Endangered Species Act coauthor wants to oust fellow Republican Pombo

Former Rep. Pete McCloskey (R-Calif.), coauthor of the 1973 Endangered Species Act, is considering a 2006 primary-election run against the man who wants to kill it: Rep. Richard Pombo (R-Calif.). McCloskey, who served in the House from 1967 to 1983, has denounced Pombo’s proposed rewrite (read: weakening) of the keystone environmental law, currently fast-tracked for a House vote. He accuses Pombo of losing touch with his Republican roots and kowtowing to his campaign contributors rather than representing his constituents. The septuagenarian moderate says he’ll move to California’s 11th congressional district himself if another viable Republican challenger doesn’t turn up. “This is an administration which has repeatedly derogated or suppressed scientific opinion which opposed the agenda of the politicians,” said McCloskey. As for Pombo’s recently floated idea of selling off national park sites to help balance the budget, McCloskey said, “It’s so transparent … these guys are selling the store.”