Sunday, October 09, 2005

Dick Pombo - Another Republican For Sale

Environmental rapist and Republican Congressman Dick Pombo (CA-11) is also another member of the Republican Circus of Corruption. According to the Lodi News- Sentinel, Pombo collected $13,000 in contributions from Alaskan construction interests as he began a major push to open ANWR to oil companies.

"Last month, Pombo used his position as chairman of the House Resources Committee to further his longstanding goal of leasing land for oil drilling in part of ANWR, which spans 19 million acres of northeast Alaska. The committee is expected to include a provision to open ANWR in a budget reconciliation bill later this month...

Nearly 40 percent of the Alaskan money deposited into Pombo’s political coffers came from two executives of VECO Corp., a company that could be among those benefiting from the opening of ANWR. The company, based in Anchorage, Alaska, provides a variety of support services to the oil industry, including constructing and managing oil refineries and pipelines.

“VECO is ready to assist efforts in every way possible to make new mega projects happen — specifically, an Alaskan gas pipeline and the opening of ANWR,” the company said in a 2003 newsletter."

The News-Sentinel does leave open the question of whether the contributions represented a bribe for future services or a reward for past activities by Pombo. But, certainly VECO believes in putting its money where it will do it the most good.

"Leathard, who gave $2,500 to Pombo’s PAC in August, said he didn’t want to give the impression that the company was buying access, but did say the company encourages donations by rank-and-file workers. VECO’s chairman and CEO, Bill J. Allen, also gave Pombo $2,500. Company Vice President Rick Smith paid $1,312.75 to cater an event, but the committee later reimbursed him."

Pombo is the most blatantly anti-environment member of congress. His continued presence in Washington is an affront to the concept of conservation as public policy. His desire to destroy every vestige of environmental and species protection in the service of his corporate paymasters becomes more apparent every day.