Posts Tagged ‘Jason Chaffetz’

US laundering drug money

December 6, 2011

US agents, primarily from the Drug Enforcement Agency, have laundered millions of dollars in Mexican drug money the New York Times said this week. It would appear that every time Congressmen Darrell Issa, Jason Chaffetz and others try to peel back the lid on the Fast and Furious scandal, there is even more to discover.

Apparently “our” plan is to send guns and money to Mexican drug lords. The Times then understates the obvious:

“The high-risk activities raise delicate questions about the agency’s effectiveness in bringing down drug kingpins, underscore diplomatic concerns about Mexican sovereignty, and blur the line between surveillance and facilitating crime.”

Um. Delicate questions? Really? I’m thinking more along the lines of a Chris Christie questioning……

Let me say again – this is not pocket change.

One D.E.A. official said it was not unusual for American agents to pick up two or three loads of Mexican drug money each week. A second official said that as Mexican cartels extended their operations from Latin America to Africa, Europe and the Middle East, the reach of the operations had grown as well. When asked how much money had been laundered as a part of the operations, the official would only say, “A lot.”

“If you’re going to get into the business of laundering money,” the official added, “then you have to be able to launder money.”

Congressman Issa announced that he is expanding his probe into the gun-running debacle. 52 congressmen, three U.S. senators, four presidential candidates, two sitting governors and one potential US Senate candidate from Utah are demanding Holder’s immediate resignation over Fast and Furious.

Chaffetz questions Napolitano on “Fast and Furious”

October 27, 2011

Good for Congressman Chaffetz. “Fast and Furious” is an embarrassment at best, but which frankly strikes me as downright criminal.

Chaffetz not running for Senate

August 22, 2011

As the day started, there was no indication there would be anything out of the ordinary to rock the political boat, but things can change in a hurry. One tweet from one reporter saying that Congressman Jason Chaffetz was announcing his intentions today at 4 pm started a virtual Twitter explosion. Like a summer squall that comes on suddenly, politicos across the state – and the nation – began calling, texting, tweeting and writing. Before noon, speculation was running rampant that Chaffetz would in fact announce that he was NOT going to challenge 6-term incumbent Orrin Hatch.

So confident was Tribune reporter Robert Gehrke that he posted the first online article stating that Chaffetz was out of the Senate race hours before the press conference. He was followed in short order by ABC 4, Politico, WaPo, the New York Times, the Daily Caller and of course, the blogosphere – Hot Air and Michelle Malkin, to name two.  (Stories have been updated)

Indeed, at 4 pm, Congressman Chaffetz, accompanied by his wife Julie, his campaign staff, his chief of staff and his communications director, told the assembled media peeps that he would be running for re-election to his House seat.  Pointing to his sponsorship of the popular “Cut, Cap and Balance” bill, the Fast and Furious investigation in which he plays a major role and the earmark ban he pushed for, he said it was clear that he did not need to wait for seniority in order to be effective.

“Ultimately,” he said, “I can spend the next 15 months doing my job, or I can spend the next 15 months campaigning to do Senator Hatch’s.”

His announcement stunned most political insiders, including this blogger who has to now go find a hat to eat….

Daily Fix, Aug 11

August 11, 2011

*Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love continues to make waves as she announces the formation of a Congressional Exploratory Committee. Jennifer Scott, former campaign manager for Jason Chaffetz, is advising Mayor Love. I expect her to be a formidable candidate. Daily Herald, Fox 13, DNews

*Senator Hatch said a few months ago that “governments have promised too much money in lifetime pensions” saying “…these governments are living in the past, playing irresponsibly with taxpayer money, and leaving taxpayers to foot the bill for too many lifetime pension promises.” According to NTU (the National Taxpayer’s Union) his pension currently stands at $125K per year, not including health care bennies – or Social Security payments. If he wins re-election and Republicans control the Senate next year, Hatch is in line to become the chair of the Senate Finance committee. chairman. The Senate Finance Committee oversees public employee pension plans. ABC4 The Utah Democratic chair questions why Hatch’s pension is more than 6 figures. ABC4

*Last night, Congressman Chaffetz held a townhall in American Fork. A lot of the meeting was focused on his potential rival, Senator Orrin Hatch. From the Trib: “They blew it,” he said of leaders during the Republican-dominated years between 2000 and 2006. Chaffetz then lowered the boom on Hatch. “You don’t have to have 36 years of seniority to get things done in Washington,” Chaffetz said. “Seniority doesn’t matter if you don’t vote right.” He held a similar meeting tonight in Ogden, with a similar response.

