Hey, It’s Hayworth!

The gentleman standing next to me in my profile picture is former Congressman JD Hayworth, Republican of Arizona. I’ve been impressed with his cable news appearances over the years, and when I visited DC two summers ago, I was bowled over by the stirring speech he gave. I had high hopes that he might toss his hat into the presidential race (indeed, he’s the only politician who could get me to jump off the SS Romney—if anybody close to Mitt or JD somehow manages to see this, I’m begging you to PLEASE consider Romney-Hayworth ’08!).

Out of the disastrous ’06 midterms, the loss that hit me the hardest was Hayworth’s, perhaps even more so than Mark Green’s (by the way,
he did not lose because of his immigration stance, as the amnesty crowd claims). So I’ve been trying to find out what he’s been doing post-Capitol Hill.

Finally, we have
an answer:

Former U.S. Congressman J.D. Hayworth will return to his old job Thursday as afternoon host on
KFYI Newstalk 550.

Hayworth, who lost his seat in November to former Tempe Mayor Harry Mitchell, will be heard from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the highly coveted afternoon drivetime slot.

He joins a prominent list of conservatives on the Clear Channel subsidiary including Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Michael Savage.

“We’ll cut through the clutter of political pollution and offer Phoenician’s common sense during these uncommon times,” said Hayworth in a released statement.

He’s a natural for the job…but I hope he hasn’t shut the door completely on political office. America needs you, JD.

The Vindication of Mark Green

From the Associated Press:

A lawsuit over nearly $468,000 in campaign funds Republican Mark Green had wanted to use in his unsuccessful race against Gov. Jim Doyle was settled Friday.
Under the agreement reached with the state Elections Board, Green is prohibited from using the money for another run for office, but he can tap into it to pay for legal fees and make contributions to other candidates.-The case had been pending before the state Supreme Court.
Kevin Kennedy, executive director of the Elections Board, said the board and Green had “agreed to disagree about the law” but the settlement allows both sides to move on.
Green had put the money aside in a separate account while the case was pending. He is now working as an attorney in private practice in Green Bay.
The Elections Board ordered Green in August to get rid of the $468,000 in donations because the money came from out-of-state political action committees that had not registered in Wisconsin.
Under the settlement, both sides agreed that Green had complied with previous decisions by the Elections Board on similar issues, current interpretation of the law and instructions provided by the board’s staff. The settlement also says the board’s actions against Green were based on the panel’s interpretation of relevant state laws.

I suppose it’s nice that Green’s goodwill seems to have the last word, but the damage has been done. He was smeared in the minds of many Wisconsin voters, and how many are going to find out now that he really isn’t a crook?

Negative Campaigning

Months ago, I had intended to send a letter to the Reporter regarding the specter of “negative campaigning,” but the emergence of a bigger issue shelved it. Still, I think my initial piece has a message worth pondering, so I figured I’d dig into the ol’ archives and post it here:
Throughout Election 2006, we heard seemingly endless complaints about “negative campaigning.” One Reporter reader surmised that the candidates “should all be in great physical condition with all the slinging they have been doing.” Another demanded everyone to “please stop!”
True, a candidate’s first duty is to explain his or her vision for Wisconsin and answer where they stand on the issues. Which they did – for instance, Mark Green wanted to cut taxes and Jim Doyle wanted to expand embryonic stem-cell research. It is then up to the voters to determine whose positions are more effective and honest.
But beyond that, our ideas toward “negative campaigning” are wrong. Obviously, candidates musn’t lie about their opponents. But isn’t strong moral character the first quality we should demand of our leaders? Of course it is. Whether or not our leaders engage in unethical is a fully relevant question; indeed, a necessary question. Example: If Candidate A takes bribes for policy decisions, Candidate B must bring it to our attention. Such campaigning is necessary, not negative, and our sole criteria for judging such ads should be, “Is it true?”
I believe our disdain for the ugly side of politics stems, in part, from laziness. We can’t be bothered to take the time to get all the facts; we have more “me time” if we just assume they’re all corrupt. But it isn’t true. Sure, no party is without closet skeletons, and no candidate is perfect, but that’s a far cry from saying they’re all the same. Often there truly are serious ethical differences, and as American voters it is our duty to root them out. As Benjamin Franklin said, America has “a Republic…if you can keep it.”