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Brian Bilbray and the company he keeps.

Observations from the Edge
Robert T. Nanninga
Coast News
May 12, 2006


Just when it seemed the ongoing saga of the 50th district during the reign and replacement of Randy Duke Cunningham had covered all the bases of clueless gall, Brian Bilbray revealed his true intent with the announcement that he has enrolled the Vice President of George Bush's America, Dick Cheney, to campaign on his behalf. What is Bilbray smoking?

Dick Cheney is a lying piece of corporatist flesh.

Asking Darth Cheney to put in a good word for you is the intellectual equivalent of going quail hunting with the man. Someone is going to get hurt, and that person is not the vice president.

Dick Cheney is all about oil and war, and wars for oil. Cheney wants to expand oil drilling along the California coast. Dick Cheney wants you to vote for Brian Bilbray.

Yes ladies and gentlemen, not only is Brian Bilbray a former city councilman, former mayor, former county supervisor, and former congressional representative, he is proving to have learned very little in his climb up the political ladder. Dick Cheney represents the politics of oil extraction, partisan posturing, and poisonous patriotism. Dick Cheney does not represent the best interests of California's 50th district.

Dick Cheney represents Halliburton and Dick Cheney wants you to vote for Brian Bilbray.

This is the same Dick Cheney, who crafted the Bush Administrations energy agenda with the help of a secret cabal of energy industry officials. Notice how Bilbray does not like to talk about his time as an energy industry lobbyist. As soon as Bilbray lost his seat in congress he filed as a Washington lobbyist, SDG&E/Sempra was one of his clients. This is the same SDG&E that is trying to string 19th century energy transmission lines across the backcountry through endangered habitats.

During the 2000 campaign cycle Bilbray received $48,000 from the energy sector. Bilbray also received more than $40,000 from the energy sector during each of the 1998 and 1996 cycles.

Shortly before being trounced at the polls by Democrat Susan Davis in the 49th district, then Congressman Bilbray sponsored The Fairness in Electricity Supply Act of 2000. Authored by Congressman Bilbray, the fairness in Electricity Supply Act of 2000 gave private-and investor-owned utilities like SDG&E/Sempra the same purchasing advantage enjoyed by public power agencies. In 2002 Brian Bilbray was paid $40,000 by SDG& E for Lobbying services rendered.

Former San Diego Mayor, former US Senator, and former California Governor, Pete "Energy Deregulation" Wilson, the political patriarch of the rolling blackouts and price gouging of 2000 and 2001, wants you to vote for Brian Bilbray as well.

SDG&E/Sempra wants you to vote for Brian Bilbray.

Randy Duke Cunningham wants you to vote for Brian Bilbray, as does Karl Rove, Newt Gingrich, Daryl Issa, and Tom Delay. Corruption as usual wants you to vote for Brian Bilbray. Xenophobic Warmongers for Jesus want you to vote for Brian Bilbray.

George W. Bush, the war president, wants you to vote for Brian Bilbray.

What I don't get is how Bilbray expects to be an agent of change, while campaigning as the ultimate insider. Known more for the company he keeps rather than the moderate Republican corporatist he is and the registered lobbyist he was. More polished than Randy Duke Cunningham, the only change Brian Bilbray represents is the level of finesse with which Bilbray works the federal system of graft and governance.

I also don't understand how Bilbray who campaigns on a tough on illegal immigration platform can be comfortable being endorsed by fellow republicans calling for amnesty of approximately 23 millions illegal immigrants. Or say he will fight for clean air and water knowing Dick Cheney and George W. Bush have done everything they can to dismantle a century of environmental regulation.

Expecting Brian Bilbray to talk about environmental issues, and his impressive rating with the League of Conservation Voters during his first three stints in congress, he instead throws rhetorical stones at immigrants while his friends remind voters how well connected their buddy Brian is, and of his support for the Bush Administration during its final two years.

I think Brian would be proud of his record of supporting environmentally friendly legislative policy, such as the Kyoto Agreement, the Safe Water Drinking Act, the Border Smog Reduction Act, and the $10 million Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Program. Why won't Bilbray talk about those things now?

I wonder why Brian Bilbray won't talk about his work for Bajaqua Project, LLC while in congress and afterwards as a lobbyist. Perhaps it has something to do with his ties to Dick Cheney and a no bid contract to build a wastewater treatment plant in Mexico. We will never know, as Bilbray is not talking.

Judge a politician by the company he or she keeps.

Dick Cheney wants you to vote for Brian Bilbray.

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