Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Pombo Lobbied By Abramoff

Remember just last Thursday evening at the Tracy Forum when Richard Pombo was questioned about his connections to Jack Abramoff? According to Erica Werner of the AP, Pombo strongly denied ever being involved with Abramoff:
"I met the guy two or three times in my whole life — he never once lobbied me on anything," Pombo said of Abramoff last week in a debate against McNerney.


Really? The AP story exposes a different version of the story:
Records show the disgraced lobbyist [Abramoff] billed a client for at least two contacts with Pombo a decade ago.

The lobbying records released by the Northern Mariana Islands show that Abramoff billed once for calls to Pombo, chairman of the House Resources Committee, and a second time for a discussion with him, while lobbying in 1996.

On more than two dozen other occasions from 1996 through 2001, Abramoff associates called or met with members of Pombo's staff, including his chief of staff, the records indicate. As the contacts picked up, Pombo voted Abramoff's way on a bill important to Abramoff's clients.
Here are the particulars of the Pombo/Abramoff deal:
One focus was legislation in the Resources Committee, of which Pombo was then a junior member, to give the Marianas a nonvoting delegate to Congress. Then-Marianas Gov. Froilan Tenorio was opposed. Abramoff and his associates lobbied the Hill, including a July 29, 1996, contact with Pombo's office.

Three days later the bill was narrowly defeated in committee. Pombo voted no.

"I have great news!" Abramoff wrote to Tenorio on Aug. 1, 1996. The delegate bill "was DEFEATED at the markup which finished about an hour ago. ... We were able to add four conservative Republicans to the block of Democrat opponents and defeat the bill by a vote of 13-12." […]

On Sept. 10, 1996, Abramoff billed for a discussion with Pombo. Two days later he gave Pombo a $500 donation, the first of what would become $7,500 in campaign contributions. Pombo has since donated the money to charity. On Nov. 21, 1996, Abramoff reported putting in calls to Pombo and other lawmakers.
And what do you imagine Pombo’s response is?
Pombo spokesman Brian Kennedy disputed the reported contacts, saying direct lobbying by Abramoff "never happened" and the staff-level contacts were "greatly inflated." Abramoff, who pleaded guilty in a congressional corruption investigation, is "an admitted felon" who can't be trusted, Kennedy said.
Ouch! Did Pombo just resort to the classic “You can’t trust him because he copped a plea before I did” defense? And just when you thought the guy couldn’t go much lower. I would definitely add some questions about Abramoff and the Marianas to your list: (209) 836-3326.

[UPDATE:] For a really in-depth look at the Pombo/Abramoff/Marianas connection, check out this post by SNTP's Matt O. over at firedoglake.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Tom Benigno said...

Remembering someone you meet. I had a friend who meet a girl one time and he ended up with a child by her for the rest of his life. So for Pombo to say he only met Abramoff a couple of times, dosn't mean he couldn't have passed money to Pombo. That is what we mean this guy is in denial, Incumbent Denial. They think what ever they do is ok as long as it's good for those who donate to him. We must break this pattern of corrupt Government.
Honesty, integrity, ethics, Mc Nerney has all those traits. vote for Jerry Mc Nerney.

Tom Benigno

3:55 PM, October 10, 2006  
Anonymous Tom Benigno said...

So what's new. Abramoff skimmed off 42 million from the people he delt with. The interest alone alone for one year would get Pombo elected. These guys are crooks.

bye- bye Pombo

Tom Benigno

5:25 PM, October 10, 2006  
Blogger VPO said...

Peter denies knowing Jesus:

"After Jesus was arrested and led away by the soldiers, Peter followed them into the courtyard of the high priest. He took a seat near some of the guards and waited to see what would happen with Jesus. A servant walked up to Peter and asked him if he was with Jesus. Peter said "I don't know what you're talking about."

Peter then got up and went outside of a gateway where another person saw him and identified him as a follower of Jesus. Peter again denied knowing Jesus. Other people then identified Peter as being a follower of Jesus and again Peter denied knowing Jesus. In all, Peter had denied knowing Jesus three times before dawn, just as Jesus had predicted.

When Peter remembered that Jesus had predicted Peter's denials, Peter began to weep because he had denied knowing the Lord."

8:42 PM, October 10, 2006  
Blogger VPO said...

Pombo denies knowing Abramoff

After Jack was arrested and led away by the soldiers, Pombo followed them into the courtyard of the high priest. He took a seat near some of the guards and waited to see what would happen with Jack. A reporter walked up to Pombo and asked him if he was with Jack. Peter said, "He never stepped foot in my office."

Pombo then got up and went outside of a gateway where another person saw him and identified him as a follower of Jack. Pombo again denied knowing Jack, saying, "He never lobbied me for anything." Other people then identified Pombo as being a follower of Jack and again Pombo denied knowing Jack, with the words, "I think I met the guy a few times."

In all, Pombo had denied knowing Jack three times before dawn, just as Jack had predicted.

8:48 PM, October 10, 2006  
Blogger Matt Ortega said...

More in the Pombo/Abramoff connection at firedoglake.

9:12 PM, October 10, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent post! Is there more McNerney - Pombo debate video? We should watch it all to get more usefull nuggets.

9:17 PM, October 10, 2006  
Blogger Delta said...

Now, you are all fired up about it. Well, the Absentee ballots went in the mail today. You know that the Republican party normally whips the Democrats at getting those back, fill out per instructions from Karl Rove.

So, if you really care about this, go to http://www.jerrymcnerney.org/events.asp Find one of the Get Out the Absentee Vote event (Morgan Hill, Brentwood) and join in. If Rove can deliver and you don't, then this was all just an exercise for 2008.

9:28 PM, October 10, 2006  

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