Wednesday, November 7, 2007

John Shadegg forms Reagan 21

Hmmm, didn't see that supposed Reagan stalwart, Rep. Ron Paul, who so many conservatives are righteous about supporting, in this list of members.

To: Shadegg Friends
From: Congressman John Shadegg

Last week I was joined by a bicameral group of my Republican colleagues to announce the formation of Reagan 21, a national organization dedicated to integrity, principle, and freedom. The Wall Street Journal covered this announcement which you can read here or below.

The choices for America have never been clearer. On almost every issue, Democrats and the left are promoting more government ownership and control, pushing America closer to a welfare state. All of the Democratic Presidential hopefuls are running on a decidedly collectivist and socialistic leaning platform. The Democrats want socialized medicine and more federal control of our schools. They are committed to raising taxes and expanding federal government programs. They will increase the burden of regulations and taxes on the American people, cost American jobs, and reduce America's competitiveness around the world. Democrats will once again weaken our nation's defenses and intelligence systems, while continuing to hold Americans hostage to foreign oil. They will seek citizenship, government benefits, and voting rights for illegal aliens. And Democrats will appoint liberal judges who will replace America's traditional values with government's directionless secular views.

Americans need a clear alternative to the Democrats radical agenda. Reagan 21 is composed of individual Americans, including Congressmen and Senators, who are committed to fight for Reagan's principles of liberty and America's vision of individual freedom, free enterprise, and common-sense traditional values. Its goal is to give Americans a positive choice in 2008 by restoring the integrity, optimism, and leadership of the Republican Party. Republicans must, once again, fight to keep taxes low, stop wasteful government spending and political earmarks, rebuild a strong defense, make America more competitive with a simpler tax code and regulatory system, promote health care choices for every American, open America's energy reserves, stop illegal immigration, and appoint judges who will uphold the Constitution and protect American values.

These are the principles of liberty that will once again make the party of Ronald Reagan the party that will guide America's future.

Reagan 21 will serve as a guidepost for Americans who believe in holding elected officials to the highest standards of conduct and the policies of tax reform, budget and spending reform, entitlement reform, ending earmarks, providing greater choice in health care and focusing on our national security.

Americans need to know that there are some in Congress, and across the country, still committed to freedom, and anyone who shares these principles will be welcome to join Reagan 21 and participate in its activities.

The other members of Congress who worked to create Reagan 21 and recruit other members were Senators Tom Coburn (OK) and Jim DeMint (SC), and Congressmen John Campbell (CA), Jeb Hensarling (TX), Tom Price (GA), and Paul Ryan (WI).

Others who have now joined include: Michele Bachman (MN), Gresham Barrett (SC), Marsha Blackburn (TN), Eric Cantor (VA), Jeff Flake (AZ), Virginia Foxx (NC), Trent Franks (AZ), Patrick McHenry (NC), Marilyn Musgrave (CO), Peter Roskam (IL), and Lynn Westmoreland (GA).

I encourage you to join us in this effort. You read can more about Reagan 21 by going to

Is the Party of Reagan Dead?
By Susan Davis
October 31, 2007

Sen. Charles Schumer today declared the era of Ronald Reagan to be in its final throes. At the same time, a group of 21 conservative members of Congress announced they are putting the band back together.

Schumer, who chairs the campaign committee to elect Democratic senators, said the 2008 election is poised to create a seismic shift in politics and put the nail in the coffin of Reagan conservatism. "To me this could be a seminal election," Schumer said at a briefing for reporters. "They occur about once a generation, they change the tectonic plates of politics and they create a generation where one party dominates. In 1932 Roosevelt did it. In 1980 Reagan did it - and we're about at the tail end of the Ronald Reagan era." The New York senator, who has endorsed the other New York senator (Hillary Clinton) for president, summed it up: "We are feeling very good, we are feeling the wind is at our back."

Not so fast, says a small band of conservative lawmakers that includes Sens. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Jim DeMint of South Carolina along with and Reps. John Shadegg (Arizona), Paul Ryan (Wisconsin), Jeb Hensarling (Texas), Tom Price (Georgia), and John Campbell (California). The self-styled revolutionaries announced the creation of Reagan21, and they are "committed to the advancement of a new and invigorated Republican Party for Reagan's principles of liberty and a 21st Century vision for America."

Their policy paper today advocates for a "fairer, flatter tax," as well as a presidential line-item veto, private retirement accounts for Social Security, a repeal of No Child Left Behind, and formal adoption of English as the official language, among others. The lawmakers are also calling for a full ban on earmarks, and have pledged not to make any spending requests. The lawmakers have been meeting quietly since February, and without House party leaders' input.

It is also, perhaps, a sign of conservatives ongoing frustration with the Bush administration - No Child Left Behind is, after all, the president's signature domestic achievement, and Bush's effort to carve out private accounts in Social Security was a disastrous effort on Capitol Hill. It remains to be seen if Reagan can still turn on conservatives in 2008, but Democrats believe Bush will be a more potent liability. Schumer said he views lawmakers who continue to support Bush as "seemingly marching off a cliff" heading in to 2008.

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