June 09, 2010

Election losses for ethically challenged Gov. Gibbons and Former Rep. Pombo

By CREW Staff

Yesterday, two ethically challenged candidates, incumbent Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons and former Congressman Richard Pombo, faced voters. Both lost.

Last month, CREW named Nevada's Governor Jim Gibbons one of the nation's worst governors, noting these charges:

  • Violated campaign finance law by accepting illegal corporate donations
  • Allegedly assaulted a waitress
  • Overlooked ethical lapses of his appointee
  • Misused state resources in pursuit of an extra-marital affair
  • Endangered his state’s economy by threatening to reject federal stimulus funds
  • Has been investigated for his conduct as a member of Congress

Yesterday, primary voters in his state weren't too fond of him, either:

Gov. Jim Gibbons, whose 42-month tenure has been one of near constant adversity, saw his political career end with a whimper Tuesday, as Republican voters roundly rejected his bid for a second term.

Gibbons, whose public service began as a fighter pilot in the treacherous skies over Vietnam, was elected governor just as Nevada was about to enter the worst economic crisis in its history. His tenure was marked by a principled stand against most tax increases, but also a tabloid personal life, an endless stream of gaffes and questionable appointments, and a lack of engagement even as the economic crisis worsened.

Pombo was trying to make a comeback in Southern California after losing his seat in Northern California back in 2006. Rep. Pombo was widely criticized on ethics issues during his final term in office. In 2005, Pombo made CREW’s list of the 13 “most corrupt members of Congress.” (Click here to find out what earned Pombo such dishonorable recognition by CREW.)

Yesterday, as TPM's David Kurtz pointed out, Pombo became a "has been":

Former Rep. Richard Pombo (R-CA), a TPM fave and bête noire of environmentalists, sputtered across the finish line in third place last night in the Republican primary as he sought to return to Congress.

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