CD11: Pombo endorses Goehring





Former GOP Rep. Richard Pombo of Tracy has endorsed Clements winegrape grower Brad Goehring in the four-way 11th Congressional District Republican primary.

Pombo’s endorsement comes as no big surprise. They share similar conservative views on environmental issues and both come from agricultural backgrounds. Pombo helped Goehring fight the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in a dispute over a wetlands permit. And Pombo’s campaign manager, Carl Fogliani, ran Pombo’s unsuccessful 2006 campaign.

But the timing is curious.

Why so late in the election? I suspect there was considerable debate over whether Pombo’s endorsement will help or hurt Goehring. Pombo’s high-profile loss four years ago, coupled with the significant damage environmental groups inflicted on his candidacy, splintered his GOP support.

History is one thing. The present has its own issues.

Goehring is running as the candidate with the deepest roots in the 11th District, a fourth-generation farmer whose family immigrated from Germany in the early 1900s. He views two of his opponents as opportunistic carpet-baggers who just moved into the district (Tony Amador) or don’t even live in the district (David Harmer.)

But like Harmer, Pombo is also running for Congress in a district in which he does not live. Pombo is locked in a a four-man congressional contest to succeed retiring Rep. George Radanovich, R-Mariposa, in the 19th district.

We’ll see soon enough if roots and residency matter with voters.


Pollster says Pombo bad for Republican Party



Flashreport blogger Jon Fleischman posted this item late last night citing a very interesting push poll memo from the 19th Congressional District, where former GOP Rep. Richard Pombo has declared his candidacy for the seat held by retiring Rep. George Radanovich.

Dave Gilliard, the campaign consultant for the other major Republican candidate in this race, state Sen. Jeff Denham of Merced, commissioned the poll from Public Research Strategies based in Redondo Beach.

Gilliard and the pollster conclude that Pombo is bad for the Republican Party, citing high negative poll numbers after voters were informed about a variety of Pombo’s problems when he served as the 11th District representative.

“Based on these survey findings, it is our opinion that former Congressman Richard Pombo is very unlikely to win the Republican Primary in the 19th District,” the memo said. “Further, if he were to win the primary election, it is our opinion that much of the Republican base would not stay with him and make Republicans have to spend significant money to keep this Republican Congressional seat in the Republican hands even with the very comfortable registration margin.”

As Jon writes, “Who says politics isn’t a contact sport?”

Read on for Gilliard’s email, which you can find in its entirety and all of Jon’s comments on FlashReport. Or you can click through at the bottom of this post, where I have pasted the full memo text.


TO: Interested Parties

FR: Dave Gilliard

Public Opinion Strategies just completed a poll in CA 19. A memo from the pollster is attached. The bottom line is that Jeff Denham starts with strong name ID and positives as well as a significant lead on the ballot test. When voters learn of a single fact – the Radanovich endorsement of Denham – Denham’s lead over Pombo expands to 38 % to 11 %. That lead becomes insurmountable once voters learn about both major candidates. It is also clear that Richard Pombo’s candidacy is very harmful to the Republican Party in 2010.

Continue Reading


Bill Jones’ daughter looking at CD19

Andrea Jones, the daughter of former California Secretary of State Bill Jones, is seriously considering a run for the soon-to-be-open 19th Congressional District, a seat her father was considering until a few days ago.

Bill Jones put out a statement earlier this week that he would not seek the office held by retiring Rep. George Radanovich, R-Mariposa.

“Andrea Jones has been approached by business and political leaders and has her own extensive resources to run a good campaign,” said her spokesman Hector Barajas. ” I think it is safe to say she is in the deliberation process. She has the credentials, as an executive at ABC News and communications person for John McCain. It also helps that she actually lives in the district and was born and raised there.”

Others who have declared their CD19 candidacies in the Republican primary include former Rep. Richard Pombo of neighboring District 11, state Sen. Jeff Denham, R-Atwater and former Fresno Mayor Jim Patterson.

Neither Pombo or Denham live in the district but it is not required. The U.S. Constitution states the members of Congress must reside in the state from which they are elected, not the specific district.


Bill Jones won’t run for congress

Former California Secretary of State Bill Jones says he will not run the congressional seat held by retiring Rep. George Radanovich, R-Mariposa.

Jones had been talking with politicos over the past few days about entering the race. But in this email sent out a few minutes ago, Jones says his personal and business responsibilities would leave him with insufficient time to serve in Congress.

Radanovich has already endorsed state Sen. Jeff Denham, R-Merced. Former Rep. Richard Pombo of Tracy announced his candidacy on Tuesday and former Fresno Mayor Jim Patterson is considering a run.

