Thursday, September 29, 2005

Meet Roy Blunt

Who is Roy Blunt? And what does his accession to the post of House majority leader tell us about our country's ruling party? The Washington Post describes how conservatives revolted against Dennis Hastert's selection of the more moderate David Dreier to replace Tom DeLay:
As the conservatives met to vent frustrations and plot options, Hastert was changing course in a separate meeting on the second floor of the Capitol. Rep. Roy Blunt (Mo.), the majority whip, was making a personal appeal for the promotion. Hastert agreed, forestalling a possible revolt by conservatives, who regard Blunt as one of their own.
Blunt is one of the masters of the current kleptocratic regime on Capitol Hill:
As majority whip, Blunt, even more than DeLay before him, has created a formal alliance with K Street lobbyists, empowering corporate representatives and trade association executives to assist the House leadership in counting votes and negotiating amendments to bring holdouts into the fold.
Last year, when the House leadership faced apparently insurmountable odds in passing legislation eliminating a $50 billion export tax break, the lobbying community stepped in to add billions of new tax breaks for major corporations with facilities in nearly every district -- General Electric, Boeing, Caterpillar, United Technologies, Honeywell and Emerson. The support built up majority backing for the measure.
Blunt's best-known special-interest intervention was a 2003 late-night attempt -- unsuccessful, as it turned out -- to add an amendment sought by Philip Morris. Blunt's son then was a lobbyist for Philip Morris in Missouri; Blunt himself was dating a Philip Morris lobbyist whom he later married, and he had received more than $150,000 in contributions from the company and subsidiaries.
In the NYT, Blunt is described as low key and willing to listen, up to a point:
Moderates say that while Mr. Blunt has taken pains to listen to their concerns, they do not expect him to advance their agenda any more than Mr. DeLay.
"Roy would listen to me, and then he would beat me the next day anyway," said Representative Michael N. Castle, Republican of Delaware and an advocate for embryonic stem cell research. "These guys are all right out of the school of Tom DeLay."
For those who need an interpreter, Castle did not mean it as a compliment.
(Photo: Office of Rep. Roy Blunt)


Blogger Tom Noyes said...

From the context, I would guess it's a comment from yesterday.

11:02 AM, September 29, 2005  

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