Good men are not that hard to find. But you do have to take the trouble to look for them.
In September of 1999, a few months after confirming that he would step down after his third term in the House, Congressman Matt Salmon of Arizona held a press conference to endorse fellow term limit supporter Jeff Flake as his successor. Salmon stepped down just as promised and Flake was elected in his stead. After making term limits the centerpiece of his campaign, Flake defeated four competitors to win the Republican nomination. In the general election, Flake’s opponent refused to take the term-limit pledge.
Jeff is into the Vision Thing. His interest in public policy has taken him everywhere from Washington, D.C., where he started a public affairs firm in 1987, to the southern African nation of Namibia, where he directed a foundation that monitoring political reform in the country. In 1992, Jeff returned to Arizona to run the Goldwater Institute, where he promoted his philosophy of less government, more freedom and individual responsibility.
Many observers credit the Goldwater Institute for its work on school choice and competition, ideas that have made Arizona a leader in education reform. The Goldwater Institute has sponsored a lot of path-breaking work on one of the most exciting school choice innovations of the 1990s, charter schools. Now Jeff Flake is back in Washington. Just for a little while. Accepting a temporary trust, cementing a tradition. An honorable tradition that will show the way for other citizen legislators to come.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.