John Shadegg for Majority Leader

Up until a few weeks ago, if you had asked me if I cared about who the House Majority Leader was for the Republicans, I would have looked at you like you had two heads. Sure, I’m politically wonky, but internal GOP leadership struggles? Please.
But that’s because I was being a bit of an idiot, and more to the point, not paying enough attention to the genuine battle over reform that is playing out in the leadership race. I’m not a diehard GOP partisan, and I don’t think of the Good of the Party as a goal in itself. But I do believe in limited government; in expanding transparency and openness in the functioning of Congress; in limiting the power of lobbyists and raising the power of individual citizens. And of course, I believe in the corrupting influence of “pork” earmarks, and the need to clean up both those small fiscal disasters, as well as the larger budgety issues weighing down our national finances.
The Majority Leader race is turning out to be a referendum on exactly these principles. In one corner, as the frontrunner, you have Roy Blunt, who took up the reigns from Tom Delay and whose campaign slogan might as well be “business as usual”. And on the other end of the spectrum, John Shadegg, who is leading a small but growing revolt among members who recognize that for the good of the GOP, and of the Congress and nation, it’s time for real change, and real reform. (Somewhere in the middle is John Boehner.)
I don’t warm to politicans all that easily. But Shadegg, with 97% rating from Citizen’s Against Government Waste on pork issues, impressed me with his anti-pork credentials. And his answers to our questions on policy and reform were good ones, showing not just a grudging acceptance of the need for a reform, but a real passion for it. And lastly, if intangibly: listening to the way he handled himself on the blogger call, I just plain liked the guy. He spoke candidly and openly; seemed honestly interested in answering questions, and sincerely committed to the ideas he was championing.
As Glenn points out in his own post in support of Shadegg, it is pretentious for a blogger to declare an “endorsement”, especially for a leadership race in which nobody but Congressmen can vote. But for whatever it’s worth, Shadegg has my endorsement, and my support.
It isn’t my support that Shadegg needs, however. He needs Representatives, and most particularly: he needs the members of the Republican Study Committee, the conference of diehard conservative Republicans which he once chaired — and he needs all of them. Many RSC members endorsed Roy Blunt before Shadegg entered the race, but have not yet publicly committed to support their former leader.
Even as somewhat of an outsider to hardcore conservative activism, I can see how baffling it is for RSC members to not be supporting Shadegg as the standard-bearer for limited government and reform at this crucial time. And if you’re equally confused, there’s something you can do.
The list below shows RSC members who are currently stated as endorsing Roy Blunt, along with their DC and district office numbers. Pick up the phone, give them a call, and urge them to give Shadegg their support. Especially if you are in their state, or even better, their district.
The next few weeks may well determine both the course of the Republican party for years to come, and the chances for real and meaningful reform in the way Congress does about business. If you care about either, pick up the phone, and help John Shadegg get the support he needs.

State Representative DC Office District Office
MO Akin, Todd 202-225-2561 314-590-0029
LA Alexander, Rodney 202-225-8490 318-445-0818
MD Bartlett, Roscoe 202-225-2721 301-694-3030
TX Barton, Joe 202-225-2002 817-543-1000
TN Blackburn, Marsha 202-225-2811 901-382-5811
AR Boozman, John 202-225-4301 479-782-7787
TX Brady , Kevin 202-225-4901 936-441-5700
TX Burgess, Michael 202-225-7772 972-434-9700
IN Burton, Dan 202-225-2276 317-848-0201
MI Camp, Dave 202-225-3561 998-631-2552
TX Carter, John 202-225-3864 512-246-1600
OK Cole, Tom 202-225-6165 405-329-6500
TX Conaway, Mike 202-225-3605 325-659-4010
TX Culberson, John 202-225-2571 713-682-8828
KY Davis, Geoff 202-225-3465 859-426-0080
VA Davis, JoAnn 202-225-4261 757-874-6687
FL Diaz-Balart, Mario 202-225-2778 305-225-6866
CA Doolittle, John 202-225-2511 916-786-5560
PR Fortuno, Luis 202-225-2615 787-723-6333
TX Gohmert, Louie 202-225-3035 903-561-6349
VA Goodlatte, Bob 202-225-5431 540-857-2672
CA Hunter, Duncan 202-225-5672 619-579-3001
CA Issa, Darrell 202-225-3906 760-599-5000
LA Jindal, Bobby 202-225-3015 504-837-1259
GA Kingston, Jack 202-225-5831 912-352-0101
TX McCaul, Mike 202-225-2401 512-473-2357
NC McHenry, Patrick 202-225-2576 828-327-6100
PA Murphy, Tim 202-225-2301 412-344-5583
NC Myrick, Sue 202-225-1976 704-362-1060
TX Neugebauer, Randy 202-225-4005 806-763-1611
GA Norwood, Charlie 202-225-4101 706-733-7066
PA Pitts, Joe 202-225-2411 717-393-0667
TX Poe, Ted 202-225-6565 409-212-1997
TX Smith, Lamar 202-225-4236 210-821-5024
OK Sullivan, John 202-225-2211 918-749-0014
CO Tancredo, Tom 202-225-7882 720-283-9772
NC Taylor, Charles 202-225-6401 828-251-1988
GA Westmoreland, Lynn 202-225-5901 770-683-2033
MS Wicker, Roger 202-225-4306 662-844-5437
SC Wilson, Joe 202-225-2452 843-521-2530