Posts tagged ‘John Shadegg’

If You Have to Go Negative...

Greg Patterson has an interesting post (at least to political neophytes like me) on how not to write a political hit piece.  For example:

The theme of the piece is that Jim Ward is an outsider and that Schweikert is a career politician.  Then lead quote is from...an incumbent Congressman.  Dude, that's awesome.  I like John Shadegg, but he's been in Congress for 16 years.  So Ward is telling me that he's an outsider by showing me that he's been endorsed Arizona's longest-serving Republican Congressman?

My Votes in 2008

Should I Vote?  Yes, probably.  Many libertarians refuse to vote.  They refuse to be party to a choice between Coke-brand statism and Pepsi-brand statism.  I sympathize, and respect their decision.  You won't hear rants form me about the beauty of the right to vote.  But I see two reasons for libertarians to vote.  One is to find ways to register our existence, to try to communicate that just because we don't riot at WTO meetings doesn't mean that a great well of dissatisfaction does not exist among us.  The second reason is ballot initiatives.  While candidate A and B may be equally bad on the freedom scale, there is often a right answer for protecting freedom in the ballot initiatives, and they need your vote.

President:  Libertarian Party Guy.  Yeah, I know his name is Bob Barr.  I don't even care.  I am casting the vote for the idea, not the guy, in hopes that the Republicans, as they rebuild themselves over the next 2 years, might notice there are some libertarians out there looking for a home.  It would be nice to be as excited about a politician as some folks are about Obama, but really, they are excited by their own vision, not his.  We really know little about him, but my sense is that his every instinct about government run counter to mine.  McCain is hardly better, perhaps going Obama one further by matching him on tax increases and economic nuttiness but also throwing in a dollop of conservative restrictions on non-economic civil liberties.  And I think many of us are exhausted by the prospect of another 4 years of foreign-policy-as-penis-extension that McCain promises.

US Congress:  John Shadegg
.  If it weren't for Jeff Flake and Ron Paul, I would say Shadegg is about the best we libertarians can hope for of a major party candidate.  Not perfect (he was one of the ones who knuckled under on the second bailout vote) but pretty good.

County Sheriff and City Attorney:  Whoever is running against Joe Arpaio and Andrew Thomas.  Seriously.  I don't even know their names and I am voting for them.  I am sick and tired of Arpaio's schtick (index of articles here).  Anyone who can go on a crime sweep into the 99% all-anglo tony suburb of Fountain Hills and come out with arrestees who are 75% Hispanic is not even trying to be fair.  Andrew Thomas has had Arpaio's back for years, fighting many (losing) civil rights cases for him and prosecuting his critics in the media.

PROP. 100 Protect Our Homes:  Yes.  I am not sure this is even that relevant.  Prevents the imposition of taxes or fees on the sale of real estate  (e.g. no real estate sales tax).  Not sure if this is even a threat,  but I will usually vote to limit the power of government.

PROP. 101 Medical Choice for Arizona:  Yes.  This proposition would effectively prevent state health care laws like that in Massachusetts that require medical coverage and mandate certain types of medical coverage.  In Massachusetts, my current insurance plan (which I pay for and did a lot of research to uncover) is illegal (because it has a higher deductible that politicians want to allow).

PROP. 102 Marriage:  Big No.  I don't expect to change anyone's mind on this, but I am not in the least threatened by civil marriages of gays, and in fact have a number of friends and family members who have taken advantage of the brief window of opportunity in California to get married to their partner.  I am not sure how this can be a threat to me -- last I checked, my marriage is as strong today as it was before gay marriage was allowed.  This issue is sort of the conservative equivalent of the left's obsession with income inequality.  Conservatives tell folks (rightly) that they should be concerned with their own quality of life and not feel somehow worse if there are people who are wealthier.  But, then they tell us all our marriages are going to be worse because somebody over there who we never will meet is going to marry someone of the same sex.

PROP. 105 Majority Rules "” Let the People Decide:  Haven't Decided.  This is a weird one.  This would require propositions raising taxes to be passed only if the "yes" votes they receive equate to 50+% of the total registered voting population, not just of the people who voted that day.  Basically, it makes it impossible to have tax increases in propositions, which I like.  But it is a terrible precedent -- this is simply not how we count elections.  In particular, the "registered voter" number is almost meaningless.  Requiring a super-majority of those voting would be much better law.  I may well vote yes, because I suspect the next 2 years are going to be a heyday of taxation, but I will sort of feel guilty about it.

PROP. 200 Payday Loan Reform Act.  Yes.  Would un-ban payday loan companies in Arizona.  I have always supported choice, even for the poor and unsophisticated.  Payday loans are expensive, but as we have learned from subprime loans, maybe credit to borrowers with no income or assets should be expensive.  More here.

