Here's one thing we don't have against the idea of Richard W. Pombo returning to Congress: He'll be a carpetbagger in the Central Valley district where he's planning a comeback. That might not be a high compliment, but at least it doesn't mean he's an incapable candidate.
It's the other things we know about Pombo -- that he's rabidly anti-environment, ethically challenged, overly eager to hand public resources to private corporations -- that worry us and were among the reasons a Democratic challenger was able to oust the seven-term Republican from his reliably GOP seat in 2006. Endorsement season hasn't started yet, but we don't need a campaign to know that Pombo would not contribute anything useful if he rejoined the House of Representatives.
Could he have been bitten by a marmot as a child? Pombo's attacks on environmental protections make it easy to believe he has some kind of personal grievance against nature. He sought to eviscerate the Endangered Species Act, a goal he vows to pursue if elected in a new district. He also proposed selling off 15 national parks and offering federal lands to mining interests at bargain-basement prices. His Deep Ocean Energy Resources Act would have opened huge stretches of the coast to drilling and slashed the royalties that companies pay for shale-oil leases, which could have cost taxpayers billions.