Blogger Conference Call with John Shadegg

TTLB’s N.Z. Bear has organized a blogger conference call with each of the three candidates for House Majority Leader. First up was John Shadegg, who represents Arizona’s 3rd District.

Other participants:

Henke is recording the session, which will be available for download shortly. [Update: LINK ]

Shadegg’s introductory remarks: He admits that he is “dark horse” and and “insurgent candidate” and says he would not be able to be a viable candidate without the support of the Right-leaning blogosphere for cleaning up the mess in the House. He reiterated the theme of his op-ed in yesterday’s WSJ that his focus will be more sunshine and a smaller government, and returing to the goals of the 1994 Republican Contract with America. He believes the GOP leadership needs to “get back to fulfilling that promise” and an “aggressive agenda” of making government smaller and more efficient. The thics and corruption issue is “distracting America from our agenda” and we need to restore public confidence in short order.

My impressions: Shadegg was quite impressive. He’s clearly a True Believer in the Goldwater tradition of Arizona libertarian conservatives. His opening remarks and his responses to questions were well-thought-out and showed an easy command of the issues.

I’m still not sure that he is in a tactical position to win the race, but have more faith that it is at least a possibility.

My quick-and-dirty real-time transcript of the Q&A session is below the fold.

Update: Reactions of other participants will be added as they come in.

  • Mike Krempasky:”He was engaging, candid, and confirmed why he’s clearly the choice not only of RedState – but by almost everyone *outside* of the establishment.”
  • Michelle Malkin: “I was impressed by Shadegg’s candor and passionate committment to limited government (he actually broached the need to reexamine the Medicare debacle, criticizing both the White House and anti-means-testing Democrats), and he’s on the right side of immigration enforcement/national security issues.”
  • LaShawn Barber: “The man sounded sincere and straightforward to me.”
  • NZ Bear has compiled a list of Questions for the Candidates
  • Ed Morrissey discusses all three calls in one post, endorsing Shadegg at the end.


Note: Unless in quotation marks, this is my best attempt to paraphrase.

LaShawn Barber: Immigration position? He supported bill that passed.

(Unidentified): Republican Liberty Caucus. “Borderline libertarian” but disagrees with RLC on drug legalization. Long record on having fought for restricting government. Enumerated Powers Act first major attempt at legislation, trying to remind Members that Congress has specific, limited powers. We need to get back to doing only what the Constitution allows us to do.

(Unidentified): Do you support applying the Freedom of Infomation Act to COngress? Yes. Caveat: Privacy of constitutents who write letters and such should be protected.

Dale Franks: Have you called for “educational travel” exception to ethics rule? Yes. “Complete ban…doesn’t go at root of problem…abuse of govt power.” “Trips that are boondoggles..are outrageous.” “Bureaucratic restrictions” won’t solve problem. He took trip to Yucca Mountain and learned a lot. It might be that public funding of these trips is the solution.

Michelle Malkin: Who funded Yucca trip? Nuclear industry. We stayed at Motel 6 and did no golfing. Maybe public funding of trips would be better for public perception. But Members need to learn what they need to learn.

Hugh Hewitt: Which opponent corrupt? Roy Blunt. Shortly after elected Majority Whip, inserted language in Homeland Security bill to benefit Philip Morris at time when he had relationship with them.

HH: Do you have any senior Members supporting? Yes. Chairman of Judiciary Committee has endorsed.

Mike Krempasky: Comment on Blunt providing office space for pharma lobbyists during Medicare bill? “It is absolutely inappropriate.”

John Hawkins: Does endorsement by NR, Human Events, and right-leaning bloggers matter? Or just who offers what to whom? It does matter. We have plenty of time to take our message to the American people. We have stopped the momentum of the other candidates, who were about to go “over the top” and pretty much assured no one will win on the first ballot. Members who had already committed before I got into the race are shifting now that conservatives are making the case for me and some are shifting their support to me.

(Unidentified) Is there fear of backlash by Members given the power of the other candidates? Yes. All the candidates realize Blunt’s power will be substantial regardless of how this turns out.

Malkin: Should we means test the prescription drug program? Absolutely. We need to admit that this is a welfare program and it should not be “a program Bill Gates can take advantage of. That’s insane.”

NZ: Referring to news flash on OBL video (see next post): Did you support Dept Homeland Security in its present form. Yes and it was a mistake. Not convinced we’ve moved the ball forward. We have, perhaps in spite of this “window dressing solution,” done a good job of stopping further attacks in USA.

HH: Are reports that terrorists have crossed Mexican border reliable? There are definitely non-Mexicans crossing and “we would be foolish to think some of them aren’t terrorists.”

HH: Did you support president/s NSA program? Never got asked but I do support it.

Krempasky: Record on overturning House Rules that disadvantage conservative protest against compromise bills. Long list of times when he and similarly minded Members did so.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Randall B says:

    His campaign must be in SERIOUS trouble if he’s wasting his time with a bunch of bloggers!

  2. Yes, Randall. How dare a representative of the people waste his time by talking to the people.
    ::end sarcasm::

    We found the questions and Rep. Shadegg’s responses refreshing as opposed to the doubletalk we usually get from members of our government and the MSM. We need change in our government and Rep Shadegg sounded like the only one of the three who wasn’t happy with the status quo.

  3. Porkopolis says:

    Representative Shadegg has a lot of explaining to do on his involvement with a transfer of federal land to two lobbyists in Arizona.

    See ‘ reminds us that Representative Shadegg cosponsored federal land transfer to lobbyists’ and the blog roll entitled ‘Special Series: Western Cotton Research Lab’ at the same blog for full details.