Twain’s Frog Scores Victory Over Pombo

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Much to the likely chagrin of Rep. Richard Pombo (R-Calif.) the EPA has agreed to protect the threatened California Red-Legged Frog, according to a settlement reached this week in a lawsuit filed in 2002.

Pombo once blamed the species for causing nearly $500 million in “regulatory costs” for homebuilders and held Twain’s frogs up as Exhibit A in his Threatened and Endangered Species Recovery Act, a deceptively-named bill that would eliminate mandatory habitat restrictions for any species. The settlement agreement will protect Rana aurora draytonii by prohibiting the use of 66 pesticides in and near red-legged frog habitats.

Read more about Pombo’s battle against these amphibians in the name of development in Dick Russell’s story in the current issue of Mother Jones.

And according to poll numbers released today Pombo is neck and neck with his Democratic opponent Jerry McNerney, with Pombo at 41 percent and McNerney at 40 percent.

Frogs should be the least of his worries.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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