Live from Reno, it’s Saturday (Night)!

The Conservative Leadership Conference has been underway since Thursday.  While Sonoran Alliance isn’t “live blogging” from the site, other good conservative bloggers are.  The Arizona connection is that the Honorary Chairman of the CLC is Congressman John Shadegg.  The engine behind CLC is the indefatigable, conservative-extraodinare Chuck Muth.  It’s been his goal to build a “CPAC for the West.”

Edward Morrissey’s “Captain Quarter’s” blog (one of the big –time national blogs in the conservative movement) is live blogging on the speeches and presentations at CLC.  His coverage of the previous couple days has been exhaustive and worth the read.

Here is his take on Congressman Shadegg’s speech this afternoon.  And he’ll have coverage of J.D. Hayworth’s speech later this afternoon.


John Shadegg addresses the CLC after an introduction by Rep. Dean Heller (R-NV), who sat on yesterday’s 2008 prognostication panel with me. Heller calls Shadegg a “true exception” to the stereotype of politicians who lose their way once they get to Washington. I met with Rep. Shadegg earlier this morning, and I found him very approachable, humble, and gracious, so that description seems particularly apt…
[Shadegg] also complimented the CLC organizers for sticking to their guns and holding the conference this far outside of DC…
When they reached DC in 1994, people warned that the Beltway would change them, and not the other way around. Shadegg says they were proven right; they became the party of Jack Abramoff and earmarks. The culture of corruption eroded their credibility and their efficacy. Freshman Republicans were told to spend 98% of their time raising money, and to load up on earmarks for their home districts.
“There is no amount of money in the world that will elect a party without principles.” By 2006, the Republicans became the Washington they intended to defeat in 1994.
We still have to clean our own house first. Republicans need to exemplify a standard of conduct that will allow them to regain the trust of the electorate. That means abandoning incumbents who act unethically. It means real reform, real transparency, and a thorough house-cleaning that will set an example the Democrats simply won’t meet.
Shadegg hits Democrats especially hard on earmark reform. They have championed a process that will only make earmarks transparent after they spend the money. Without transparency, earmarks and their corrosive effects cannot be stopped. They will still have the ability to manipulate the voters and Congress through the exploitation of taxpayers funds.
Shadegg is a very effective speaker, and he has everyone’s attention. I haven’t heard him speak in person before, and I’m very impressed. Sean Hackbarth called the speech “further confirmation that the Republicans chose the wrong leadership,” and although I think John Boehner has done a good job, it’s hard not to draw that conclusion.



  1. gop4ever2008 says

    Since I just posted this elsewhere on here, I’ll reiterate: Congressman Shadegg is one of the just 16 congressmen (out of 435 in the House) the Club for Growth says earned perfect anti-pork scores this year fighting earmarks and wasteful spending. Mr. Shadegg, Flake and Franks have been a great trifecta of Arizona GOP Power trying to hold the line on spending in this “Democrats Gone Wild” Congress (too corrupt to be shown on television)!!

  2. Jean McGrath says

    I am fascinated to learn that Hayworth will be a speaker at this very conservative organization. He teamed up with Pastor to get the City of Phoenix $8 million as seed money to get light rail started. I challenged him about it from the floor at the Az Economic Forum. His reply was that he thinks light rail is a good idea and we will just have to agree to disagree.

  3. kralmajales says

    It appears that Congressman Shaddeg is about to have the first real race that he has had in awhile. In the last reporting deadline, his potential opponent Bob Lord had about 50K less than Shaddeg did on hand. It was about $280K to $232K.

    The new reports are out today. Lets see how much each has raised for the 3rd quarter.

    By the way, Giffords now has over $1.1 million on hand for the 2008 race at the 3rd quarter ( That is about $200K more raised since the last quarter. Let’s see how much Tim Bee raised in his very first report…which is usually fairly significant.


  4. MayDay — as an exploratory, Bee does not have to report.

    Shadegg v Lord only gets competitive if the National D’s get in — and at this point they won’t, too many R open seats that have a much better chance of return.

  5. kralmajales says

    Mayday back at you…I suspect that exploratory committees that raises funds for a Congressional election MUST do an FEC report. Afterall, Bob Lord has been doing so.

