Chutzpah watch

CHUTZPAH WATCH…. Some politicians leave Capitol Hill voluntarily, less fortunate lawmakers depart under less-pleasant circumstances. And then there’s that third category of those leave the Hill humiliated.

Former Rep. Richard Pombo (R-Calif.) is in that last group, which is why it’s a little surprising to see him launching a comeback.

Former Rep. Richard Pombo, R-California, will announce Tuesday that he is running again for the House, two GOP sources confirm to CNN.

Pombo was elected in 1992, but lost his seat in 2006 to Democrat Jerry McNerney. But Pombo is not looking for a rematch against McNerney – instead, he’s running to succeed retiring GOP Rep. George Radanovich, who represents a neighboring congressional district.

Radanovich, who was elected in 1994 and ran unopposed in 2008, has endorsed state Sen. Jeff Denham to replace him. Former Fresno Mayor Jim Patterson has also announced his plans to run for the GOP nomination.

About a month before the 2006 midterms, Pombo was named one of the 10 worst members of Congress, not only for his crusade to “savage America’s natural resources,” but also for his alleged corruption. “Pombo doesn’t let his environmental attacks get in the way of his own profit: He raked in $35,000 from clients of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, and paid his own wife and brother $357,000 for dubious campaign services,” Tim Dickinson noted at the time.

In an eyebrow-raising “ethics retrospective,” Justin Elliott documents just some of Pombo’s history as a lawmaker, which included extensive work with disgraced GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff — and lying about his contacts with Abramoff.

Voters, disgusted, gave Pombo the boot. Now, he’s running in the district next door — perhaps hoping that locals don’t have access to Google.