PROP. 201 Homeowner's Bill of Rights.  No.  Created by a pissed off union in a fit of pique as an FU to homebuilders.  Mandates decade-long warranties on homes, and offers a myriad of opportunities for trial lawyer hijinx.  And what problem is it solving?

PROP. 202 Stop Illegal Hiring Act.  Yes, I think.  Again, this is one of those confusingly worded initiates that like to use triple negatives.  But I believe it is a softening of the Immigration / hiring law that I have long opposed.  (related:  E-Verify reviewed here

PROP. 300 State Legislators' Salaries.  No.  Changed my mind on this.  At first, I thought current salaries were unreasonably low.  But now I think that they should all go out and get real jobs, and make the legislature part-time.  Maybe they'll meet less often.

Shadegg on the Bailout

I missed this excellent interview with my local Congressman, John Shadegg, whom I don't always agree with but is still way better than 99% of Congress:

 

David Freddeso: Is a bailout necessary to save the economy at
this point from complete collapse "” from a major failure of multiple
institutions at the same time?

Shadegg: I think that's the most difficult question that
could be posed under these circumstances, and it's the question that I
have struggled all week to find the answer to. I have talked to a lot
of smart people who know Wall Street, know banking, know the economy
quite well, and you hear different opinions. Some will tell you that it
is absolutely essential. Quite frankly, I'm skeptical about that.

But I think that in some ways the question doesn't matter any more.
Because Secretary Paulson chose to raise the matter in the way he did "”
that is, to go public in a very high-profile way, not just with his
concern, but with a kind of Chicken-Little, the-sky-is-falling kind of
demand "” it became a self-fulfilling prophecy.

That is to say, once the secretary of the Treasury announces to the
world that there is a pending financial collapse, perhaps as great as
the Great Depression, and Congress must act "” he has sent a signal that
essentially tells world markets that Congress must act. I will tell you
that has been one of the most frustrating things about this since the
very beginning...

I can't tell you how many members of Congress were stunned at that
news, and were stunned that none of their local bankers were calling
them. And then they called their local bankers, as I called my local
bankers, and my local bankers said, "I think things are just fine." I
talked to one banker who said, "Gosh, we've got money, and we're
liquid, and we're making a profit. And we're in the market selling
loans, and we've got competitors trying to sell loans against us."

So, at that point, there's a disconnect. Secretary Paulson is
claiming that this is a catastrophe of generational proportions that
could go worldwide. And none of what we were hearing back home matches
that. And I'm not speaking just for myself, but also for many of my
colleagues who were making similar calls. They weren't being called by
their bankers, or by any of the businesses back home saying, "I can't
borrow any money".... If, in fact, Paulson had struck a chord with the
American banking community, wouldn't you think that after he announced
on Friday that there was a crisis of liquidity that threatens the
entire nation's financial solvency and Americans' jobs from coast to
coast, that my community bankers in Arizona wouldn't have been picking
up the phone by Monday morning, if not over the weekend, to say that "I
share the Secretary's concerns"?

 

Congressman Shadegg, What are you Doing?

My Congressman, John Shadegg, is a generally reliable opponent of taxes and expansions of government.  So why is he sponsoring this garbage:

The House last week overwhelmingly approved and sent to the Senate
bipartisan legislation by Congressmen Brad Sherman and John Shadegg to
fund joint research by Americans and Israelis into alternative energy
sources.

"Cutting-edge research by top scientists from the United States and
Israel could reduce our reliance on foreign oil by promoting more
efficient uses of traditional energy sources and by developing energy
alternatives," Sherman said.

The Shadegg-Sherman legislation would establish in the Department of
Energy an International Energy Advisory Board to advise the secretary
on the $20-million-a-year grant program authorized by the bill. The
United States-Israel Energy Cooperation Act would encourage cooperation
on research, development, and commercialization of alternative energy,
improved energy efficiency and renewable energy sources.

Why, why, why?  I understand, but don't accept, the political pressure to increase alternative energy spending (though see here on its effectiveness) but why are we creating yet another program and grant bureaucracy?  And why should the funds not be spent on the most promising research out of the entire superset of possible projects but be narrowly focused on only investing in a portfolio of projects presumably combining US and Israeli citizens?

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!

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.

Good Editorial on Shadegg

Our local paper today had a pretty good editorial about John Shadegg's run for the speaker's position.  Some of this is just the local paper cheerleading the local boy, but I generally agree with this:

the same party that once hailed the tenets of the "Contract with
America" today judges Shadegg, one of the last remaining advocates of
that contract, an outsider. He is a conservative-minded "underdog" in
the race to lead his party members in the House of Representatives. Can
there be starker evidence than this to explain why Republicans are in
the ethical fix they find themselves in today?

Actually, yes.

Republican abandonment of smaller-government principles only partially
explains the current mess. Their political road to perdition - the
nasty taint of ties to manipulating lobbyists; the corruption-enhancing
business of "earmarking" billion-dollar goodies to each other - is far
uglier in the pubic eye than the ephemeral consequence of those
scandals: the loss of their cost-cutting spirit.

