Pombo's deciding vote on May 26, 2005 against $9 million for prosthetic research to help military amputees is far more dangerous to Marines than the remaining wildlife at Camp Pendleton."

As a rifle platoon leader in Korea, McCloskey was awarded the Navy Cross, Silver Star and two Purple Hearts.

4:39 PM, May 19, 2006  
Anonymous Rocky Balboa said...


Rocky here. Wit a quick note, while Adrian is in duh shower. She sez Rocky been spendin too much time on dis here computer, and especially dis here blot, and dat she don't like Rocky tawkin bout nuttin but politics no more.

Plus wit all dis fightin goin on amongst us Dems, well you know Rocky said just duh udder day dat he might just change to DTS and vote for duh Fightin Repuglican McClosky, but you know, I wuz just kiddin bein a loyal a Dem and all, but hey it seems like it still really pissed Adrian off. You know what I'm sayin?

But you know what she sed? She sed to me, "Rocky, I ain't sleepin wit no friggin Repuglican!" And den she let one loose in my vicinity dat sorta prooved she's related to Paulie, and den she stormed out of duh House and said she wuz gonna run for duh Senate.

Rocky was stunned! I mean like her language alone was sorta disrespectful and mockin me, sorta like Rickey before Rocky hit 'em wit a few good punches dat seems to have shut his trap fer good which he shoulda done a long time ago on account of duh fact dat he should be kissin butts along wit babies instead of fightin wit people if his subjective is really to get Pretty Boy elected. You know what I mean?

Anyways Rocky is tinkin dat dis blot somehow bring out duh woist in people. So I'm gonna lay low fer a few days and let Adrian cool off a bit, on account dat dis is also her, you know, womanly period of duh month where she sometimes gets all moody and lashes out at Rocky anyways fer no good reason. Even when he ain't done nuttin to nobody.

But I was pokin around duh Fightin Repug's website yesterday when she went to Safeway, and I made a discovery. McClosky got a guy woikin fer him named McManus and did anyone but Rocky notice that the hidden woid in dere is "anus?" Do you suppose dat McManus=McAnus which is the Irish version of duh guy helping McClosky along duh same lines of duh way ButtaWipeO helpin Pretty Boy? You supposed dey could even be duh same guy?

McManus=McAnus=ButtaWipeO=Ricky=Robert Kellar?

I mean dis could proove to be duh missin link in tying all dese guys together is duh way Rocky sees it:


Dat would mean dat Rocky's original idear dat McClosky is a really wunna us Dems makes more sense, and dat he really is pursuing a Trojan Condom strategy which is friggin brilliant instead of whinin, bitchin and moanin like many of youse guys on dis here blot who seems to have forgotten about duh real poiposes and how ButtaPombO wants to kill even dem along with duh whales.

Yo Mr $.02 - you gotta friggin brilliant mind. What do you tink about Rocky's latest theory tyin all dese guys together in dis horse's ass race through the buttwipe connection?

Uh oh - Rocky out. Adrian just got outta duh bathroom and shot me a look.

10:01 AM, May 20, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. 2% of a buck again (and hello, Rock-o -- keep slinging that "xxxx" around; something's gotta stick to El Dicko)

1) I've discovered the reason why the Pair of Dicks are going to play Pombo Poker on May 22nd in Stockton ($500 to ante in!) -- Charlie Cook smells that something's afoot in CA-11 since he has just moved CA-11 from Likely GOP (not competitive) to Leaning GOP (competitive, but barely)

2) With all due respect, he also sees that a number of other RED districts are sliding out of the safe zone, and none of them have yet to cross the border out of "Tossup" to Leaning DEM (that would indicate real trouble, so don't get all Warren Zevon yet), but

3) The RNC is going to have to play defense a lot more than perhaps their bankers thought they would earlier this year, and that less money will be freed up to defend more precarious seats like CA-50 (Cunningham's) or OH-18 (Ney's), so I expect them to triage on those and defend the higher ground like CA-11 (Pombo)...

4)...which is why Citrus Pete's campaign is of big help to us -- since he is working to get RePugs (sorry, Rocky -- I used that term first) some well-needed practice in voting "against Pombo" which, IF (and it's a REAL BIG IF) Filson or McNerney can rise to the occasion and show they have the stature, stage presence and sincerity to be a CONGRESSMAN ("slightly" above State Senator, or Assemblyman, or Mayor, or Councilmember -- you get the drift here), THEN they might get enough of those "confused" RePugs to vote for them -- and that's a BIG "show me" for moi, since I haven't seen it yet from either, and I've been watching.

I'm not from Missouri, but I play one on TV.

$.02 out.

6:46 PM, May 20, 2006  

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