And So I Go: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

>>Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R. Utah) against tax cheats.

Posted on: March 8, 2010

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R. Utah) has sponsored a bill in the House to fire any federal employees who are tax cheats.  There are 100,000 of these people who together owe us $1 billion.  There are 700 in the Capitol and 50 in the White House.

Rep. Chaffetz is one of my congressmen to watch.  He ran on a promise to cut spending and he is doing his best to do just that.  He has voted against every   spending bill and sponsored more bills like the one above to cut spending and balance the budget.  He promised he would not be bringing home any  “pork” and he has also kept that promise  by refusing any ear marks.    And, he sleeps on a cot in his office rather than renting a Washington apartment saving money and flying home often to his family and district.

I don’t expect a lot of Chaffetz’s sponsored bills to be passed in our current congress but I do expect him to be in Congress for as long as he wants to be if he continues his conservative back to the Constitution views.  BB

In June 2007, Chaffetz announced he would challenge the 3rd District’s six-term incumbent, Chris Cannon, for the Republican nomination. Chaffetz said that Cannon “has failed us for not instituting conservative principles”, specifically mentioning stronger measures to prevent illegal immigration.

In the primary on June 24, 2008, Chaffetz defeated Cannon by a vote of 60% to 40%.[10] Chaffetz’s victory was shocking on several fronts. Cannon was endorsed by George W. Bush[11], the state’s two U.S. Senators (Orrin Hatch and Bob Bennett) and almost all of the state Republican establishment. Cannon outspent Chaffetz by 6 to 1,[12] had a paid staff, as well as the endorsement of all three of the local newspapers. In contrast, Chaffetz won no significant endorsements and refused to buy meals and trinkets for his supporters. He had unpaid staff and a grassroots organization of more than 1,000 volunteers. He received the bulk of his campaign contributions from individual donors, and his campaign was 100% debt-free.[citation needed]

Chaffetz faced Democrat Bennion Spencer in the 2008 general election, along with Jim Noorlander from the Constitution Party. Chaffetz easily won election with 66% of the vote (to 28% and 6% for Spencer and Noorlander, respectively). Chaffetz also received the highest percentage (66%) of any of the three Representatives from Utah, with Rob Bishop (R, 1st District) winning with 65% and Jim Matheson (D, 2nd District) winning with 63% in their districts. However, the 3rd is one of the most—and by some measures, the most—Republican districts in the nation, and it was generally believed Chaffetz had assured himself of a seat in Congress with his primary win.

Chaffetz announced at the start of the Congressional term in 2009 that he would be sleeping on a cot in his office rather than renting a Washington, D.C. apartment.[13] Chaffetz said, “I’m trying to live the example that it doesn’t take big dollars in order to get where we want to go. I can save my family $1,500 a month by sleeping on a cot in my office as opposed to getting a fancy place that’s maybe a little bit more comfortable.”[13] His family will continue to live in Alpine. “We are now $10 trillion in debt. $10 trillion. Those are expenses that have to be paid at some point”, he said. If he can tighten his belt in these tough economic times, Chaffetz said, Congress should be able to as well.[13]

Upon hearing that U.S. President Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize on October 9, 2009, Chaffetz said he had “lost all respect for the award”, claiming “it used to be one of distinction, but [now] it is hard to give it any credibility”.[14]

In November 2009 Chaffetz co-sponsored a bill in the House with Rep. Jim Matheson to block the importation of foreign nuclear waste into the United States, putting him directly at odds with Rep. Rob Bishop and Utah’s Senators Bennett and Hatch who had historically supported importing foreign nuclear waste into Utah with restrictions. Chaffetz also surprised many in Utah by announcing he opposed the increase in troops in Afghanistan, and believed the best approach would be to bring the troops home from Afghanistan.[citation needed]

In December 2009, Chaffetz championed legislation to limit the use of full-body imaging scanners at airports. Chaffetz’s bill, which passed the House and now waits for Senate approval, would limit the use of full-body imaging scanners unless a metal detector first indicated a need for more screening. The images have come under intense scrutiny from privacy groups for supposedly invading privacy by letting security administrators view images of undressed passengers. Salt Lake City is one of only a handful of airports using the technology. [15]

Chaffetz favors residential building and energy development over endangered species protection for the greater sage grouse, a bird whose population has shrunk from 16 million 100 years ago to about 200,000 today. According to Chaffetz, “The only good place for a sage grouse to be listed is on the menu of a French bistro.”

In 2007, a court ruled that political tampering by Julie A. MacDonald, then-deputy assistant secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks, had “tainted” the bird’s assessment, and a new review was ordered. In March 2010, the U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar assigned the bird “warranted but precluded” status, paving the way for its future protection.[16]

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