Guest Post: Pombo at the San Joaquin Chamber of Commerce Installation Dinner
This guest post is a report back from the San Joaquin Chamber of Commerce Installation Dinner that happened last Friday. If you go to an event that relates to this race, feel free to write something up and send it to me. There’s a good chance I’ll put it up on SNTP.
Pombo at the San Joaquin Chamber of Commerce Installation Dinner
By San Joaquin Nancy
This past Friday, our esteemed Congressman Richard Pombo was theMaster of Ceremonies at the San Joaquin Chamber of Commerce Installation Dinner. This event was loaded with irony as some of thepeople honored and some of the topics discussed (immigration, education, and voting rights) Pombo voted against the community and in one notable vote (HR 4437) he was the only San Joaquin ValleyCongressman to do so (election year – can you spell wedge issue).
Rep. Pombo was apparently placed as the M.C. at the last minute (the program had been printed with a different M.C.). But hey it's an election year and Pombo has to make his yearly appearance. At this event of course he was wearing his "Latino" hat, seated at the front table with his entourage of campaign staff, but noticeably his wifewas not in attendance. At times Pombo seemed literally tied to chamber CEO, Mark Martinez.
At the event the new President of the chamber, Carol Ornelas talked about education and how important it was to their community and the need for access to affordable higher education. It was funny that she was mentioning this at the event, as Pombo voted to stick higher student loan rates on CD-11 residents with children in college, costing students and their parents tens of thousands of dollars more over the life of a typical student loan. How's that for making higher education more affordable.
The other notable irony at this event was the award that was given to the Businessman of the Year. This gentleman is the owner of the Cancún Mexican restaurant in Stockton. He immigrated here over 30 years ago and still has limited English. It was almost comical as here wasCongressman Pombo presenting this award and praising immigrants, just two days after voting for the amendment to rid the Voting Rights Act of bilingual ballots. This amendment (H.AMDT.1185) by Rep. King of Iowa went down 185-238. As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words.
Also of note, Jerry McNerney was in attendance and got a good reception from what I saw. He introduced himself to my table and at that time I noticed that to my immediate right, one of Pombo's district office constituent services aides was discretely snapping photos of McNerney. Seemed odd to me as this wasn't a political event per se, but I am sure she had somewhat sinister motives for snappingthe photos. I suspect the poor girl was probably instructed to get the photos for a mailer or a future TV commercial.