The resignation of Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) as majority leader has opened a GOP Pandora's box. On February 2, the GOP will vote for a replacement to Delay. Currently there are three GOPers in the running: Representatives Roy Blunt (Mo.), John Boehner (Ohio), and John Shadegg (Ariz.).
Candidate #1: Roy Blunt contents that he has a lock on the 116 votes needed to win. But GOP congressmen are notorious liars and Blunt is a professional at it. Plus we're talking politics here! Blunt represents more of the same and that can't be good for the republicans especially leading up into elections. A Blunt vote is voting for the same corrupted system of lobbying scandals associated with the K Street project. Blunt also was among the party leaders last year who privately spanked Republican Study Committee (RSC) Chairman Mike Pence (R-Ind.) for his campaign against earmarks. Simply stated, Roy Blunt is a Delay clone.
Candidate #2: John Boehner would rule from the same power base as Delay and Blunt. He's a K Street operator who applies a heavy hand on lobbyists for contributions. Boehner has been reprimanded in the past for passing out campaign checks while on the House floor! Boehner is probably no less conservative than Blunt,and certainly not a reformer. The difference between Blunt's allies and Boehner's is not ideological: the difference is which House members each one has been raising money for. In other words like Blunt, Boehner would see more of the same corruption only with new faces.
Candidate #3: John Shadegg represents both reform and ideological rigor. A conservative former RSC chairman, he wants to prevent future Duke Cunningham scandals by cracking down on earmarks and he wants to abolish government pensions for any future corrupt congressmen. That's exactly why he won't be the new GOP majority leader. While Shadegg might find support among conservatives for his ideology and moderates for his reform, ultimately the GOP would have to relent and shed both K Street and earmarks...which won't happen. Republicans in the House still want to fall back on their assured fundraising to keep power.
There is also talk of others...making a late entry or 'drafts' but it's hard to mount a winning campaign late into this race. Whomever is the new GOP leader, one thing is for sure, this vote will tell America if the GOP is committed to eliminating their culture of corruption or if it will be more of the same.