We take Congressman-elect Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, at his word as he heads to Washington, D.C., to be indoctrinated as our representative. There, with the lobbyists ringing the Capitol, he will meet and be greeted by the Democratic leadership, including Speaker-to-be Nancy Pelosi, who sank $100,000 into McNerney’s campaign when there appeared to be a 50-50 chance to send Republican Rep. Richard Pombo back to his Tracy ranch.
McNerney wants to bring his expertise on alternative energy to Capitol Hill to help shape the nation’s energy policy. If he gets a seat on the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, McNerney will meet and be greeted by energy executives, including those of Big Oil, which he campaigned against. Energy lobbyists aren’t enamored to one political party; they’ll offer gifts to anyone with a vote that they can sway their way.
McNerney has pledged to never accept gifts from lobbyists, never take trips at their expense, never hold secret meetings with lobbyists and have no “outside financial relationships.”
We applaud his conviction to avoid the K Street mob. However, Congress is filled with sinners, and McNerney will be tested even before he is sworn in because fundraising for the 2008 campaign began the day after the 2006 election. If it took millions of dollars to snatch this seat, it will probably take millions to keep it.
As we did with Pombo, we will record McNerney’s transgressions. Perhaps we won’t have anything to report. That will be unique.