Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Is CA-19's George Radanovich's political demise an opening for the return of "Dirty Dick" Pombo?


“I don’t miss the politics,” Pombo said. “I miss the policy side of it. Obviously California needs some help.”
-- former Rep. "Dirty Dick" Pombo, quoted by the Fresno Bee

by Ken

CA-19 Republican Rep. George Radanovich announced yesterday, a step ahead of a torch-bearing Teabagger lynch mob, that he's retiring (as reported by the L.A. Times):
Central Valley Rep. George Radanovich announced Tuesday that he is stepping down from his strongly Republican district seat next year and has asked state Sen. Jeff Denham, a fellow conservative Republican, to run to replace him.

Radanovich, a 15-year veteran of Congress from Mariposa, said in statement that he wants to spend more time with his wife, Ethie, who is battling ovarian cancer; and his son.

"My family needs me, and I intend to be by their side to win this battle," Radanovich said. "It is for this reason that I have decided to not seek reelection to Congress in 2010."

As Howie points out, though, "Radanovich is hated by the Teabaggers because he voted for Bush's Wall Street bailout," even though "his lifetime ProgressivePunch score on substantive matters is 1.81, making him the 355th most progressive member of Congress. The only CA congressmen with more extreme-right voting records are freshmen nutcases Tom McClintock and Duncan Hunter Jr, plus Buck McKeon, Darrell Issa, Gary Miller, Ken Calvert, Kevin McCarthy and Devin Nunes, all just fractionally."

No sooner had Radanovich slipped back into his political crypt than word surfaced of a possible return from the political dead of an old DWT thug-favorite, "Dirty Dick" Pombo.

Pombo may seek Radanovich seat

Posted at 07:01 PM on Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2009
By John Ellis / The Fresno Bee

After Richard Pombo narrowly lost a 2006 re-election bid in the 11th Congressional District to Democrat Jerry McNerney, he went back to work on his Tracy cattle ranch.

Now, the 48-year-old Republican is thinking about a return to Congress — in George Radanovich’s 19th Congressional District.

“I started getting phone calls last night,” Pombo said today. “Obviously, I haven’t made my mind up on it at all, but it is something that I am considering.”

Already, former Fresno Mayor Jim Patterson and state Sen. Jeff Denham, R-Atwater, have said they will seek to replace Radanovich, and Fresno City Council Member Larry Westerlund has been calling potential supporters about a run.

But the addition of Pombo would add a whole new dimension to the race. He was a seven-term lawmaker in Washington D.C. who rose to become chairman of the House Resources Committee, which writes environmental laws.

Earlier this year, Fresno County agricultural interests frustrated with Radanovich contacted Pombo about running. Pombo said he declined at the time because he did not want to challenge a sitting Republican.

But with Radanovich’s announcement Tuesday that he will retire after this term, Pombo said he is now seriously considering a run for the seat.

“I don’t miss the politics,” Pombo said. “I miss the policy side of it. Obviously California needs some help.”

Pombo said he expects to make a decision within in the next week.

Despite early threats that he would return, Pombo has been basically out of politics in recent years. Last year his Rich PAC collected nothing and paid out $26K+ in PAC legal fees plus a dribble of small gifts.

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