Anyway, because I am very politically active I try to stay on top of issues, campaigns and candidates. One race going in my district is Chris Cannon versus Jason Chaffetz. Apparently there have been concerns because Chaffetz doesn't actually live in the 3rd Congressional District, which is our district.
Here's the Salt Lake Tribune's article/blog that got me thinking about it:
Hmmm. Okay, is somebody trying to convince me that someone who doesn't live in my district is still worthy of my vote? Isn't that kind of like those idiotic, worthless East Coast politicians who keep trying to tell us what we need to do with our lands and waters, like they know jack squat about the West and haven't screwed up their own states?Out of Context : The Tribune's political writers' blog.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
One of the nagging issues in the 3rd District battle between Jason Chaffetz and Rep. Chris Cannon is the fact that Chaffetz actually lives in the 2nd District. Now, as we explained in a story last month, there's nothing legally wrong with that, but it could pose political problems for GOP voters who wonder why he didn't run against Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson in the district where he lives.
But Chaffetz' campaign and his supporters have put forth an argument that needs a fact check. In a letter to delegates sent before the Republican State Convention, Rep. Craig Frank, a Chaffetz supporter, appears to try to clarify the situation, but instead muddies it with pretty overt misinformation.
"Some of you have expressed concerns to me about the fact that Jason lives in Alpine -- two miles outside the Third District," Frank writes in the letter. "Let me assure you that this is not a problem. As a legislature, we have already approved a new boundary for the Third Congressional District which wil include Jason's home in Alpine after 2010. In reality, Jason lives closer to you than either Mr. Cannon or Mr. Leavitt and can certainly relate to the issues that matter most to all of us." (Here's some input from me. Chris lives ten minutes south of me. How is Alpine closer to me? It's not! It takes me 15 minutes before I hit Alpine. I know math isn't my strong point but 10 vs. 15? Hmmm.)
This is the same logic that Chaffetz has offered.
But Chaffetz knows better and Frank certainly does.
After all, Frank was one of the legislators called into special session last year to adopt the four-district map in a frantic effort to get Congress to buy off on Utah's fourth seat in exchange for a representative from Washington, D.C. -- a proposal that Chaffetz opposed.
But there are two reasons the old four-district map will never take effect: population and politics.
First, population trends mean the districts will have to be changed after the 2010 Census if for no other reason than to account for the population growth.
Second, and this is the big one, politics will rule.
Re-drawing political boundaries is one of the goriest exercises around, fueled by boundless ambition and giant egos, not to mention vendettas and self-preservation, as politicos try to squeeze out opponents and stack the electorate in their favor. Last time around, The Wall Street Journal called Utah's map one of the worst, most politically craven exercises in the country -- a Republican scam.
So, when legislative leaders and GOP operatives meet with new Census data to redraw the 2012 map, you can bet anyone with political ambitions through 2022 will want to have a hand in it, there will be some creative lines drawn, and the map will look very, very different.
There is no telling if Chaffetz will ever end up back in the 3rd District, and it won't be until 2012 if it does happen. That is the fact, and if it's not an issue, as Chaffetz and Frank claim, they should be honest with voters about it.
Jason Chaffetz isn't a bad guy. I just don't believe he will or can do what he keeps saying he can. I know for a fact he's misrepresented Chris Cannon on several issues, such as: Immigration, Education, Energy, Economy and the War on Terror. And if one candidate is misrepresenting or outright lying about another candidate's record, he's not going to get my vote. That's what Jason Chaffetz is doing. And now I find out he doesn't even live in the 3rd Congressional District, which is the seat he's trying to take.
Sorry folks, that bothers me. Why doesn't he take his campaign and go up against Jim Matheson, representing the people in his own district, the 2nd Congressional District. What's the matter, Chaffetz thought he couldn't beat a Democrat so he decided he'd go after the incumbent in the 3rd District?
See, here's the thing. I've done my research. I've read the bills Chris has submitted. I've checked his votes. I've checked where he's been for what vote, if he missed it. I've talked to Chris to question him on things I didn't understand, then I took his answers and went back to my research with more information.
I like what Chris has done with energy and ending our dependence on foreign oil. Because of Chris the shale oil in Utah is on target for drilling and bolstering the Utah economy while lowering the prices at the gas pump in the next year or two. Assuming the Democratic Congress doesn't get in the way. Shell Corporation has licensed the technology and is online for drilling in September. Now they are fighting their way through 47 damn federal agencies who think they need a piece of our pie.
I like what Chris has done with federal education. He initially voted for "No Child Left Behind" and then began to see what a colossal mistake it was, in the way it was organized. Unless it works for Utah, completely works for Utah, he will not vote for it again. He is behind the organization EndFedEd.com. A worthy organization and one I deeply support. He believes strongly that Utahns should be in charge of the education of Utah children and has been working to bring that about. Have you joined him yet? You know, Congressmen need the help, support and strength of their constituents to truly do their jobs right. Have you done yours?
I like what Chris has done with the internet tax, to quote him:
If you are like most people, you find it more than a little annoying when you look at your phone bill and see how much of it goes toward paying various taxes. It has long been one of my goals to prevent the same thing from happening to your monthly Internet service bill. For the past few years, we have been able to prevent taxation of the Internet through a temporary moratorium. As more people use the Internet, buy and sell goods on-line, and invest in technology-based enterprises, it is essential that we prevent such taxes from being imposed.Illegal Immigration is a hot, hot issue with me. Chris and I have had conversation after conversation about this. It is a complicated issue, incredibly complicated. Personally, I'd like to see everyone who is illegal rounded up and sent back to their countries of origin. But Chris is right, America simply doesn't have the money to do that. I had to bite the bullet on that one. But I do like what Chris has been working for:
I am aggressively continuing the pursuit of a permanent ban and will use my role as Ranking Republican on the House Judiciary’s Subcommittee on the Commercial and Administrative Law to make sure the people of Utah do not pay taxes on their email. ~ Chris Cannon
These are a few of Chris' stances, in Chris' own words. Please do your own research, study the issues, talk to Chris Cannon . . . there are ways of contacting him on his website. If you have questions and concerns then it is your job, as an American citizen, to contact your congressman and talk to him about them. My congressman, Chris Cannon, has a very capable and friendly staff willing to answer your questions if he's in session or writing legislation.
Before you listen to the machinations and twistings of the truth from an opponent, make sure you've done your job of seeing just what your congressman has been doing for the last eleven years. Chris Cannon has been representing Utah and the 3rd Congressional District on issues from national security, border control, education, federal lands in Utah, energy independence, internet safety, tax moratorium on the internet, pornography and more. He is your congressman and he has represented you well.