WASHINGTON – On Tuesday, June 8th, the League of Conservation Voters (LCV), which works to turn environmental values into national priorities, celebrated its first Dirty Dozen candidate to be defeated in the 2010 election. Voters in California’s 19th Congressional District rejected Ex-Rep. Richard Pombo (R-CA) as the Republican nominee to succeed Rep. George Radanovich. Pombo came in third in the four-way GOP race with 20.8 percent of the votes. During his Congressional tenure, Pombo was widely viewed as one of the most corrupt Members and was chair of LCV’s 2006 list of Dirty Dozen candidates
“Pombo’s reputation for crass political ambition and well-known record of corruption clearly precedes him. Different district, but same story: voters rightly said no to Pombo,” said LCV President Gene Karpinski.
Pombo announced this year that he would make a comeback attempt in an open House seat that neighbors the district he lost in 2006. Pombo has taken $724,166 in campaign money from Big Oil and other energy interests, and more than $220,000 from lobbyists.* The 2005 Bush-Cheney Energy Bill, which Pombo supported and helped shepherd through the House Resources Committee, contained more than $21 billion in subsidies for the oil and gas industries.** Pombo earned an abysmal 7% LCV lifetime environmental score from the League of Conservation Voters, consistently championing efforts to stand in the way of energy reform during his three terms.***
“Pombo’s record dictates that he couldn’t be more wrong for a Congress that’s ready to move forward with a clean energy future and is currently dealing with the largest oil-driven environmental disaster in American history,” said Karpinski.
While in office, Pombo proposed selling 15 national parks to generate revenue, tried repeatedly to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling and voted twice against greater fuel efficiency for cars and trucks. Pombo was seeking election in a district that includes Yosemite National Park. He was also named one of the 13 Most Corrupt Members of Congress in 2006 by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
*** The non-partisan LCV Scorecard is a nationally accepted yardstick used to rate Members of Congress on conservation and clean energy issues. Based on key conservation votes in the House and Senate, it is often used by the media to quickly describe a Member's record. For more information, visit www.lcv.org/scorecard.