Richard Pombo: Reverse Robin Hood
The last refuge of Pombo supporters in CA-11 seems to be the notion that Richard Pombo, by virtue of his 14 years of experience in Washington, DC, is the candidate who is best equipped to represent the interests of the district. Why start over with a new guy, this line of reasoning goes, when our representative is able to wield so much power on our behalf? As I noted in my last post, many voters have expressed the sentiment that “Yeah, he's a crook, but he's our crook, and isn't everybody a crook out there?” Implicit in that comment, though, is the assumption that “He’s our crook and we’re getting a good deal out of it.”
And that argument flies in the face of reality. Yes, Richard Pombo has experience; yes, Richard Pombo has accumulated a great deal of power; yes, he wields that power to promote his agenda.
It’s just that the welfare of his Congressional district isn’t very high on Richard Pombo’s political agenda.
Back in November, I talked a little bit about his stance on agricultural issues and how he has harmed family farms. Later I wrote about how Richard Pombo has been missing in action when it comes to addressing his district’s transportation woes:
First, there’s something you need to understand about Richard Pombo. When he initially ran for Congress in 1992, one of the issues he ran on was cutting pork-barrel spending in Washington. True to his mission, throughout his Congressional career Pombo has assiduously avoided seeking federal funding for projects in his district. According to a report issued this year by the Great Valley Center, in 2003 the national average of per capita federal spending was $6,923. In California, per capita federal spending was 89.6% of the national average at $6,196. In the Northern San Joaquin Valley, per capita spending topped out at 61.2% of the national average, a paltry $4,228. So it’s important to realize that in the person of Richard Pombo, CA-11 has a representative who is not just lazy or incompetent; he’s ideologically opposed to federal government funding of local projects.Just to reiterate, for every $1.00 that Northern San Joaquin County sends to Washington, DC, in taxes, our federal government, in return, spends $.61 in Northern San Joaquin County, nearly 30% less than the average for the rest of California.
Richard Pombo has spent the last 14 years stealing from his constituents. He has used the prestige and power of his position in Washington, DC, to enrich himself, his family and friends, and the timber, mining and oil industries. He has used the prestige and power of his position to advance his far-right extremist “Wise Use” ideology. But he has not used any of that prestige and power to improve the daily lives of his constituents.
Please, on June 6, Say No To Pombo and Yes to the residents of CA-11.