The name of this blog conveys a pretty obvious message. For over a year now, we at Say No To Pombo have followed this race in CA-11 exclusively, giving our readers many compelling reasons why Richard Pombo needs to fired. Now, our job has been made fairly easy by Richard Pombo himself. His behavior as a Congressman has been SO remarkably reprehensible that he has provided us with endless fodder.
Richard Pombo has passed legislation through the House to gut the Endangered Species Act, to lift the moratorium on off-shore oil drilling, to sell off public lands for a pittance — and he has been named as one of the 13 most corrupt members of Congress by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). He has accepted campaign contributions from lobbyists and special interest groups and then voted to give them billions of federal dollars. He has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign money to his family and has even taken them on a vacation in an RV that was paid for by the taxpayers. Sleaze and corruption have become synonymous with the name Richard Pombo.
At the same time, Pombo has neglected his district, failing to bring much-needed federal dollars into his community — transportation needs have not been met; levees have not been repaired; air and water quality have diminished significantly. The population has risen dramatically, while barely any jobs have been created. Health care has become more expensive and less readily available. The list goes on and on. Instead of working on behalf of his own constituents to solve the many and varied problems facing CA-11, Pombo has involved himself in national issues that benefit the special interests who contribute to his campaign and his PAC. Richard Pombo has shown broad disinterest and disdain for the citizens who live in his district.
Now, those are all pretty good reasons to vote against Richard Pombo. But there’s an even more compelling reason why Pombo needs to go. He’s a Republican.
That’s right. It's just that simple. Not that there is per se anything wrong with being a Republican. It’s just that right now we desperately need a Democratic Congress to put the brakes on George W. Bush. If the Republican Party maintains control of the Congress in the 2006 election, you can bet that the Bush Administration will interpret such a victory as a complete vindication of its policies. With that validation, the Administration will continue its disastrous Iraq policy; it will be emboldened to expand militarily into Iran. The Administration will continue to borrow and spend, cut taxes for the wealthy, and push the national debt into uncharted territory; it will continue to shred our rights under the Constitution. Bush himself openly stated earlier this week that he plans to bring back Social Security privatization after this election.
George W. Bush came right out and said it for all to hear in 2004, after an across-the-boards Republican victory:
"I earned capital in this campaign, political capital, and now I intend to spend it," Bush told reporters. "It is my style."So bear in mind that the 2006 mid-terms are going to have repercussions far beyond the individual races. This election is basically going to serve as either a red light or a green light to George W. Bush and his administration.
By sending a Democrat to Washington, the citizens of CA-11 will be standing up to this President and telling him that he is not above the Constitution or the laws of this land. They will be sending a message that our country is going down a wrong path and we need to correct our course. And the only way to send that message is by electing a Democratic Congress and putting Speaker Nancy Pelosi in charge of the House.
Now, I know that there’s been a lot of frenzied hate-mongering by Republicans over the prospect of Nancy Pelosi becoming the Speaker of the House. They love to whisper her name in the shocked and outraged tones best reserved for mass murderers and child molesters. But, as columnist Brad Barker of the Modesto Bee pointed out last Thursday, the mother of five, grandmother of five, just isn't that scary:
Republican incumbents Richard Pombo, John Doolittle and George Radanovich need fearful voters. They're desperate to protect their seats and their majority party power.So when you go out and do canvassing and/or phone banking for Jerry McNerney in the closing days of this election, keep the big picture in mind. Yes, this election is about one very corrupt and extreme Congressman who has ill-served his constituents on local issues, but it’s also about something much, much bigger. It’s about the kind of country we want to live in, the kind of future we see for ourselves, the kind of legacy we aspire to leave to our children and grandchildren.
In Modesto earlier this month, Radanovich prodded voters to reject his moderate opponent because he "will vote for Nancy Pelosi to be speaker of the House." Oh, my golly.
When President Bush came to Stockton on Oct. 3 to raise money for Pombo, my Republican assemblyman, Greg Aghazarian, attended and said, "Nancy Pelosi will stop at nothing to become the speaker of the House." Right. She's scary and ruthless.
A "news" item from Doolittle's campaign site: "It's clear that (Democratic challenger Charlie) Brown's campaign is now being run by Barbara Boxer and Nancy Pelosi." I'm trembling.
Congressmen, your party has led us to record-high deficits, a cascade of corruption scandals, a war without end, environmental plunder, the disastrous mismanagement of Hurricane Katrina, the subversion of Constitutional rights, and the United States' crumbling respect and credibility in the world. Let me whisper this to you gently: You guys are the scary ones.