Seems I have politics on the brain this week, and no wonder considering the high stakes:
Not much excitement in my own district (or any other district in which I have resided during my time in California), but one does not have to go too far east to find California's Worst Representative.
Richard Pombo represents the 11th District, and is the chair of the House Resources Committee. Pombo hails from Tracy, a town that is a poster child for ugly exurban sprawl (and the butt of a lot of jokes when I was living in the East Bay). He has long been obsessed with dismantling the 1973 Endangered Species Act. In addition to being as old as I am, the Endangered Species Act protects a wide variety of plants and animals, including the San Joaquin Kit Fox that inhabits Pombo's district (pictured to the right).
From interviews and statements I've heard, on NPR and elsewhere, he seems to take pride in his work to weaken or eliminate environmental protection and sell land and resources from our National Park System and elsewhere to developers and speculators. He supports not only the oft-mentioned drilling proposal for the Artic Wildlife National Refuge, but also end the long-time ban on drilling of the California coast. His name surfaced again in recent reports about protecting the coast of Northern California (Mendocino, etc.). And, like most of his fellow conservative Republicans, all his efforts seem to be done with a sense that he is on some sort of righteous crusade.
He has also been implicated in several of the trendy Republican scandals, but that's the least of his faults.
You can read more, a lot more, at PomboWatch and Say No To Pombo. Oh, and it might be worth visiting his opponent's website, too. This is turning out to be a competitive race, so any interest and support may help send Pombo back to Tracy, and help some of our endangered friends in the process:
UPDATE: The Stockton Record covers the CA-11 debate last night between Pombo and McNerney.