Shadegg warns new congressmen: Don’t betray the grassroots like we did

TheDC: You need kamikazes, essentially…

SHADEGG: That’s right. You really need people who say, “I am singularly focused on keeping my promises and, even if that hurts my career,” – kamikazes, your term – “even if that appears to hurt my career in Washington, it will advance my career with the people who sent me here, and therefore I’m going to do what they want.” And that then turns out to be the real challenge. It’s the challenge that the class of ‘94, I think, failed.

The class of ‘94 made all these promises, got here… it turned out that a lot of the leaders that led them in making those promises – Newt, Dick, Tom – enjoyed pulling the levers of power and turned out not to be so keen on revolution, were willing to spend, knuckled under to earmarks. For example, Newt started using earmarks and they exploded under Republicans. And then the next thing you know, the whole notion of changing the way Washington works kind of went to the side and we started doing the things Washington had done before. The Contract With America, for example, said that Republicans were going to restore the “bonds of trust” between the American people and the United States Congress. That’s an explicit promise, right in the Contract With America. Well, how do you square that with Duke Cunningham, Bob Ney, and… who’s the lobbyist?