Pombo Back On Green Hit List

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Richard Pombo announced last month that he is back in the political game, and he’s already reclaimed his post at the most-hated candidate for environmental groups.

The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) on Monday named Pombo as the third member of their Dirty Dozen, an annual listing of electoral candidates they hope to defeat. Pombo joins Democratic senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas and Republican congressman Steve Pearce of New Mexico on the list. “Few candidates deserve a spot on the Dirty Dozen more than Richard Pombo because he will side with Big Oil over a cleaner, more secure future for California every chance he gets,” said LCV President Gene Karpinski in a statement. “Californians want new clean energy jobs not more industry bailouts.”

Over his seven terms in office, Pombo took $700,000 in campaign money from Big Oil and other energy interests, and $220,000 from lobbyists, earning just a 7 percent lifetime voting score on environmental issues from LCV. He lost his reelection bid in 2006 to Democrat Jerry McNerney, a wind energy consultant and environmental favorite. (More on Pombo from the Mother Jones archives here, here, here and here.)

Shunned in his home district, he’s now running in the neighboring district, which, as LCV points out, includes Yosemite National Park. This merits noting, as one of Pombo’s signature anti-environmental moves as a congressman was a proposal to sell off 15 national parks to private companies to generate revenue.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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