Following up on our post last week about potentially disastrous Endangered Species Act amendments introduced by Congressman Pombo (whose district includes Morgan Hill), we were concerned to see the Congressman listed as one of "The 13 Most Corrupt Members of Congress" by an organization called Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
While general ethics issues are beyond our normal focus as an environmental organization, two of the charges against Rep. Pombo relate to land use. One concerns opposition to regulations for wind power, where Pombo's family gets royalties from windmills. The other concerns potentially destructive highways that Pombo wants built that could greatly increase the value of land that he has. The East Bay Express provides additional details, including yet another destructive highway that could be built over the pristine Mount Hamilton range (a proposal CGF has consistently opposed).
We would be very concerned if the attempt to weaken the Endangered Species Act were related in some way to making it easier to harm the environment on Pombo family property. This concern may need investigation.
CGF contacted Congressman Pombo's office for a reaction to these stories. The very nice person we talked to there said that the group making these corruption claims is a politically motivated attack group and that their claims don't hold water. We did not get a more specific response, but if we do, we will be sure to post it.