    BEEsides, I heard rumors that he is reporting. He seems to be a straight shooter. We can debate the resign to run sidesteps and his reasons, but if he has a website up for Congress and has people soliciting funds for him (my wife has received contacts from bundlers), then he should do the right thing and report. If he isn’t then this will indeed fuel lots of fire about his skirting the resign to run law and then other campaign laws as well. I don’t think he needs to be bringing on the lawyers to sidestep the law, do you?

    As for the Lord campaign, I have heard that he has been raising funds pretty seriously…and that the state party is backing him bigtime. He filed a report…BTW.

  6. kralmajales says

    I was right…the law is so clear that even I can understand it (SMILE).

    Check out page one under the definition of a candidate.

    The gist of it is the at the law is clear about the fundraising and candidate part. IF you raise more than $5000 or someone else raises more than $5000 for a federal office then they are declared a candidate and must report.

    It doesn’t matter what people call his campaign, if he has raised more than $5000 (and he had better if he is going to have a hope of beating Giffords) then he must report.

    Again, I suspect that he will report. I would be rather shocked if he didn’t. If he doesn’t then I will change my tune dramatically about him.

  7. kralmajales says

    Oh…one more thing for those of you who might be ambitious and want to be President of the State Senate (say, you Maricopa Republicans).

    If I am right about the above (and I am), then Tim Bee is indeed a candidate under federal law. If he is a candidate under federal law, then how can he NOT be a candidate under state law? Federal premption..etc etc etc.

    Basic logic would tell an enterprising, ambitious, Maricopa Republican, Senate President wanna be, that Tim Bee now MUST resign to run. Why? Well…he is a candidate under federal law for a federal office. Under state law, a candidate for federal office or even state office MUST resign to run.

    Cheers and have fun!

  8. Yes- as an exploratory committee, you would need to file, if you have raised or spent $5k.

  9. kralmajales says

    Thanks Julie.

    I have heard from what I consider credible sources that he has filed and it should be out today.

    Now…with that said…I think we should discuss my comment #7 above.

    Isn’t it Clintonian to be an candidate under federal law, but then to argue that you aren’t a candidate under Arizona’s Resign to Run law?

    I guess that depends on “what the meaning of candidate is”?

  10. No, if you look at his paperwork at, he would not be considered a candidate under federal law.

    He filed a letter stating as such, and he did not file a statement of candidacy, only a statement of organization to open up an exploratory commitee.

    My guess, is that the Senate President will act cautiously, and not make mistakes. Actions that he takes will be thouroughly vetted.

    I think that it is wise for him to strongly weigh his options. Gabby Giffords has quite the war chest, and I think that this is truly an exploring expedition to analyze viability for a serious run.

  11. Kral, see below for why you are wrong about Bee having to report.

    JC, you are dead-on. Part of demonstrating that a Bee candidacy is worthwhile is raising a considerable amount of money to ensure they he will be able to compete on the airwaves. If Bee can be at about 70% of what Gabby has that should do it, but no sense of pulling the trigger until the year is over and Gabby’s year end report is out.

    From the FEC website:
    What is the difference between a campaign committee and a testing the waters fund?

    An individual who merely tests the waters, but does not campaign for office, does not have to register or report as a candidate. Therefore, while a campaign committee files disclosure reports, a testing the waters fund does not have to file reports until the candidacy is established. At this point, all testing the waters activities must be disclosed on the next scheduled FEC report. A testing the waters fund abides by the same contribution limits and prohibitions as a campaign committee. There are activities that indicate that an individual is campaigning and, therefore no longer testing the waters.

  12. quick search of “Testing the Wates FEC” reveals the following:

    Basically, once you raise or spend $5,000, your ‘testing the water page’ is now considered to be over. If he didn’t file, it looks like the FEC could fine him, providing that he’s over $5k.

    Individual Becomes a Candidate
    An individual becomes a candidate for federal office (and thus triggers registration and reporting obligations under the Act) when his or her campaign exceeds $5,000 in either contributions or expenditures. The threshold is reached when any one of the circumstances described below occurs.

