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Press Room:  For Immediate Release 
Explore, Enjoy and Protect the Planet

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 5, 2010
CONTACT: Orli Cotel, 415.977.5627

Richard Pombo: Big Oil's Best Friend Seeks Bail-Out

San Francisco, CA--Former Rep. Richard Pombo today announced that he is going to run for the Republican nomination in California's 19 th  Congressional district, which includes Yosemite National Park.  It is adjacent to Pombo's former district (the 11 th  district of California).  The former seven-term congressman was defeated in 2006 after a massive campaign by Sierra Club and other environmental organizations exposed his close ties to Big Oil and other special interests, as well as other allegations of corruption--including ties to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.  Since leaving Congress, Pombo has been employed by the lobbying firm Pac/West Communications, the same firm that previously supported Pombo's efforts to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, gut the Endangered Species Act, and clear cut our national forests.

 
Statement of Bruce Hamilton, Sierra Club Deputy Executive Director

"When Pombo represented Dublin and Pleasanton he wanted to sell off the only national park that was in his district (Eugene O'Neill National Historic Site).  Now he wants to represent Yosemite.  National Parks were America's best idea, film director  Ken Burns reminds us.  Having Richard Pombo represent Yosemite may be America's worst idea. 

"Pombo's aim for a comeback is nothing but a shameless attempt to exploit the revolving door that remains all too common in Washington.  After doing the bidding of Big Oil and other special interests during his years in Congress, he literally went to work for the same lobbying firm that backed some his most egregious activities, and now he wants to be sent back to Congress to represent a district where he doesn't even live.  Who does Pombo really want to represent in Congress--the voters of California's 19th district or his special interest supporters?

"After being dumped by voters in one district, it now appears that both Richard Pombo and his Big Oil backers are looking for a taxpayer-funded bail-out from another."

Pombo's Greatest Misses

  • Proposed selling off our national parks, including the only national park in his former district
  • Took more than $337,000 in campaign cash from Big Oil
  • Tried to gut the Endangered Species Act
  • Went on a taxpayer-funded cross-country family vacation
  • Backed the George W.  Bush administration's misguided and disastrous effort to decimate our national forests, the so-called Healthy Forest Initiative
  • Backed the George W.  Bush administration's efforts to gut the Clean Air Act
  • Tried, repeatedly, to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling
  • One of the most vocal proponents of disastrous Bush-Cheney energy policy, written by, and for, Big Oil, Dirty Coal, and the nuclear industry
  • Named one of the "most corrupt members of Congress" by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, based on his ties to disgraced and convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff and numerous other alleged violations of Congressional ethics rules and federal laws.

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