McCain Endorses Shadegg for Leader

Maverick Republican Sen. John McCain today endorsed his fellow Arizonan, Rep. John Shadegg — throwing a new quirk in the race for House majority leader, which will be decided tomorrow in a private meeting among Republicans.

Although McCain has at times bucked the GOP (most notably on campaign finance reform), Shadegg welcomed the endorsement from his home-state senator. (HUMAN EVENTS first reported on January 12 that Sen. Jon Kyl would support Shadegg.)

"I appreciate having Sen. McCain’s support today because he is a long-time advocate of reform in this area," Shadegg said. "Neither of us discovered this issue in the past few weeks or months. Both of us understand that real reform means more than tightening bureaucratic rules, it means fundamental changes to the way Congress does business."

McCain joined Shadegg for a joint news conference this afternoon in the Capitol. They spoke about the need to enact earmark reform — an issue President Bush addressed last night in his State of the Union address.

"Bringing sunshine and openness to our earmark process should be our first priority," Shadegg said. "Powerful members of Congress should never be able to slip provisions into bills in the dead of night to benefit their cronies or special interests."

Shadegg has offered a five-point reform plan in the wake of the Duke Cunningham and Jack Abramoff controversies. It includes:

  1. Earmark reform
  2. Reforming the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act to discourage abuse
  3. Serious budget process reform
  4. Ending taxpayer-funded pensions for public officials convicted of bribery
  5. Holding a vote on a ban on Internet gambling

HUMAN EVENTS will have more coverage of McCain’s endorsement shortly Stayed tuned to for the latest on the House majority leader race.