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Bye bye Bilbray. There's a new kid in town.

Observations from the Edge
Robert T. Nanninga
Coast News
May 1, 2008


It's no secret I am not a fan on Congressman-turned lobbyist-turned carpetbagging Congressman Brian Bilbray. A stranger to the 50th District in which he was elected to serve, days after taking office in Washington he voted with the Bush Administration to open San Diego Counties coastal waters to oil exploration. I am no fan of Brian Bilbray because Bilbray is no friend to the environment, his term is up and it is time for him to go.

Replacing Bilbray in November would be a Green dream come true. The last thing the coastal communities of San Diego County need is Brian Bilbray running around Congress looking to gain favor for corporate clients on our dime. Did I mention he's a professional lobbyist?

Thankfully there is a Democrat on the June ballot that offers an easy alternative to the empty suit style of Bilbray's snake oil brand of politics. The people of the 50th District would be well served by getting to know Nick Leibham as he is the best chance voters have of correcting their mistake of electing Brian Bilbray in the first place. Did I mention Brian Bilbray voted to drill for oil off the coast of San Diego County?

Nick Leibham is an affable guy, courteous and well dressed. Having talked with him on several occasions, I walked away looking forward to watching him debate Bilbray on all the issues. As a former prosecutor Leibham is perfectly suited for taking on "the ethically challenged" Bilbray.

From La Jolla to Carlsbad, San Marcos to University City a lot of issues have gone ignored by Mr. Bilbray as he plays lapdog to Big Brother and the Bush Administration.

Going on line at www.PICKNICK08.com, I wanted to see his public stand on the issues. What immediately caught my attention was the fact that he links energy and the environment together. He had me at:

"A secure and prosperous future requires a healthy planet with enough energy, water, clean air, and natural resources to provide for all of us. Our increasing dependence on fossil fuels will not help us achieve this future. For national security and environmental security, we need to change our energy policy and foster innovation."

Recognizing the San Diego region as a hub for clean technology industries working to harness renewable solar, wind, bio-mass, and hydrogen energy resources, Nick Leibham clearly understands future focus and the economic potential of a sustainable communities and energy independence.

Going to Bilbray's re-election web site www.bilbrayforcongress.com He lists only three issues; Stopping Illegal Immigration, Balancing the Books, Ending the Back Room Deals, all of which he has failed to support though his congressional vote. Not on his list is the environment, in fact as the this writing the word "environment" is left out entirely as is anything relating to energy policy.

Also not mentioned on Brian Bilbray's re-election site is his support of the Deep Ocean Energy Resources Act of 2006 HR 4761, ending the 25-year moratorium protecting California's coastline and providing for the exploration, development, and production activities for mineral resources in California's coastal waters.

Residents of San Diego's North County need congressional representation that is focused on environmental innovation and economic possibilities. Nick Leibham could be that guy.

You decide.

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