Campaign 2010

Feb 10, 2006

NEW WEB AD: On The Road Again - Richard Pombo Takes Taxpayer Funded Vacation

DCCC Press

Feb 10, 2006

NEW WEB AD: On The Road Again – Richard Pombo Takes Taxpayer Funded Vacation

To Add to His Long Record of Ethical Violations and Abuses of Office, Now Congressman Richard Pombo Takes a Family Vacation -- WITH YOUR TAXPAYER DOLLARS

Visit: to Learn More

Cost to Taxpayers for the Pombo Family Vacation: $4,935.87

Pombo’s Dishonest Explanation: Family Vacation or Business Trip? Setting the Record Straight:

  • Pombo Says it was a Family Vacation: “This August, my family and I rented an RV and set out to explore the West. We spent two weeks on vacation, stopping along the way to enjoy the splendor of many of our national parks.” [AP, 2/10/06]
  • Then Pombo Says it was a Business Trip: “Pombo, said the $4,935 cost of renting the RV was a legitimate expense because the purpose of the trip was to meet with park personnel and learn about park issues he oversees as chairman of the committee.” [AP, 2/10/06]
  • His Own Words: Pombo claims he was working, meeting with park officials. “‘I saw it as the cheapest way possible to get in and actually look at these parks…It was not a personal trip.’” [San Francisco Chronicle, 2/10/06]
  • But Park Officials Don’t Remember Meeting with Pombo. “But officials from at least two parks Pombo says he visited have no recollection of him making an appearance”. . . “I was working in the park then and can’t confirm that a meeting like that ever took place. I generally remember the congressmen that come here,” said Joe Zarki, a spokesman at Joshua Tree National Park . . . [Tracy Press, 2/10/06].
  • The Truth? Richard Pombo Took an Expensive Family Vacation at Taxpayer Expense: Rep. Richard Pombo defended Thursday his use of taxpayer money to ferry his family on “vacation” to several national parks in the West, saying he used the trip to conduct official business at the parks, which he oversees as chairman of the House Resources Committee. [Tracy Press, 2/10/06]. (Washington, D.C.) – Today, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released a new web ad alerting California voters to the fact that Rep. Richard Pombo took a family vacation across America in an expensive RV, and stuck taxpayers with the bill, calling it a “business trip.” The new web ad also details the long Pombo record of unethical and dishonest behavior while in Congress. The ad shows how much money Pombo has taken from special interests in the oil and gas industry, while California families are still paying record gas prices and driving on overcrowded freeways. Today’s web ad runs through the many and assorted ethics allegations and scandals that have plagued Congressman Pombo in recent years. Here are just a few examples:
  • Congressman Pombo’s family received royalties of $125,000 from the wind power industry – the same industry Pombo helped by killing environmental restrictions.
  • Nearly 200,000 pieces of taxpayer-funded campaign mail sent to voters in targeted political states, endorsing Bush initiatives in the weeks leading up to the 2004 presidential election; and
  • $8,050 in campaign contributions received from individuals connected with sweatshops in the Marianas Islands, which Congressman Pombo has refused to investigate. The reality is that Congressman Pombo’s family vacation is just the tip of the iceberg. California taxpayers paid for a two week comfortable jaunt through the beautiful national parks of the Western United States for Congressman Pombo and his family. If Congressman Pombo gets to have American tax dollars pay for his family vacation, maybe Pombo will return the favor and start paying for the family vacations of his California constituents? “Congressman Richard Pombo’s taxpayer funded family vacation is an abuse of his office and only further calls into question his ethical behavior,” said Bill Burton, communications director at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “The truth is that Pombo’s double-talk on his vacation is just the latest example of his record of dishonesty with the California families he represents. While people in his district are paying record gas prices and traveling on the most crowded freeways in history, Pombo sticks them with the bill for his RV trip across America.”