JOHN SHADEGG CAUGHT WITH HIS PANTS DOWN IN AZ-03-- ANOTHER CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT COMES ON THE BOARD
John Shadegg, Arizona's most tone-deaf congressman
Paradise Valley and Scottsdale have a major water problem-- the water that comes out of the tap isn't fit for human consumption. Freshman Democrat Harry Mitchell is working frantically on a solution with the EPA; he represents Scottsdale. The 6-term congressman with all the seniority and clout though, Republican John Shadegg, who represents Paradise Valley, is AWOL on this.
Apparently Shadegg, a doctrinaire wingnut with an eye-poppingly extremist voting record, and a great deal of ambition, got enough of a scare in 2006 from Herb Paine's $93,000 campaign to be preoccupied with building a war-chest to fight off much better-financed Democrat Bob Lord. Shadegg isn't used to being seriously challenged and until last year his margin of victory has never been below 60%. The red-leaning suburbs north of Phoenix (Barry Goldwater's home district) are turning away from the kind of extreme radical right politics that are in Shadegg's DNA and towards normal moderate solution-oriented politics. Janet Napolitano took AZ-03 with a bigger percentage than her statewide win-- and the district voted down the anti-gay amendment in 2006 by a much wider margin than the whole state did. Shadegg's response to the changing dynamics? Stack the deck, cheat like a mutha, and try to steal the election!
Today's Arizona Republic reports what could turn into a very serious problem in a Rick Renzi political/ethics world.
The Arizona Democratic Party is accusing Republican U.S. Rep. John Shadegg of using his political-action committee to skirt laws that limit the amount of money donors can give a candidate.
Democrats say they have drafted a complaint to the Federal Election Commission, but Shadegg maintains nothing was done improperly and doubts whether the FEC will take action.
At issue is money that elections records show was transferred from Shadegg's political-action committee into his election campaign.
Two Valley businessmen who made the maximum allowable individual donations to Shadegg's campaign in 2007 also wrote additional $5,000 checks to Shadegg's PAC, Leadership for America's Future. Eleven days later, on June 26, the PAC wrote two identical $5,000 checks to Shadegg.
Normally, such a transfer would not be noticed among thousands of dollars in contributions. But in the same reporting period, Shadegg's PAC received no other contributions and paid out only the $10,000.
Democrats accused Shadegg of using the PAC to avoid laws that prohibit donors from giving more than $2,300 to a candidate's re-election campaign in an election cycle.
Keep in mind that in 2006 Shadegg spent over a million dollars-- more than 10 times what Paine spent-- to wind up with his smallest victory ever. Bob Lord, the current candidate, seems like a DLC type insider and if his website doesn't mention any issues-- in good old Rahm Emanuel DCCC tradition-- it is certainly all about his fund-raising prowess. Lord is actually out-raising Shadegg, which probably explains why Shadegg is going to shady criminal elements to finance his endangered re-election bid.
While Bob Lord had his biggest quarter so far, John Shadegg's momentum has apparently slipped. Congressman Shadegg's recent filing was $120,000 less than his second quarter filing, representing nearly a 40% drop. More telling, small dollar donations only represented 5% of Shadegg's total contributions while PACs represented almost 20%. John Shadegg's average contribution was over $1,500 compared with Lord's average contribution of $330. John Shadegg also still appears to be dependent on out-state-dollars with at least 40% of his money coming from outside of Arizona.
Surprisingly, John Shadegg took another $5,000 from the Services Group of America, Inc PAC. This PAC represents Thomas Stewart a convicted campaign money launderer. In 1998, Stewart was convicted of 25 counts of illegally funneling corporate funds totaling $100,000 into a Congressional campaign in Washington state. As part of his sentence for illegally financing a Congressional campaign, Stewart was forced to pay a $5 million fine, wear an electronic monitoring device during his home confinement and perform 160 hours of community service.
UPDATE: SHADEGG HAS BEEN LOCATED
Instead of tending to the water problems of his constituents in Paradise Valley, Shadegg was carrying water for John McCain in New Hampshire and South Carolina. That's right, Shadegg is ignoring his constituents' direst of needs-- safe drinking water-- so he can campaign for John McCain in other states. McCain might want to look into fixing the water problem too. After all, the willy-nilly, over-development that caused it was pretty much created by him and his pals over the past 2 decades. But he's too busy campaigning for the Bob Dole role of 2008-- and Shadegg is praying for a back-up plan after Lord kicks his ass out of Washington.