Fenger Pointing

Becky Fenger | August 6, 2008

Becky FengerBoston Tea Party

“History was made today,” an ebullient Congressman John Shadegg, Arizona’s CD3 Republican, noted on Friday, Aug. 1 as he labeled the happenings on the floor of the House a “Boston Tea Party for Energy.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had just adjourned Congress for their 5-week summer break without voting on any gas or energy solutions. After all, at an estimated net worth of $25 million, San Fran Nan can probably fill her gas tank without breaking a sweat on her wrinkle-free forehead. So she ordered the C-SPAN cameras to quit rolling and switched off the microphones and lights. The last thing in the world she wanted was to allow a vote on any drilling for our own oil lest her fellow Democrats would be forced to vote “No” on giving the American public what they have been screaming for (by a 75 percent margin). High gas prices are a turn-on for liberals who want us all out of our cars, anyway.

Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) opposed scurrying home for the summer without addressing Americans’ number one concern, and he and a band of Republicans refused to leave the floor. They started speaking to citizens in the gallery, who cheered their cheekiness and resolve.

shadegg&penceThe Crypt, a Capitol Hill publication with behind-the-scenes reporting, wrote that Republicans can thank Shadegg for turning on the microphones the first time. “Apparently, the feisty Arizona conservative started typing random codes into the chamber’s public address system and accidentally typed the correct code, allowing Republicans brief access to the microphone before it was turned off again.” His speech was a stem winder.

John Shadegg has been a real asset to our delegation. When he was first elected in 1994, I wondered if he could withstand the pressure to dilute his ideals and become one of “them.” Luckily for conservatives, that didn’t happen. If anything, since being persuaded to stay on in Congress after announcing that he was leaving, he has gotten more determined and courageous.

lordAt a candidate forum sponsored by the Sunnyslope Alliance on July 23, I got a chance to hear the ideas of Bob Lord, a Democrat who is challenging Shadegg in CD3. The venue was crowded, and I didn’t get to ask my question of Lord at Q&A time. It is this: “With all the fibs and half truths you are spewing about Shadegg, won’t you have to go to confession?” His first accusation was that Exxon Mobile executives talked Shadegg out of retiring. In fact, it was his friends, U.S. Reps. Pete Hoekstra of Michigan and Mike Pence of Indiana, who got instant signatures from so many fellow Congressmen who could see a real void if Shadegg left that convinced him to stay in the fight.

It was Mike Pence who joined Shadegg at a fundraiser on July 18 that turned into something of a stem winder itself. The food, provided by Jennifer’s Catering, and wine was way above average for these events that are, after all, to raise money for the candidates and not to wine and dine voters. Attendees were interested to hear about the inner workings of D.C., and Rep. Pence is no slouch himself. (He challenged McCain’s Campaign Finance “Reform” Act up to the U.S. Supreme court.)

The men reminded us that, although we may have differences with John McCain, it would behoove us for the good of the country and the Supreme Court to support him.

This was too much for a man in the audience to bear. “I’m telling you now, John Shadegg, to distance yourself from John McCain!” he shouted. “Stay away from him!” Wherein, an imbibing Paradise Valley Town Councilwoman Jini Simpson hauled off and whacked him, saying, “That’s OK; I can hit him because we’re friends.” An onlooker whispered, “That’s why they shouldn’t serve wine at campaign events.” Awww, where’s the fun in that?

Top photo: John Shadegg and Mike Pence
Lower photo: Bob Lord

Courtesy photos