Friday, September 08, 2006

New Defenders Ads: "George" and "Abe"

The Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund released two new ads this week for the "Pombo In Their Pocket" campaign.

The first is entitled, "George."

And next, we have "Abe."

Also, in an undated press release, Rodger Schlickeisen, President of the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund, responded to Hank Shaw's review of the first two ads that appeared in the Stockton Record on August 18.
To the Editor:

Hank Shaw’s “ad watch” on Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund’s recent TV spots needs its own fact check. The column does exactly what journalists often criticize political ads for doing – telling only part of the story, misstating the facts and (I hope inadvertently) simply making things up.

Our two recent ads, called “Principal” and “Office,” criticize Rep. Richard Pombo for his unethical conduct and abuse of his office. Unfortunately, Shaw’s review is off base on just about every substantive issue.
Okay, so, he doesn't agree... Now, to Shaw's criticism of the allegations in the ads, Schlickeisen writes:
First, Shaw reviews our criticism of Pombo’s 2003 family vacation to seven national parks on the taxpayer tab by giving Pombo’s spin on the trip, but leaving out a critical fact that completely undermines Pombo’s furious efforts at damage control.
So what did Hank Shaw leave out in his review?
Pombo himself called the trip a family vacation on his official government website. Here are his exact words: “This August, my family and I rented an RV and set out to explore the West. We spent two weeks on vacation, stopping along the way to enjoy the splendor of our national parks.” Of course Pombo left out the fact that he billed the taxpayers for his family’s RV. [emphasis added]
Facts. So inconvenient.

I like this line from Pombo: "... stopping along the way to enjoy the splendor of our national parks." Might as well do it while you can because if Pombo has his way, these places will sell like hot cakes.

Schlickeisen continues:
Second, Shaw fails to accurately describe Pombo’s proposal to sell 15 national parks and have the National Park Service sell naming rights to visitors’ centers and trails. Shaw’s says Pombo’s committee staff was “charged with saving money” during the budget process and that is how the proposal came about. That is not the real story. As was widely known at the time, Pombo made his legislative proposal because he was frustrated that Congress had not passed legislation to allow drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The park sale was intended as a threat by Pombo to bully those in Congress who disagreed with him about drilling in the fragile coastal plain of the Arctic refuge. Shaw’s assertion that the staff quickly dismissed the proposal is disingenuous. Pombo and his staff quickly retreated on the proposal for the simple reason that the public reaction was swift and overwhelmingly negative. In fact, the Stockton Record itself joined the chorus, calling the proposal a “wacky idea” in a scathing editorial.

Shaw also states that it is “patently false” to say the parks would be sold to developers who are some of Pombo’s largest campaign supporters. Really? Perhaps Shaw didn’t read Pombo’s proposed park sale legislation because it very specifically instructs the Secretary of the Interior to “...make such lands available for sale or for energy or commercial development by 2010.” If you’re going to direct the sale of parks for commercial development it seems rather obvious you’re going to sell them to developers. Moreover, Pombo has taken money from every major real estate and development trade group in Washington, from the Association for Commercial Real Estate to the National Association of Home Builders. In all, he has taken over $350,000 from individual developers and their PACs. Clearly Pombo intended that the parks be sold to developers and developers clearly support him. We stand by the statement in our ads. [emphasis added]
Oh, what a callous thing to do. To use Pombo's own words against him. How low will politics go?

What about that taxpayer-funded set of wheels Pombo rolls around in?
Shaw’s final critique of our criticism of Pombo’s taxpayer funded Lincoln is off-base in so many directions it is hard to catalog. Shaw claims we said Pombo leases a car that “is more expensive than the cars used by most other members of Congress.” We don’t make such a claim or ever compare him to others. We said he used “taxpayer dollars to rent a luxury Lincoln.” The lease is a fact and federal records document it. Pombo’s Lincoln has a base price of $39,285, certainly classifying it as “luxury” car in most people eyes. Moreover, if Pombo leased a four-door midsized sedan through the Government Services Administration, which he could have done, his lease would be $258 a month. His current lease on the Lincoln is $590 a month. [emphasis added]
Saving money by spending it like a drunken sailor. I think Pombo has this new breed of conservatism down cold.