I would only add that I rank the loss of the cost-cutting spirit as a bigger loss than does the Republic.  I do agree that John Shadegg is the best candidate running for the Speaker job.

National Review Endorse Shadegg

The National Review has endorsed our own North Phoenix Congressman John Shadegg for the Speaker of the House.  I second the motion.  Though we don't always see eye-to-eye on some of the "social" issues, Shadegg is one of the few consistent voices for small government left in Congress.

Congressman John Shadegg
of Arizona has jumped into the House majority-leader race. He is a
decided underdog and is taking a personal risk by voluntarily giving up
his leadership slot as head of the Republican Policy Committee to
pursue the majority leadership. But fortune favors the bold, and so do
we. At a time of an ethical crisis, when the Republican majority often
seems to have lost direction, John Shadegg is the right man to clean
house and restore the GOP majority to its core principles. We endorse
John Shadegg for majority leader.

No one doubts Shadegg's talent or his principle. While all three
contenders have conservative voting records, Shadegg is a member of the
class of 1994 who never lost the conservative, reformist spirit of that
watershed year. He voted against No Child Left Behind, and, more
recently, against the prescription-drug bill. He has warm personal
relations with the conference's moderates, and is a fresh face at a
moment that cries out for one.

Update:  I am in full support of this statement:

We are bloggers with boatloads of opinions, and none of us come
close to agreeing with any other one of us all of the time. But we do
agree on this: The new leadership in the House of Representatives needs
to be thoroughly and transparently free of the taint of the Jack
Abramoff scandals, and beyond that, of undue influence of K Street.

We are not naive about lobbying, and we know it can and has in fact
advanced crucial issues and has often served to inform rather than
simply influence Members.

But we are certain that the public is disgusted with excess and with
privilege. We hope the Hastert-Dreier effort leads to sweeping reforms
including the end of subsidized travel and other obvious influence
operations. Just as importantly, we call for major changes to increase
openness, transparency and accountability in Congressional operations
and in the appropriations process.

As for the Republican leadership elections, we hope to see more
candidates who will support these goals, and we therefore welcome the
entry of Congressman John Shadegg to the race for Majority Leader. We
hope every Congressman who is committed to ethical and transparent
conduct supports a reform agenda and a reform candidate. And we hope
all would-be members of the leadership make themselves available to new
media to answer questions now and on a regular basis in the future.

Beyond this statement, I will say that until the government gets out of the game of distributing spoils, of sacrificing one group to the interests of the other, of taking from one person and giving to another, and of controlling how we as individuals make decisions in every aspect of our lives, corruption will never go away in government.  Some men will always be willing to bribe and cheat to use the government to get over on other men, and their victems will be forced to do the same to defend themselves.

It's Alive

Yes, it has a stake in its heart along with a couple of silver bullets, but a number of members of Congress are attempting to reanimate the broadcast flag.  I celebrated its demise here, perhaps prematurely.  I am sad to say that my Congressman John Shadegg, according to Boing Boing, seems to be among the twenty Frankensteins responsible for this effort.  I have given props to Shadegg a couple of times, and now I have to express my deep disappointment in him.

I know, I know. We keep killing
this thing, and it keeps on coming back. But the important thing is
that we keep killing it. Us. They put tens of millions of bucks into
this bid to make technology subservient to the superstitious fantasies
of venal film execs, and we killed it by sending thousands and
thousands and thousands of letters, calls, and faxes to DC. We made it
happen. We'll make it happen again. They're not going to win this one,
EVER

Porkbuster Letter

Porkbusterssm

Here is a copy of the letter I sent to my representative John Shadegg as part of the PorkBusters campaign:


Representative
John Shadegg
Arizona
3rd District

306
Cannon H. O. B.

Washington,
DC  20515

Congressman
Shadegg:

I
am a blogger who lives and runs a business in your district.  I know
that you were one of only 8 people in Congress to vote against the
recent pork-laden highway bill, something I congratulated you for on
my blog.  I now want to encourage you to continue fighting to reign
in government spending.  I am frankly flabbergasted to see the
current Republican leadership in Congress working so hard to resist
fiscal sanity, and am amazed that the Republican Party could have
drifted so far from its philosophical roots.

I
know that there are tremendous pressures on you to play the game with
everyone else in Congress, and bring home your share of pork to your
district.  Often those in your district will root for you to cut
other people's pork but not their own.  Let me say that I am totally
supportive of your cutting our 3rd district pork first, as
a message that everyone needs to contribute to the spending cuts the
President has called for to pay for Katrina-related expenses.  You
are probably aware that many of us in the blogging world have banded
together in the "Porkbusters" effort to signal our desire to cut
pork by identifying our own local earmarks for cuts first.

Technorati tag:  .

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.