Hey Doug Ducey, don’t be coy about your health policy advisor!


It must be true, since the National Journal picked up the press release from the Arizona Democratic Party and published it online.

For Immediate Release: March 18, 2014 Phoenix, AZ-DJ Quinlan, executive director of the Arizona Democratic Party, released the following statement today regarding comments made by former U.S. Congressman,John Shadegg, a top healthcare advisor to Doug Ducey: “Last night during a tele-town hall conducted by gubernatorial candidate Doug Ducey,Ducey’s top healthcare advisor, former U.S. Congressman John Shadegg, called Governor Brewer’s expansion of Medicaid a ‘Ponzi Scheme’ and suggested that we should ‘get rid of Medicaid’ and ‘should not have a single government-run healthcare program, period.’ Government-run healthcare programs that Arizonans rely on today include Medicare, Veterans Administration healthcare, and Medicaid.”

Just like we have called on John Huppenthal to proudly proclaim his scheme to send public school students to private schools on the taxpayers’ dime, so too do we congratulate Doug Ducey for being so open about his plans for decimating Arizona. Let us encourage him to continue doing so, every day between now and the election.

In a press release announcing his campaign last month, Ducey set forth his goals.

Ducey’s campaign will focus chiefly on three issues: a full-strength economy that increases job creation; solutions-driven governance that embraces results and isn’t afraid to close the door on ineffective ideas; and educational excellence across the state.

Notice that Ducey (and his handlers, since obviously he didn’t write it) include several key dog-whistle code words in that statement clearly aimed at the extreme right-wing of the current Arizona Republican Party.

What do Republicans mean when they say “economy that increases job creation?

In 2010 the Republican Party seized the House of Representatives by promising to do all they could to create jobs for the American people. They didn’t.

You don’t really believe Doug Ducey can do any better, do you? “Economy that increases job creation” is code for tax cuts for the rich, isn’t it? You know, what President Reagan called “trickle-down economics.” We’ve been cutting taxes for the wealthy ever since Reagan took office in 1981. In Arizona, it took until Fife Symington was elected in the early 1990s, and Arizona has been doing it with gusto ever since then. But if it is such a successful strategy, why, after more than three decades, do we not have full employment in America or Arizona?

What do you think “governance that … isn’t afraid to close the door on ineffective ideas…” might mean? Refer back to the opening paragraph. What was it that Ducey’s TOP HEALTH ADVISOR said? “We should not have a single government-run healthcare program, period.” Might they be using code to tell GOP primary election voters that Ducey intends to “shut the door” on the Medicaid restoration passed in June last year?

Frankly, I don’t know why Dougie doesn’t just come right out and say it — wear it as a badge of honor — because everybody’s going to figure it out anyway. Boldly proclaiming his intent in plain English will at least earn him praise for being up front with voters.

In case you think the Democratic Party executive director DJ Quinlan was exaggerating, check out what Shadegg’s bio says on the law firm website where he now hangs his law license. It’s LOADED with code words.

Mr. Shadegg consults on matters related to energy, healthcare and healthcare reform, as well as telecommunications.  He also focuses on a variety of issues in state and federal trial and appellate courts, in state legislatures and Congress, and before regulatory agencies.

During his 16 years in Congress, Mr. Shadegg served on the Energy and Commerce Committee and a variety of its subcommittees, including Energy and Power, Environment, Health, and Telecom.  Mr. Shadegg was also named to the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.  In addition, he served on the Budget, Financial Services, Natural Resources, and Government Reform committees and the Select  Committee on Homeland Security.  Mr. Shadegg was an advocate for American-made energy, and his efforts to promote hydroelectricity spilled over into his fight to save and preserve Lake Powell located in Northern Arizona.  As a member of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, Mr. Shadegg led a delegation of House members to ANWR in August 2008.  He also accompanied then Speaker Dennis Hastert on a tour of nuclear generating facilities in Japan in 2009.

Along with his focus on energy and environmental policies, Mr. Shadegg is passionate about healthcare reform.  He introduced legislation signed into law that encourages and assists states in covering people with pre-existing conditions and introduced legislation that allows the sale of health insurance across state lines.

First, consider that last line. Introduced legislation that allows the sale of health insurance across state lines. Is it lawful for Arizonans to buy insurance policies from companies not licensed in Arizona? I don’t think so. “Introduced legislation” isn’t quite the same as writing bills that became law.

Additionally, that standard GOP mind fuck (selling insurance across state lines) is nothing more than a strategy to avoid state regulation of insurance companies. Tell me, just what would a reasonable person expect from an insurance company if the laws, rules and regulations they are required to comply with are eliminated? THAT is what you’d get from John Shadegg’s notions of healthcare reform.

By the way, in that language from Shadegg’s law firm bio, it sounds like he’s a real environmental warrior, doesn’t it? A regular tree hugger. Except when you translate ANWR (Arctic National Wildlife Refuge).  If Shadegg had his way, it would be Arctic National Wildlife Refugees.

Oh, and about that Ducey statement, “educational excellence across the state” can he mean anything OTHER than expediting the demolition of Arizona’s public education system by massive expansion of the so-called Empowerment Scholarship Accounts? If it hadn’t been for what we’ve learned of John Huppenthal’s plans over the last month, it might seem like an exaggeration to suggest that’s Ducey’s intent. It’s no exaggeration. Ducey’s all about privatization.

With top advisors like Cathi Herrod and John Shadegg, how could Arizona possibly go wrong with Doug Ducey?

So THANK YOU Doug Ducey, for being so up front with Arizona voters. Keep up the good work. I wish you well in your pursuit of the GOP nomination for governor of Arizona.


  1. Sad but true fact . . . old GOP legislators never die . . . they just become “advisors” or “consultants”. And lobbyists.

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