26 Sep 2005

13 / 535 is not good

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) published a report recently naming what it determined as the 13 most corrupt members of both houses of and both parties in Congress. Of 535 members of Congress, Richard Pombo was named one of the 13 most corrupt – the list included both Democrats and Republicans.
From the article:
Rep. Richard W. Pombo: He paid his wife and brother $357,325 in campaign funds in the last four years, the report says. He also supported the wind-power industry before the Department of Interior without disclosing that his parents received hundreds of thousands of dollars in royalties from wind-power turbines on their ranch.
Brian Kennedy, a spokesman for Pombo, said that “each of the charges is baseless.” He called the watchdog group “a Democratic attack group, and all of their charges should be taken with a grain of salt.”
My question is, how do you say that a charge that you paid your wife and brother $357,325 in campaign funds is baseless when anybody can verify it by looking at his filings?
Annette Pombo, 2004 cycle : $55,284 + $76,105, mainly for “Fundraising consulting” or “FUNDRAISING SVC.”
Annette Pombo, 2002 cycle : $110,064
Randall Pombo, 2004 cycle : $91,270 + $50,050
Randall Pombo, 2002 cycle : $444,737
That adds up to well over $357k, so I'm assuming they took out reimbursements. Either way, if anything it's lowballing the amount his immediate family got from whatever someone might have donated to his campaign. In filings made public this year, he's already paid his wife $9000 for fundraising consulting, and $6750 to Randall, his brother, for the same thing – and that's only for the first three months of the year.
As if to drive the point home, we get this, aimed at getting people to support drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge :
House Resources chairman Richard Pombo is circulating a draft of a bill that would sell 15 national parks and require the National Park Service to raise millions of dollars by selling the naming rights to visitors' centers and trails.
If drilling continues to be banned in the refuge, Pombo's staff argued, the government would have to sell parks as well as advertising space on park buses, trams and ferries to reach the level of revenues expected from oil leases sales in the Alaskan refuge.
Sell the national parks? Rename the John Muir trail to the Pac Bell Trail? Of course not – they were only kidding…
“This document was intended to illustrate not just for leadership but for members of the House that the chairman feels we have no choice but to open (the refuge),” said Kennedy, Pombo's spokesman.
So it's a threat, then? Well that's wonderful.
We also have a lot to talk about regarding Pombos fast tracking of his horrible rewrite of the Endangered Species Act through Congress, so more on that soon. For now, I'll leave you with pictures of just a few of the many times Jessica and I have spent in our National Parks.
blog comments powered by Disqus