But wait, there's more:
But Shaw’s critique of our ad is flat out wrong in other ways. He says that Pombo’s Lincoln is cheaper than 70 other members of Congress, making it cheaper than “most.” This is simply ridiculous math. There are 435 members of Congress and “most” have declined to use taxpayer money to lease personal cars. How can Mr. Shaw not count those several hundred members who don’t use taxpayer funds for a car, and note that that is certainly cheaper than Mr. Pombo’s $590 per month? By any accounting, Mr. Pombo has one of the most expensive leases in Congress and is spending more on a car than over 80% his fellow members of the House. [emphasis added]
C'mon, the cost of his Lincoln to taxpayers is more expensive than only 80 percent of House members. That means it is cheaper than 20 percent. You say the glass is 80 percent empty, I say it is 20 percent full. Potato, potaeto; tomato, tomaeto...


Anonymous Tom Benigno said...

The Defender of the Wild Life are out doing a great job of exposing Pombo. They have brought the truth directly to Pombo in the charges against Pombo. He won't defend on these charges, so that tells me he is lieing. I directed my charges to Pombo in the forums and he didn't answer then. "ONLY" now listen to this part. "ONLY" because HANK SHAW and the STOCKTON RECORD were not directing the charges as creditable. They did it very simple buy keeping me out of the media with the information. It made me look like and sound like what they called a GADFLY. Out of sight out of mind. HANK SHAW keep others like Wes Rolly of Pombo Watch, Matthews of the Tracy Press, Juliano now with the Record LISA V, Martinez, Johnson Tri valley herald. Telling them Tom Benigno was not on his radar, with a lame excuse I did raise any money. The whole time it was about the information that should have been brought foward to the media. Even Wes Rolly verified the FPPC fineof $10.000 that Pombo paid, he as others dropped the ball. Even Pete Mc Closkey was going down a different road in his approach, speaking about the Mariana's issues and the basic ethics. It was hard evidence,that was needed. What Pombo did is Un-American. Those players should be sighted by the voters by voting Richard Pombo out of office.
Hank Shaw is a disgrace to his profession.
This whole story should be about the candidate Jerry Mc Nerney who is trying to be our next Congressman. The other part should about Pombo not being a good Republican.

Tom Benigno

8:11 AM, September 08, 2006  
Blogger janinsanfran said...

Guess the controversy over the ads may be worth something politically. The ads themselves are too amateur to do anything but turn off viewers. Couldn't Defenders of Wildlife get some actors?

Go Jerry.

9:07 AM, September 09, 2006  
Blogger Matt Ortega said...


How would the ads turn off voters?

Also, the stereotypical "Hollywood liberals" telling people in a Republican district to vote Democratic will not go over well.

That will turn off voters.

3:07 PM, September 09, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

exposing what... benigno get a job or stay home im tired of listening to your endless babble... those commercials were funny though... i mean seriously you can tell that McNerney only has 3 supporters...

10:11 PM, September 10, 2006  
Blogger Matt said...

Again, you trolls like to talk trash even when your compatriots in DC pump money in CA-11. It's really pathetic.

10:33 PM, September 10, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trash, excuse me for pointing out the obvious about your pathetic group. Pombo has done so much for everyone in the 11th district and if you don’t like it leave because I would much rather have a strong republican leader like Pombo then a cheap sell out like your McNerney. When you look at the issues and see that Pombo is the better person I’ll be the first one ready with "I told you so." So bottom line, McNerney is not the right person for our district and I hope you will rejoice when Pombo wins again.

10:17 PM, September 11, 2006  

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