PI Original Angela Caputo Monday September 14th, 2009, 1:24pm

Shimkus' "Code Of Conduct"

Since walking out of a joint session of Congress last week in a huff because he didn't like President Obama's speech, GOP Rep. John Shimkus' child-like behavior has generated plenty of headlines around the country. Over the weekend, the State Journal-Register's Bernard ...

Since walking out of a joint session of Congress last week in a huff because he didn't like President Obama's speech, GOP Rep. John Shimkus' child-like behavior has generated plenty of headlines around the country. Over the weekend, the State Journal-Register's Bernard Schoenburg dug deep into the vault and provided some useful historical context:

It’s times like these when I think of Shimkus’ first winning race for Congress in 1996 — when he touted the “citizens’ code of conduct” he had fashioned for himself .

“I will lead by example,” one part of that code said, “always building up my fellow citizens, and not tearing them down.”

Some might question the example he set last week.

We unearthed more of that pledge, which indeed raises more questions over whether Shimkus -- who has defended the Bush administration's use of torture, fudged the facts about the health care crisis and climate change threat, and protected big polluters at the expense of the nation's health -- is measuring up to his own standards.

From a July 26, 1996 Journal-Register article:

-"I will not allow the corrosive elements of cynicism, distrust and hatred to destroy my feelings for my country. I will . . .  promote the good and welfare of the state and her citizens [...]

-"I will play this game of life by the rules. I will not lie, cheat or steal, nor will I tolerate those who do. I will lead by example, always building up my fellow citizens, and not tearing them down."

Perhaps we're mistaken, but Shimkus' recent "Just say no" pledge during Republican Day at the State Fair seemed pretty darn cynical.

Finally, NBC5's Steve Rhodes notes that in walking out on the president's health care speech last week, Shimkus "might have walked into an actual re-election fight," referring to Democratic challenger Tim Bagwell's efforts to gain a foothold in the 19th Congressional District. We'll have to wait and see.

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