Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Flake’
October 24th, 2012 at 8:17 pm
How to Lose a Close Election
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No, I’m not talking about the abortion dustup in Indiana’s U.S. Senate race , where I’m not sure the Republican candidate is as embattled as the media thinks (reason #1: members of the coastal media and members of the Indiana electorate might as well be from different species).

Rather, I’m referring to the U.S. Senate contest in Arizona, where Democrat Richard Carmona — a former Surgeon General in the administration of George W. Bush — has managed to run surprisingly close against Congressman Jeff Flake, a laudable champion of limited government. There’s been some mud thrown by both sides in recent weeks, but the newest development is a self-inflicted wound from Carmona. From a blog entry by Daniel Halper at The Weekly Standard:

“Obesity is the terror within,” Carmona told a University of South Carolina audience in early 2006, according to a wire report from then. “Unless we do something about it, the magnitude of the dilemma will dwarf 9-11 or any other terrorist attempt.”

Will Arizona — the state that gave us Barry Goldwater — really send a man to the U.S. Senate who regards the ice cream freezer of your local grocery store as more menacing than an Al Qaeda training camp? Count me skeptical.


February 18th, 2011 at 5:44 pm
U.S. House Unleashed

The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberly Strassel describes perfectly the triumph of democracy that House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) made possible this week by opening up the budget bill to floor amendments from anyone.

Neglected questions were once again asked. Should we get rid of federal funding for the arts? Should the government be designating federal monuments? What’s the role of NASA? And Congress finally got to air some dirty secrets.

One of this week’s more symbolically rich cuts came from Arizona’s Republican Jeff Flake, who won an amendment erasing $34 million for the National Drug Intelligence Center in Johnstown, Pa. The center, despite serving no real purpose, had been protected for decades, via earmarks, by the late Defense appropriations chair John Murtha.

A little later, Strassel identifies the best aspect of Boehner’s new regime:

This week’s exercise forced members to read the underlying spending bill; to understand the implications of hundreds of amendments; to remain on the floor for debate; and to go on record with votes for which voters will hold them accountable.

Indeed, John Murtha and corrupt legislative processes are dead.  Long live this new era under Speaker Boehner’s new House rules where members of Congress can finally earn their money.

September 21st, 2009 at 4:47 pm
Letter to White House on Tariffs
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Jeff Flake, arguably one of the strongest supporters of the free market in Congress, has just sent a letter to the White House regarding President Obama’s recent decision to impose tariffs on Chinese imports.

Here is the link. The text is below.

The President
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

I write to raise concern about your recent decision to impose tariffs on imported Chinese tires pursuant to a petition filed by the United Steelworkers of America under Section 421 of the Trade Act of 1974.

In an opinion piece highlighting the G20 summit in March of this year, you stated that “we should embrace a collective commitment to encourage open trade and investment, while resisting the protectionism that would deepen this crisis.”  Unfortunately, it is difficult to see how exercising your discretion to impose trade restrictions on imported tires from China is consistent with this sentiment.  Given the upcoming G20 summit in Pittsburgh, the timing of this decision is troubling.  Rather than showing U.S. leadership in the global effort to encourage open trade, your decision runs the risk of giving other countries the green light to take their own protectionist measures that could stall a global economic recovery.

Beyond the global implications, your decision could set in motion a troubling trend in our bilateral trade relationship with one of our strongest trading partners.  The tire tariffs represent the first time restrictions have been imposed under Section 421.  While other trade laws do not require presidential involvement, duties imposed under Section 421 reflect the direct orders of the U.S. president, which might help explain China’s reaction. It is difficult to interpret the Chinese government’s initiation of antidumping proceedings against U.S. chicken and auto product exports as independent of your actions on tires. Your decision to impose duties on Chinese tires is likely to encourage other domestic industries to file their own petitions for relief under Section 421. The potential for an endless cycle of U.S. restrictions and subsequent retaliation from China is the last thing our economic recovery needs.

Finally, it is worth noting that the domestic tire industry was conspicuously absent from the Section 421 petition.  Given the economic importance of vibrant export markets for our products, it is critical that the Administration avoid even the appearance of U.S. trade policy being based on political calculus rather than comprehensive, pragmatic, and forward-looking economic analyses.

I respectfully request that, based on these concerns, you reconsider the decision imposing protectionist tariffs on Chinese tire imports.  I appreciate your attention to this request, and please do not hesitate to contact me should you like to discuss this matter further.