California House race, 19th Congressional District

Richard Pombo is back!  He antagonized environmentalists as chair of the House Resources Committee (he even removed the word “Natural” from the committee’s name) until 2006, when he got beat by a renewable-energy booster. For his comeback attempt, he’s carpetbagging from the 11th Congressional District, site of his ignominious defeat, to the adjacent 19th, which is more rural and Republican. In the GOP primary, to be held on June 8, he’ll be up against state Sen. Jeff Denham, who has been endorsed by the retiring seat-holder, Republican George Radanovich. Enviros are aghast to see Pombo back in the ring, particularly as a win could return him to his former spot as senior Republican on the (now re-re-named) Natural Resources Committee, where he could resume his agenda of drilling everywhere, selling off national parks, and rolling back the Endangered Species Act. But as the 19th District is deeply conservative and solidly Republican, enviros aren’t likely to get a candidate they’re excited about even if Pombo loses.