Here is what Jones had to say:

FRESNO- It has been an honor to have served the people of California over the last 20+ years. During that time my highest priority has been to deliver on the reforms needed for our state in a way that reflects honor and integrity for the Central Valley.

Given the enormous challenges we currently face on our economy and water, over the past few days I have seriously considered becoming a candidate for the 19th Congressional District. Based on my past service, the most important criteria in my decision was the time commitment required in order to overcome these challenges and achieve the reforms that we need to build a strong economy for the future. It quickly became clear that due to my current business responsibilities and my very important family commitments with five wonderful grandchildren, I do not have the time required today to represent the people of the 19th Congressional District in the manner that they need and deserve in Washington, D.C.

I want to extend my deepest appreciation to everyone for your outpouring of support over the last few days. On behalf of Maurine and my family, we want to extend our best wishes to the entire Radanovich family who will stay in our thoughts and prayers both now and in the future.


Enviros resume anti-Pombo drumbeat

Richard Pombo

Richard Pombo

Environmentalists are like elephants: They have long memories.

The League of Conservation Voters this morning resurrected its campaign against former Rep. Richard Pombo, who announced he will seek an open neighboring congressional seat this year. (Republican Rep. George Radanovich of Fresno announced his retirement.)

After seven terms in office, Pombo lost the 11th District in 2006 to Democrat Jerry McNerney,  in very large part because national environmental groups put the man they viewed as their arch nemesis in their well-funded sights.

Here is the league’s newest press release:

Don’t Call It a Comeback: Pombo Announces Candidacy for CA-19

Former Rep. Hopes to Save Special Interest Friends in Time of Need

WASHINGTON – Today, Ex-Rep. Richard Pombo (R-CA) announced he will make a comeback attempt in an open House seat that neighbors the district he lost in 2006. During his Congressional tenure, Pombo was widely viewed as one of the most corrupt Members and was chair of LCV’s 2006 list of Dirty Dozen candidates.

LCV Senior Vice President of Political Affairs Tony Massaro released the following statement on the announcement:

“Perhaps Richard Pombo still owes a few favors to his special interest friends he’s been known to represent and, rather than risk alienating his corporate contributors, he hopes to hoodwink a new district in order to deliver them. The fact is that voters rejected Pombo’s Bush-era policies. Californians want new clean energy jobs not more industry bailouts, yet his abysmal voting record proves that he will side with corporate polluters over a cleaner, more sustainable future for California every chance he gets.”

Pombo-by-Number (you connect the dots): Continue Reading


CD19 a potential Dem pickup? Not so likely.

So Rep. George Radanovich, R-Mariposa, announced last month that he’ll step down at the end of his term, and endorsed state Sen. Jeff Denham, R-Atwater – first a candidate for lieutenant governor, then for the Assembly – to succeed him in the 19th Congressional District.

But former Fresno Mayor Jim Patterson may be in the GOP primary for that seat as well, and former Secretary of State Bill Jones of Fresno is reportedly considering a run, and today we learn that former Rep. Richard Pombo, R-Tracy, is launching a campaign as well. It’s looking to be a crowded Republican field.

All this in a district in which Republicans lead Democrats in voter registration by 6 percentage points (after a 5-point decline in GOP registration since early 2004) and in which President Barack Obama lost to Republican presidential nominee John McCain by 6 percentage points in 2008.

So could a divisive, costly primary splinter the GOP base enough to let a Democrat pick up this seat? Not likely, by most accounts.

The Democrats don’t have much of a bench there, and the DCCC seems more likely to be spending its resources to protect endangered Democratic incumbents this year rather than waging uphill pickup battles. Despite the GOP’s slowly waning registration numbers, Radanovich has won his last five elections handily, with more than 60 percent of the vote; there wasn’t even a Democratic candidate opposing him in 2008.

And, whoever emerges from the GOP primary – however ugly it gets – is likely to have great name recognition in the district: Denham survived a Democrat-led recall effort in his overlapping state Senate district; Jones is a longtime state elected official who challenged U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer in 2004; and Pombo already has been to Congress as a committee chairman.

Taking a quick turn around the progressive netroots, James L. at the Swing State Project doesn’t seem to think the district is in play; Steve Singiser at Daily Kos doesn’t mention Democrats at all; and Robert Cruickshank at Calitics seems to think the district is in play only if Pombo is the nominee, letting Democrats re-use the 2006 playbook.

Nevertheless, expect some jockeying for position among local Democrats in coming weeks, and after a Republican wins this seat next November, watch carefully to see how the district’s lines are redrawn in the 2012 reapportionment.