Recipients of 2010 “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” Award

Recipients of 2010 “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” Award

Apr 9, 2010  | 4 min read

Remarks of Ryan Alexander, President of Taxpayers for Common Sense:

I think what distinguishes both Senator McCaskill and Representative Flake is that they both work with such a clear sense of integrity.  They are clear about what they believe in and they stand up for their ideals.  They are both loyal members of their respective parties, willing to promote and defend what they consider to be the core values of their parties.  At the same time, they are both willing to challenge members of their own parties when appropriate, and reach out to members of the opposing parties to make progress on important issues of the day.   We need more people like them in Congress.  That is what makes government work. 

Senator Claire McCaskill

Perhaps it is predictable that Taxpayers for Common Sense was excited to learn that before she came to Washington, Sen. McCaskill served as the state Auditor in Missouri.   Based on that resume, we had high hopes for Senator McCaskill serving as a champion for common sense and accountability and we have not been disappointed.   

Starting in her first months in Washington, Senator McCaskill made her mark by grabbing the legendary Show-me State Senator Harry Truman’s mantle and championing a Wartime Contracting Oversight Commission.  She worked on bi-partisan basis to make federal spending more transparent, merit-based, and fair.  Sen. McCaskill has worked with TCS to bring a common sense approach to the multi-billion dollar energy loan guarantee program.  From her perch on the Armed Services Committee she has pushed for much needed common sense reforms in contracting tackled challenging issues like Joint Strike Fighter cost overruns.  In just her first term, Senator McCaskill has become a leader and champion for common sense on Capitol Hill. I am pleased to give Sen. McCaskill Taxpayers for Common Sense’s Mr. Smith Goes to Washington award.

Representative Jeff Flake

Representative Jeff Flake first came to our attention in a Wall Street Journal op-ed he wrote in his first term titled Bloat Watch that called for a veto of the bloated Farm Bill, an issue near and dear to our hearts at TCS.  But most people in Washington know Representative Flake for his consistent, respectful, determined approach on tacking a wasteful system of earmarks.  In fact, during appropriations season, you could be excused if you thought Rep. Flake was an anchor on C-span.  Whether Republicans or Democrats were in control, he has been on the House floor taking on earmarks and has earned the grudging respect of no less than Appropriations Chairman David Obey.   

But Rep. Flake is about more than just earmarks.  He was a leader in the fight over the 2008 farm bill – and he has the scars to prove it.  Rep. Flake has worked with TCS to take on wasteful Army Corps of Engineers projects.  There is little doubt that his principled and relentless pursuit of issues important to taxpayers has yielded incremental but significant progress. I am pleased to give Rep. Flake Taxpayers for Common Sense’s Mr. Smith Goes to Washington award.