Pombo won’t run again; takes lobbying group chair

pombo2007.jpgFormer House Resources Committee Chairman Richard Pombo, R-Tracy, who was unseated last November by Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, has announced he’s the new national chairman for the Partnership for America, which refers to itself on its Web site as “a large national grassroots education and advocacy organization that lobbies for greater public access to public lands, reform of the Endangered Species Act and less reliance on foreign energy.”

And that means he won’t be in the running to regain his seat in 2008, an option he’d not foreclosed until now.

“I spent 14 years in Congress fighting for what I believe in and doing what I knew was right,” Pombo, 46, said in a news release. “But the fight is far from over. I plan to continue to fight against those special interests that want to lock up and restrict the people’s access to their land; that abuse environmental laws in order to take away people’s property rights and individual liberty; that stand in the way of economic freedom and more American jobs; and that work to keep America addicted to foreign energy by blocking America’s ability to produce more American energy.”

Pombo also will continue on as a senior partner at PAC/West Communications, an Oregon-based public affairs consulting group with GOP ties that he joined earlier this year. At that time, he’d said he was still considering whether to run again next year.

Pombo couldn’t immediately be reached for comment today, but Environment and Energy Daily‘s E&ETV has a video clip of an interview with Pombo about the new job and his decision not to seek office in 2008. There’s a transcript here.

The Partnership for America evolved out of the Partnership for the West, a Colorado-based coalition of mining, logging, ranching and recreational groups founded by Jim Sims, who now serves as PFA’s senior adviser. Sims in 2001 was President Bush’s communications director for the National Energy Policy Development Group — Vice President Dick Cheney’s energy task force, which was roundly criticized and sued for its secrecy. Earlier, Sims spent 12 years as a senior staffer to various Republican U.S. Senators. He’s also now president of Policy Communications Inc., a public affairs/lobbying firm with which the PFA shares a Golden, Colo., office suite.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • John Larry

    Maybe he shouldn’t of set up San Joaquin County Supervisor Lynn Bedford. That is why a lot of other people would never vote for him.

  • Tom Benigno

    The bad seed of bermuda grass was planted years ago in politics in the San Joaquin Valley and now has another face. Richard Pombo was just one of those offshoots of the volatile weed that still exists in politics by the name of Leroy Ornellas.

    Ornellas replaced Bedford as supervisor of the 5th district in the San Joaquin Valley, and is in his illegal third term on this date, December 12th, 2009.

    The down fall of Lynn Bedford was just one person who got in the way of those volatile weeds. I was another victim of that reign that still exists.