    Receives Contributions or Makes Expenditures
    The individual receives contributions or makes expenditures, either of which aggregate over $5,000. 11 CFR 100.3(a)(1). Funds raised and spent to test the waters apply to this $5,000 threshold once the individual decides to run for office.

  13. kralmajales says

    #12 That is what I read and reported on above as well. He should be filing.

    As for what you say in #10, it sounds very much like splitting hairs to me. He is not “testing the waters” and has to file like a candidate, but he is not a candidate? I am not sure I buy that, nor would any reasonable interpretation of the spirit of Arizona’s Resign to Run law.

    One reason for the law that is often reported is that the law is about not serving constuents as well as you run. There is a bigger ethical issue that the law tackles though.

    Someone like the Senate President holds a lot of power. Forming an exploratory committee and running for federal office gives the ability for people to “reward” Tim Bee for his performance in office, while donating to a campaign for a different office. It just looks bad for that kind of thing to happen and it is gives the appearance of impropriety. It’s just a whole lot cleaner to be a candidate and run.

    I stand by my position that the law states what you report above in #12:

    “An individual becomes a candidate for federal office (and thus triggers registration and reporting obligations under the Act) when his or her campaign exceeds $5,000 in either contributions or expenditures. The threshold is reached when any one of the circumstances described below occurs.”

    Note the word “candidate” in the above.

    Raising funds and reporting them as a “candidate” under that provision makes him, well, a candidate.

    If he is a candidate by FEC law, then he should be a candidate under Arizona’s Resign to Run law as well.

    Any of you aspiring Senate Republicans wanna be Senate President???


    It says that this form is filed in lieu of FEC Form 2. It also specifically states that he has not yet determined whether to be a candidate. My guess is that this could be a common and compliant practice.

  15. kralmajales says

    But JC, the law determines him to be a candidate, whether he does or not. Its because of his actions. The definitions at the beginning of a legal document control what the definitions are for the rest of the law. The definition of candidate on page 1 of the FEC law is quite clear. That is that you can’t have it both ways. You are a candidate under law and must report like one under law if you begin raising funds.

    It is very hard to then say you aren’t a candidate under Arizona law….when again…your behavior is such that it violates that spirit and the language of our resign to run law. Just as raising funds and not filing would violate the spirit of FEC law.

    Anyhow, cheers to you and thanks for the information.

    I would assume that we would agree that despite the resign to run law being rather stupid, it is indeed the law. Rule of law wins out, I would think. Tim should do the right thing.

  16. Kraj- I am not an attorney, only a person trying to understand and absorb as much as possible. But, I do know enough to know that if I were in his position, I would consult with an attorney who deals with the FEC and practices federal campaign finance law. My guess, is that the Senate President would have consulted with such a person.

    My understanding is that Mr. Bee does not even refer to himself as a candidate, and is truly viewing this as an exploratory commitee, just due to the fact that he is up against Giffords.

    But as a side question- I would venture that Tim Bee is doing things correctly in filing his exploratory paperwork, but what about David Schweikert?

  17. kralmajales says

    I am sure that Tim Bee’s lawyers have told him he can do this, or some party hack did, but I am not sure that it is a sound legal argument…and I am not sure all attorneys will agree. I am also not sure that it flies before a judge. It is too much like having ones cake and eating it too.

    What I have referred to is going to hit home with a lot of people. He is going to have to defend it. He may get a lot of press by doing so, but not necessarily good press.

    Last, someone might have told him that the law is unclear. Do it anyway. It is better than waiting until January and being about $2 million in the whole to Giffords. It is also better than losing your seat. Finally, it will undoubtably be a fine which your campaign financiers will pay for you later.

    The problem with all of this is that it stinks. The other problem is that it assumes that members of the GOP in Maricopa who might want the Senate presidency back will stand for it.

  18. kralmajales says


    What about Schweikert? I had to google him. Appears he is running for Mitchell’s seat also. Interesting. A former Maricopa treasurer. I may be missing your reference though….I need an education (smile).

  19. Kraj- cute. Its clear that Schweikert has more than likely raised/spent over $5k. I have received 2 pieces of fundraising mail, and know that there has at least been one fundraiser.

    He hasn’t even formed any sort of committee! He can’t reasonably argue that he is ‘testing the waters’.

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