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March 18, 2005

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Chris Shays... member of the CT-R delegation, along with John Rowland and Philip Giordano (ex-Waterbury mayor who unsuccessfully ran against Sen. Joe Lieberman before being arrested for soliciting sex with minor girls).

If he has ethics issues, let the hometown folks associate him with DeLay and the others.

He didn't expect anyone to cosponsor the bill, but not sign the discharge petition? I direct him to Jim Marshall's concurrent receipt discharge petition from last session: 383 cosponsors; 207 signatures on the discharge petition.

Cosponsorship is cheap.

Maybe what he really didn't expect was the lame excuse -- that Shays suddenly opposes discharge petitions on principal.

I appreciate the link, though, because it reminds us that the record is out there for all to see. Here are Shays' signatures on an unsuccessful 1999 discharge petition, as well as on the successful 2001 petition, both regarding the campaign finance reform bill that brought him so much recognition as a "principled moderate."

Who else is on that second petition who might shortly seek to avail themselves of the same ridiculous excuse as Shays?

Mike Castle, Nancy Johnson, Jim Leach, Zach Wamp, Jim Ramstad, Rob Simmons, Wayne Gilchrest, Frank Wolf, Tom Petri, and Charles Bass -- many of whom were only too pleased to let their hometown papers know they professed to be in the highly principled "Shays Handfull."

And speaking of high principle, isn't it unfair to use the example of Shays' own bill to prove that he's not opposed to discharge petitions in general? I mean, doesn't that change matters somewhat, when your own name is on the bill?

What explains Shays' signature on the very next discharge petition filed? And this one on a bill "to exempt qualified current and former law enforcement officers from State laws prohibiting the carrying of concealed handguns," interestingly.

Just by way of background, spinewise, you might also consider this petition on a campaign finance reform bill from 1997, which Shays signed and then backed out of as soon as there was actually a danger of succeeding, as did, among others... Frank Wolf, Zach Wamp, Jim Leach, Nancy Johnson, Mike Castle and Tom Davis.

By the way, in my sifting through the records on discharge petitions, I came across what has to be the all-time flip-flop winner: former Rep. Greg Ganske (R-IA), who in 1998 withdrew his signature from his own discharge petition.

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