I'm certainly aware of Arnold's ties and stands, but am getting the impression from many of the posts on this thread that Pombo has also sold his soul. That is the part that is news to me. He had always struck me as someone who is strong on property rights issues.
Not exactly. Dick Pombo is old school. He thinks a person ought to be able to do anything with their land they wish, as long as it does no harm to someone else. The problem is that he, like many conservatives AND extreme environmentalists, want to be able to define for everybody else what constitutes actionable harm. Principle on his list of "good things" is the ability to develop one's property. Unfortunately, there are a good many people upon whom he would depend for support to reform of the ESA who would place development at the top of their list of harmful activities. Nobody. outside his immediate group of supporters, is going to buy his definition.
So, to get what he wants so that his friends and family can cash in, he'll apparently compromise. Unfortunately, the devil lies in those details, including selling out those property owners who don't want what he does.
Therein lies the rub. What he doesn't understand, and would not accept until forced to think about it, is that while the principles he espouses are true, he doesn't understand them terribly well as regards managing competing risks among externalities. I wish I could sit that guy down for a few hours over a few beers and get him to get it, but at this late date, he's so frustrated with these issues I'm not sure he would care about what I had to say.