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Blunt: Not a Fave of Bloggers

While Rep. John Shadegg (R-Ariz.) appears to be the favorite Majority Leader candidate among conservative Web loggers, Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) seems to rank somewhere between least favorite and most reviled.

Apparently, Blunt was a real turn-off during a conference call with GOP bloggers last Thursday. Dale Franks of the Libertarian-esque QandA.net Web log, wrote: I would rather lick fire ants off a stick than see Roy Blunt as Majority Leader. Im not at the point of making a firm endorsement of either Reps. Shadegg or [John] Boehner [R-Ohio], but the sun will set in a blazing red sky to the east of Casablanca before Id want Roy Blunt as Majority Leader.

Franks wrote that Blunt just outright pissed me off during the conference call. First, he said, Blunt would only take questions submitted in writing, unlike Shadegg or Boehner during their conference calls on the same day with the GOP bloggers. Therefore, Blunt faced only softball questions, Franks said.

Then, the bloggers blogging continued, Blunt told the conference call participants that he already had the votes locked up, so he sure hoped the bloggers werent going to write or do something that would jeopardize our ability to work together later.

Franks took that as a threat. Which he didnt appreciate. So for good measure, he ended his posting with: Ill go ahead and write whatever the hell I want to write. In return, if Rep. Blunt doesnt like it, then he can cry me a river. (Cue scene in the movie Race For Majority Leader of bloggers rowing up the River Blunt.)

Blunt spokeswoman Jessica Boulanger wound up a trademark fast pitch and let loose on the blogger, warning, Dale Franks should get the soothing balm ready and beware: Fire ants attach themselves to a person by biting with their jaws, then pivoting their heads and stinging from their abdomens in a circular pattern at multiple sites. They tend to attack and sting in great numbers just like bloggers.

Cant Swallow Those Reform Bills. A chief of staff to a prominent House Republican Member is considering formally rallying his colleagues to oppose lobbying reform efforts that would ban staffers outright from letting lobbyists pay for their meals or trips.

For one thing, he says, its insulting to think that a legislative aide can be bought with a $50 steak. He also worries about the risk of losing lower-level aides legislative assistants, for example, who earn salaries in the neighborhood of $35,000 to the private sector if their stomachs cant be satisfied on a government salary.

Bottom line, he says, if you work on the Hill, youre gonna take a pay cut. But youll get free beers and free meals if you work those receptions the right way.

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