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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Bring Shadegg In From the Cold

Congressional leadership elections are usually the ultimate form of insider's baseball and thus usually are of little interest to sane people who don't commute each day to a job on Capitol Hill.

But the race a few weeks ago for House Majority Leader turned into a national story when Rep. John Shadegg, R-AZ, entered, vowing major reforms in the way Congress does business.

Shadegg received 40 votes on the first ballot and ended up throwing his support to the ultimate winner, Rep. John Boehner, R-OH. There is virtually no doubt that Boehner would not have won without Shadegg's support.

Indeed, there is little doubt that Shadegg's entry in the race turned the election into a referendum of sorts on the GOP Establishment in Congress. Shadegg and Boehner both ran on promises to shake things up but the Arizonan made the race of national interest.

So what now for Shadegg? House leaders on the GOP side of the aisle would be wise to bring Shadegg into a visible position in their ranks. Doing so would put some meat on their vows to get serious about cleaning up congressional ethics.

Not doing so will give the lie to those vows in the most vivid possible manner.

Tim Chapman at Townhall.com's Capitol Report has more thoughts on this topic here. Chapman says there is talk along these lines among the House GOPers he covers. Stay tuned.