“Eco-Thug” Loses to Idealist, Helped by President Bush

A charming story yesterday in the LA Times by Faye Fiore looks at how an idealist named Jerry McNerney, unwanted by the Democratic Party, living off his savings, backed by over a thousand volunteers, defeated the "eco-thug" Richard Pombo, the notoriously anti-enviro Congressman from the Tracy area in CA, despite millions of dollars spent in his district by Republicans.

How did he do it? Well, he had the backing of the Sierra Club, the National Wildlife Fund, and numerous other enviro organizations…and over a thousand volunteers.

Plus, the President came to the district. With Bush’s poll ratings in California well below the one-third approval mark, that probably was a bad idea…but of course, the Current Occupant seems to think that he can overturn bad ideas with the sheer force of his personality.

We all know what happened. But we didn’t know until this story what McInerney said to Bush and Laura when he shook hands with them at the White House after his victory.

Not intimidated by authority, [McNerney] shook Bush’s hand at the White House soiree and thanked the president and the first lady for visiting his district, which he believes helped him more than it helped Pombo.

That had to sting.

Published by Kit Stolz

I'm a freelance reporter and writer based in Ventura County.

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