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Thursday, January 19, 2006

CA-11: Former Rep. McCloskey to Announce Primary Challenger to Pombo

Posted by DavidNYC

Rep. Dick Pombo is one of many, many ethically challenged GOP poster boys. He's one of CREW's thirteen most-corrupt members of Congress not named Tom DeLay. He's also the target of a spirited, multi-way Democratic primary. And now, he's got a primary challenger of his own to deal with - only, we won't know who it is until Monday.

Former Rep. Pete McCloskey - a moderate Republican from back when the term actually meant something - is fed up with Pombo and has been recruiting a challenger for quite some time. If he can't find anyone else, McCloskey has said that he would run, despite his age (he's 78). While I doubt any Republican could unseat Pombo, a nasty Republican primary is only good news for us. (And primaries where challengers take on incumbents necessarily have to be nasty, assuming they get on the radar screen in the first place.) Since McCloskey's candidate (or McCloskey himself) will be making an issue of Pombo's ethical malfeasance, I'm sure the Republicans will churn up fodder for our side to use after the primary.

Say No to Pombo is rooting for McCloskey himself to enter the race - the sole fact that the guy is a former Congressman makes him at least somewhat credible (even if he hasn't held office in ages), and thus able to command some media attention. In any event, I encourage you to follow this race at SNTP.

Posted at 12:27 PM in 2006 Elections - House, California | Technorati

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Thanks for the plug. This blog is one of the inspirations for Say No to Pombo, so it's very much appreciated.

I should be heading out to Lodi on Monday to see whether, as everyone suspects, McCloskey himself will declare or whether he'll have rustled up some other contender. I'll most likely have a report up Monday afternoon, so you can check back then.

One interesting angle about McCloskey that you didn't mention is that he is a co-author of the Endangered Species Act. There are a lot of Republican environmentalists (or some would identify as "conservationists) in the district and in the greater Bay Area. Hopefully McCloskey (whom everyone thinks is going to run) will be able to take Pombo to task about his environmental extremism. It's a lot harder for Pombo to write-off criticisms of his environmental policy when it's bi-partisan. And say what you want about McCloskey, I truly foresee a core group of real, conservative Republicans getting behind him.

As you mentioned, he doesn't have to win. He just needs to bruise Pombo enough to let a Democrat take him out in the general.

Posted by: Matt Lockshin [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 19, 2006 01:01 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Thanks for the added color, Matt. McCloskey sounds like a long-lost Jeffords-type Republican. I can't imagine he feels at home in the GOP anymore (hence the challenge). Based on what you say, I definitely hope it's him, though in the article he indicated that he was "holding out hope" for one final possibility other than himself.

Posted by: DavidNYC [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 19, 2006 01:08 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I'm not partically sure where McCloskey identifies with the current policies of the GOP. McCloskey wanted to end all U.S. military action in Vietnam in his 1972 Presidential campaign, He co-wrote the Endangered Species Act, and he endorsed Kerry over Bush.

Posted by: RBH [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 19, 2006 01:57 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Some of us older Boomers retain warm respect for Pete McCloskey.
Besides co-authoring the original Endangered Species Act that
Pombo wants to do away with, he was one of the original sponsors
of the first Earth Day.

He also ran for President against Richard Nixon
in the 1972 Republican primary in New Hampshire.
Some of you young whipper-snappers may not understand
how much that endears him to even staunch Democrats
who were around at the time.
If McCloskey announces for a run, he just might be the first Republican
I've ever tried to raise money for... and I've been a political junkie since the mid-1960s.

Posted by: Christopher Walker [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 20, 2006 04:42 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment