Former Paul Ryan Staffer Cheerleads For Return Of ‘Old-Fashioned, Run-Of-The-Mill Corruption’ To Congress

Former Paul Ryan Staffer Cheerleads For Return Of ‘Old-Fashioned, Run-Of-The-Mill Corruption’ To Congress

A former staffer for Paul Ryan expressed support for the return of what he described as “old-fashioned, run-of-the-mill corruption” that comes with burying earmarks in congressional legislation.

George Callas, now managing director of government affairs and public policy at the firm Steptoe and Johnson, justified his opinion by claiming earmarks are necessary to reform the larger “legislative and governing process.”

“Earmarks also benefit a functional legislative and governing process. I’d be more than willing to accept a little old-fashioned, run-of-the-mill corruption if it meant reducing the macro-level dysfunction from which we now suffer,” George Callas wrote on Twitter.

The tweet was part of an online argument with Courtney Shadegg, daughter of former Rep. John Shadegg, whose former boss, the late Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, led congressional efforts to ban earmarks in 2007 and repeatedly warned people against “resurrecting pork-barrel politics.”

“The thing I think you’re saying here is we can do a little more legislation if we accept a little corruption and thats just not good enough for me, and the American people shouldn’t accept it either,” Shadegg replied to Callas.

“Okay this is why everyone hates DC. How do we get Congress to do it’s job?! Grease the skids! Do you know deranged it is that people are rationalizing this. In real life you do your job or you get fired,” she continued.

Callas quickly responded to Shadegg, claiming that sometimes Congress needs to embrace the “messy process” to govern in “a democratic, heterogeneous society.”

“It’s ‘deranged’ to acknowledge that we don’t live in utopia, that governing in a democratic, heterogenous society is a messy process, and that attempts to purify it often have the unintended consequence of breaking it,” Callas shot back. He concluded his tweet by telling the former staffer, “What you call ‘deranged’ used to be called ‘conservative.’”

Shadegg edged in her last word by pointing out that Callas’s own admission that the process of earmarking is corrupt proves her point that politicians are “more concerned with staying in office than doing what is right.”

“I was calling corruption deranged, George. I don’t know when corruption was conservative. But go off if you want. All of this is a distraction from elected officials being more concerned with staying in office than doing what is right,” Shadegg concluded.

Jordan Davidson is a staff writer at The Federalist. She graduated from Baylor University where she majored in political science and minored in journalism.
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