In his Feb. 27 WorldNetDaily column, Joseph Farah touts is friend Richard Pombo for a congressional seat in California:
I know Pombo well.
There is no one who stands taller for liberty and the Constitution than him.
He cannot be bought. He cannot be co-opted. He is not capable of falling under the spell of the Beltway insiders.
He's just the real deal – a Portuguese cowboy, fifth-generation California rancher who learned about federal attacks on property rights firsthand.
For a guy who supposedly "cannot be bought ... cannot be co-opted" and "is not capable of falling under the spell of the Beltway insiders," Pombo spent a lot of time hanging around bribers and Beltway insiders -- not to mention more than a little self-dealing.
As Talking Points Memo detailed:
- Pombo was videotaped claiming that disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff "never once lobbied me on anything." The AP promptly discovered in billing records that Abramoff had contacted Pombo personally twice, and his associates many more times.
- Pombo's staff appeared frequently in Team Abramoff e-mails discussing free seats at sporting and entertainment events. For example, two tickets to WWF Backlash Live went to Pombo's press secretary in April 2000. Pombo was an important target of Abramoff because of his seat on -- and eventual chairmanship of, thanks to Tom DeLay -- the House Committee on Natural Resources.
- Watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington in 2006 prepared an epic thirteen-count ethics complaint against Pombo, for among, other charges, potentially violating "federal bribery laws by providing legislative assistance to Indian tribes in exchange for contributions to his campaign and political action committee, RICH PAC."
- He was criticized for taking a two-week RV tour of the national parks in 2003 -- and billing the taxpayer for rental fees. Even though his family came along for the ride, Pombo maintained, "It was not a personal trip."
- Also in the good-to-be-related-to-the-congressman file: Pombo paid his wife and brother $357,325 over four years from his campaign fund for fundraising, consulting, and other unspecified services. The Los Angeles Times reported in 2005 that his impressive total put him in league with Tom DeLay.
- In 2004, he sent over 100,000 fliers touting President Bush's environmental agenda -- and that of Resources committee members facing tough reelection bids. One recipient described the letters, which were paid for by the government, as "veiled campaign literature."
- After leaving Congress, Pombo, long the archenemy of the environmentalist movement, got a gig with PR firm Pac/West Communications, which had worked with the congressman over the years on efforts like loosening restrictions on logging in national forests.
Further, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington named Pombo to its list of most corrupt members of Congress in 2005.
But you've never read about any of this at WND -- as we pointed out, Farah and Co. hid Pombo's misdeeds from its readers. All the better for Farah to construct a revisionist history of Pombo's 2006 loss:
Maybe, you say, "Farah, if Pombo is that good, how did he get beat in 2006?"
The answer is simple: Pombo was targeted by millions of dollars from environmental extremist groups who wanted to rid Washington of their No. 1 enemy. Pombo spent most of his time in Washington trying to overhaul one of the most dangerous pieces of legislation in the history of our country – the Endangered Species Act.
Nah, Pombo's ethical problems had nothing to do with it. And if Joseph Farah had his way, you'd never hear about them.
UPDATE: Farah also attempts to fleece his readers by plugging autographed copies of the book he wrote with Pombo, "This Land Is Your Land," for a whopping $99, adding: "Sorry, it's now a limited collector's item." Actually, it's not that limited -- you can buy a good used copy through Half.com for as little as 75 cents. And ifyou simply must have it autographed, there's one for $1.09.