Thursday, February 02, 2006

Boehner - A Little More Lipstick on the Pig

John Boehner (R-OH) has been selected as the House Majority Leader, replacing Tom DeLay (R-TX). And while Boehner is a better selection than Roy Blunt (R-MO), he is not much better, and he is not John Shadegg (R-AZ).

Boehner is a solid conservative who campaigned on cleaning up corruption in the Congress. But Boehner's dark side is not to be ignored. He passed out campaign contribution checks from lobbyists on the House floor in 1995, and his PAC, the Freedom Project, raised $31,500 from Jack Abramoff's tribal clients since 2000.

Passing out tobacco checks is just plain stupid. And on any other day, the link to Abramoff clients would not have bothered me so much, but the whole purpose of this election was for the Republicans to divorce themselves as much as possible from the appearance of influence by lobbyists such as Abramoff.

Boehner may be a very qualified individual, but we were looking for more than just ability to do the job. The goal was to have an effective leader who could also help slough off the appearance that Republicans are under the influence of lobbyist dollars. Shadegg could have done that. He remains an idealist and reformer at his core. As the chairman of the House Republican Study Committee, Shadegg could have restored the credibility that followed the Republicans into Congressional control in 1995.

And while we're better off than we were with Roy Blunt, who was a deputy to DeLay, we cannot declare that we have thrown aside all vestiges of the very thing which the Dems will use to attack us this November.

It's half a change. Let's see if it makes half a difference.

UPDATE

Katherine Jean Lopez over at The Corner adds these comments by Shadegg. But then again, what the heck else would he say?

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