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Dan Schaefer, R.I.P

A quiet but solid conservative Republican in Congress for 16 years (1982-98), Dan Schaefer died April 16 at age 70 after a long battle with esophageal cancer.
 
A graduate of Niagara University of New York and a U.S. Marine from 1955-57, Schaeffer settled in Colorado after his discharge and pursued careers as a high school teacher and a public relations executive. Elected to the state house of representatives in 1976 and the state senate in ’78, he compiled an across-the-board conservative record.

The Centennial State’s 6th District (suburban Denver) was created after the 1980 census and, in 1982, elected Republican Jack Swigert, the Apollo astronaut who brought a disabled capsule back to earth, as its first congressman. During the campaign, Swigert revealed that he was battling cancer. He won easily, but died before he could take office. (A statue of Swigert in his spacesuit represents Colorado in the U.S. Capitol today.) Enter Schaefer, who won the GOP nomination and subsequent special election with ease.

A fervent supporter of Ronald Reagan, Schaefer (lifetime ACU rating: 90%) became chairman of the House Commerce Committee’s energy and power subcommittee when Republicans took control of the House in 1994. In that capacity, he led the charge for deregulation of the electric power industry and opening up the industry to market competition. Schaefer’s plan for a more open and competitive electric industry included permitting every state to allow consumers to choose their power providers.

In 1998, Schaefer declared that his mission was accomplished. The free world had won the Cold War and the budget was getting into balance. Therefore, he was retiring from office and returning to Colorado. In his final political move, the retiring congressman campaigned against his state’s Proposition B, which asked taxpayers to return some of their tax surplus refunds and thus help Colorado balance its budget. Nothing doing, declared Schaefer, pointing out that taxpayers deserved to keep their refunds under the state Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.

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John Gizzi has come to be known as â??the man who knows everyone in Washingtonâ? and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on whatâ??s going on in the nationâ??s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as â??Gizzi on Politicsâ? and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of â??Gizziâ??s America,â? video interviews that appear on HumanEvents.com. Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. Johnâ??s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com

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