Posts tagged ‘Congressman Jeff Flake’

Jeff Flake Rocks

I really like our AZ Congressman Jeff Flake -- the libertarian goodness of Ron Paul without the weirdness and connections to racism.  This is pretty funny, from his site (ht:  Radley Balko)

Washington, D.C., Oct 28 - Republican Congressman Jeff Flake, who represents Arizona's Sixth District, today released the following statement regarding his vote against H.Res.784, a bill "honoring the 2560th anniversary of the birth of Confucius and recognizing his invaluable contributions to philosophy and social and political thought."

"He who spends time passing trivial legislation may find himself out of time to read healthcare bill," said Flake.

AZ and Small Government

One of the good things about living in AZ is that it is the home of several of the unfortunately dwindling number of Republicans who consistently cast votes for lower taxes and smaller government. 

Recently Arizona Congressman Jeff Flake, who I have given props to in a number of columns on this blog, sponsored a series of 19 bills aimed at cleaning up the appropriations process and making it harder for Congress to slip earmarks through the appropriations process, at least without having gone explicitly on the record as having done so. 

The Club for Growth has a scorecard of how each Congressman voted on these bills.  In each case, a 'YES' vote is a vote against pork and a vote to clean up the Congressional appropriations process. 

My Congressman, John Shadegg, who is another reliable small government low tax voter, came through with 19 of 19 'Yes' votes.  Way to go Congressman!

No Surprise Here

Marginal Revolution links to a list of the most corrupt states, measured by the number of government corruption convictions per capita.  I bet you can come pretty close to the top three without even looking.  Here they are:

  1. Alaska.  For all those who want to believe that pork is unrelated to corruption, look no further than the king of pork itself, Alaska, which also turns out to be the king of government corruption.  Kudos to Arizona Congressman Jeff Flake, who is about the only one brave enough in that lost and floundering body to connect the dots between Abramoff, cash-filled tuperware, corruption and pork.
  2. Mississippi.  Who would have ever thought the state best known for being the #1 home of jackpot torts and the home state of the Senator who claims to be above the law would be a hotbed of corruption? 
  3. Louisiana.  Probably the only surprise on the list, since one would expect the home state of Huey Long to be in first rather than third.  Heck, in 1991 the state got to choose between a wanna-be Nazi Klansman and a serially corrupt felon for Governor.  And God only knows where the money that should have been spent on building levees actually went.

Limiting Free Speech Unifies Congress

Anyone who actually believed that McCain-Feingold was about cleaning up politics rather than just protecting incumbent political jobs can now disabuse themselves of that notion.  It has become clear that election finance laws are pure Machiavellian politics, passed by those who think it will work to their benefit (ie help them in the next election) and opposed by those who think they will be hurt by it.  Principle almost never plays a part any more.

On April 5, House Republicans voted to limit the speech of 527 groups, who up until now were exempt from McCain-Feingold speech restrictions.  Republicans generally supported the restrictions, despite years of saying that money does not tarnish politics, because, well because Democrats were better last election than Republicans at raising money via 527's.  Democrats, who historically as a party have supported campaign finance and speech restrictions and eagerly voted for McCain-Feingold, oppose the legislation for no principled reason except that 527's are working for them.  Democrats will therefore likely prevent this bill from passing the Senate.

George Will has a nice column lambasting the Republican Congress:

If in November Republicans lose control of the House of
Representatives, April 5 should be remembered as the day they
demonstrated that they earned defeat. Traducing the Constitution and
disgracing conservatism, they used their power for their only remaining
purpose -- to cling to power. Their vote to restrict freedom of speech
came just as the GOP's conservative base is coming to the conclusion
that House Republicans are not worth working for in October or
venturing out to vote for in November.

The "problem" Republicans
addressed is that in 2004 Democrats were more successful than
Republicans in using so-called 527 organizations -- advocacy groups
named after the tax code provision governing them. In 2002 Congress
passed the McCain-Feingold legislation banning large "soft money"
contributions for parties -- money for issue-advocacy and
organizational activities, not for candidates. In 2004, to the surprise
of no sensible person and most McCain-Feingold supporters, much of the
money -- especially huge contributions from rich liberals -- was
diverted to 527s. So on April 5, House Republicans, easily jettisoning
what little remains of their ballast of belief in freedom and limited
government, voted to severely limit the amounts that can be given to
527s.

He captures a priceless quote that gets at the heart of why Congressional incumbents love these campaign finance laws:

Candice Miller (R-Mich.) said that restricting 527s would combat
"nauseating ugliness, negativity and hyperpartisanship." Oh, so that is
what the First Amendment means: Congress shall make no law abridging
freedom of speech unless speech annoys politicians.

Props, by the way, to my Representative John Shadegg for his no vote, as well as to my favorite Congressman Jeff Flake, who voted no as well.

Congrats to my Congressman

I trash the Congress a lot, but a brief thanks to our local Congressman John Shadegg who was one of only 8 folks who managed a "no" vote against the pork-laden highway bill.  Arizona Congressman Jeff Flake was also one of the eight.

Update:  Flake also wins an award as the only Congressman who did not slip a special appropriation for his own district into the bill.

Kudos to my Congressman

Its never surprising to see Arizona Congressman Jeff Flake or Texas Congressman Ron Paul voting against pork, they are pretty consistent libertarians in their vote.  However, I have only just begun to follow my own Phoenix-area Congressman John Shadegg.  I was pleased to see that he stood up to considerable pressure and opposed the recent pork-filled Highway bill.

Of late, I have felt used by the Republican party, who put on small-government clothes to entice libertarians like me but who have generally abandoned all spending restraint now that they are in the majority.

Jeff Flake Finds More Pork

Arizona has a history of producing some fairly libertarian politicians, and our Congressman Jeff Flake fits that mold.  Via the Club for Growth, Flake points out some more egregious pork:

Washington, D.C. - Arizona Congressman Jeff Flake, who represents the state's Sixth District, today highlighted another pork project contained in the massive omnibus spending bill that Congress passed late last year.  This week's egregious earmark: $1.5 million for a demonstration project to transport naturally chilled water from Lake Ontario to Lake Onondaga.