Saturday, May 2, 2009

Jack Kemp passing.

WASHINGTON – Jack Kemp, the ex-quarterback, congressman, one-time vice-presidential nominee and self-described "bleeding-heart conservative" died Saturday.

His spokeswoman Bona Park and longtime friend and former campaign adviser Edwin J. Feulner confirmed that Kemp died after a lengthy illness.

Kemp had announced in January 2009 that he had been diagnosed with cancer. He said he was undergoing tests but gave no other detail.

Kemp, a former quarterback for the Buffalo Bills, represented western New York for nine terms in Congress, leaving the House for an unsuccessful presidential bid in 1988.

Eight years later, after serving a term as President George H.W. Bush's housing secretary, he made it onto the national ticket as Bob Dole's running-mate.

But the part you won't see covered in that obituary is this part.

"At its core, the idea proposed to slash personal income tax rates -- and cut them big time by 30 percent over three years. It was 1978, the middle of the Carter malaise years, and after what Bartley calls a "stormy debate" the bill failed in a conference committee. Kemp kept going. By 1980 he had convinced candidate Ronald Reagan, and the concept was written into the 1980 Republican platform. By August of 1981 President Ronald Reagan was signing Kemp's cause into law. By 1983, the American economy had begun to shake off recession and, in a startling reversal, roared to life. The results were so powerful that Reagan later said France's Socialist President François Mitterrand, Reagan's guest at the 1983 Williamsburg G-7 Summit, wanted to know just exactly what went into America's blossoming and quite vivid economic growth." - From The Importance of Jack Kemp

Godspeed, Jack. I always thought you deserved more before you departed.

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