"Environmentalists' Nemesis Richard Pombo Returns To Politics"

"It's enough to give environmentalists fits.

Richard Pombo is back.

For 14 years, Pombo held a special place in the hearts of America's environmental movement somewhere next to Capt. Joseph Hazelwood of the Exxon Valdez and the hunter who shot Bambi's mother.

A Tracy cattle rancher whom President George W. Bush nicknamed "The Marlboro Man," from 1993 to 2007 Pombo represented the 11th Congressional District, which runs from Morgan Hill to Danville along the east side of I-680 and includes farm towns like Manteca and Lodi.

He introduced bills to expand offshore oil drilling, rewrite the Endangered Species Act, increase logging on public lands and limit federal agencies from restricting pesticides. He advocated more commercial whale hunting, and famously wrote in a 1996 book that environmental regulation "owes more to communism than to any other philosophy."

After environmentalists spent more than $1 million to help Democrat Jerry McNerney, a former wind energy executive, upset Pombo in 2006, green groups thought he was done.

But this week Pombo, 49, is sprinting to the finish line in a race to resurrect his political career. He's running in the Republican primary in what may be California's hottest congressional race of the June 8 election — a four-man contest to succeed retiring Rep. George Radanovich, R-Mariposa, in the 19th district."

Paul Rogers reports for the San Jose Mercury News June 1, 2010.

Source: San Jose Mercury News, 06/02/2010