Caught Red Lobstered

Yes, there's a scandal going on in the White House, and yes, the Washinton Post shredded Rep. Bob Ney on Tuesday. But don't let those make you overlook the story out from the Center for Public Integrity about House Resources Committee Chairman Rep. Richard Pombo.

Pombo "may have broken the law by not paying taxes on foreign trips paid for by a shadowy private foundation in large part bankrolled by the parent company of the Red Lobster and Olive Garden restaurant chains.... [He] has taken at least two foreign trips costing more than $23,000 that were paid for by the nonprofit International Foundation for the Conservation of Natural Resources."

What does the Olive Garden and Red Lobster care about natural resources? Who knows. The point is Pombo did a Bad Thing:

"Experts on tax issues said the law requires Pombo to return the costs of the foreign trips to the foundation. If not, both the foundation and the member of Congress could face stiff penalties from the IRS."

Look at the names of the other funders of this non-profit: "Monsanto Corp., the Japan Whaling Association, the International Fur Trade Association, the National Trappers Association, the Maryland Trappers Association, Caspian Star Caviar, Sysco Corp., Smithfield Foods, Strauss Veal Co. and the University of Southern Mississippi's Gulf Coast Research Laboratory."

It's a furrer and whaler conspiracy, aided by caviar kings and veal barons.

Pombo is a loathesome character. From his perch on the House Resources Committee, he's been behind the uber worst GOP directives to neuter the EPA. He recently explored the option of selling off some of our national parks. The League of Conservation Voters gave Pombo a 0% rating out of 100 for his work in the 2003-2004 session.

So nice to see that an ally of the delicacy industry might not be around for ever. He's already a target for upending in 2006.


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