Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Harry Mitchell's Veterans Bill Creating Some Strangeness In D.C. And Arizona

Congressman Harry Mitchell's H.R. 5740, the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008, while garnering widespread support among his colleagues (250 cosponsors and counting), but it's creating an interesting dichotomy among the Republican members of AZ's Congressional delegation.

[Note: Congressman Mitchell's blog entry about the bill, in The Hill, is here.]

On the one hand, we have John Shadegg (R-AZ3). He is refusing to support the bill, not because he thinks it is a bad bill, but because he hasn't been asked to support it.

On the other hand, Jeff Flake (R-AZ6), who, like Mikey of Life Cereal fame, 'hates everything' related to government spending, may sign on in support of the bill (which, by the way, would be this year's "Phoenix freezes over" moment if that comes to pass :) ).

So, let me get this straight - John Shadegg, the hand-shaking, baby-kissing, industry PAC money-taking, savvy politician (his retire/unretire two-step earlier this year notwithstanding) is telling the 56,000 veterans in his district to get stuffed, while Jeff Flake, the putative anti-government crusader, who is almost physically incapable of supporting anything that has even a hint of a whiff of help for the average American, veteran or otherwise, is considering throwing his support behind Mitchell's bill?

Shadegg shouldn't be surprised when his challenger, Bob Lord, says "thank you" to him.

That's because he understands that many (most??) of CD3's veterans will also have a couple of words to say to Shadegg when Election Day rolls around, and while the second word will be "you" also, the first one won't be "thank."

Nope, not even close.

BTW - am I the only one who thinks that "I can't support it because I haven't been asked to" is the epitome of pissy?

BTW2 - During his 2006 campaign against JD Hayworth, more than once I used a 'workhorse vs. showhorse' analogy when comparing Mitchell to Hayworth. Bills like H.R. 5740 show why this is still accurate - the bill isn't showy, it's just solidly professional and effective legislation and governance.

Compare those qualities to most of the Republicans in Congress or running to replace Democrats there.

'Nuff said.

Bob Lord's campaign website here.

Lord press release on the topic, courtesy PolitickerAZ, here; more Lord press releases on this subject here and here.

Richard Grayson's chronicle of Jeff Flake's extremist ideology and ineffective representation of his district here (Grayson is mounting a campaign for the CD6 seat.)

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