*The Pentagon respected the wishes of the families of the soldiers who died in the recent helicopter crash and would not allow the media to photograph the remains as they arrived at Dover AFB. Never fear – a White House photographer took pics anyway. AP

*And finally, if you did not watch the GOP debate tonight, you missed out on some good political theater. WaPo

Daily Fix, Aug 9

August 9, 2011

*Biggest news of the day – the Wisconsin recall elections trying to flip the Senate back to Dem control were not successful. Four of the 6 challenged Senators retained their seats and Republicans retain control of the Senate. Unions spent eye-popping amounts of money on the elections, but were unsuccessful. Wisconsin voters know they have to get spending under control and today’s elections show they understand “reality is not negotiable.” NYTimes, The Guardian, MSNBC, Politico and just to show I read “the other side” too, HuffPo

*Back in DC, yet another article on the low lows Congress has sunk to – at least as far as approval ratings go. “Among registered voters, the numbers were even worse. Just 21 percent said Member of Congress deserved re-election while 70 — yes, 70 — percent said they didn’t. Those numbers suggest that 2012 — at least as of today — may be the rarest of elections: a pox on both parties.” Could we have two “wave” election cycles in a row? WaPo’s “The Fix

*Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love announced the formation of a Congressional exploratory committee. She has not yet declared which seat she is running for, as redistricting is not yet completed. Daily Herald

*Obama’s campaign plan is to “kill” Mitt Romney. “Unless things change and Obama can run on accomplishments, he will have to kill Romney,” said an important Democratic political strategist.” At least they acknowledge the list of accomplishments to run on is mighty thin….They also plan to call him “weird”, largely because of his LDS (Mormon) beliefs. Des News

*Utah Policy’s Jordan Garn pens a tongue-in-cheek piece about Las Vegas oddmakers making their predictions that Jason Chaffetz gets in the US Senate race. He writes: “Handicappers have tapped “highly likely” as the frontrunner for the next pronouncement, laying 2-1 odds. Other possibilities include: “strongly leaning,” 3-1 odds; “happy where I’m at,” 7-2; “definitely equivocating,” 5-1 odds; “acutely interested,” 7-1; and “partly cloudy with a chance for rain,” 13-1 odds.” Seems inevitable, doesn’t it? Utah Policy

*Utah ranks #1 in volunteer hours and got a nice write up in USA Today. That’s awesome. However, I think we can do better. What do you think?

Daily Fix, Aug 8

August 8, 2011

*S&P downgraded our nation’s credit rating on Friday and the last 72 hours have been filled with polarized, partisan sniping. Why don’t we go straight to the source for the reasons for the downgrade? S&P ratings specialist John Chambers talks about those reasons.

*According to Politico, President Barack Obama “came out swinging against S&P on Monday — but Wall Street delivered an even harder 634-point punch in the gut over Washington’s handling of the debt and deficit crisis.” He announced he would unveil his own plan – but the White House had no time frame on when we should expect that plan.

*Governor Rick Perry is expected to announce his intentions to run for President of the United States at a RedState gathering this Saturday and from there, he heads to a New Hampshire event. He is expected to steal the thunder from the Iowa straw poll also happening on Saturday. Expect a big splash, then a whole lot of people looking a lot more closely at the governor from Texas.

*Closer to home, Congressman Jason Chaffetz began a week of town halls around the state. First on the schedule? Castle Dale, Utah, where the town hall turned into a tea party rally. Trib

*Meanwhile, potential rival Senator Orrin Hatch welcomed people to his new campaign offices in Murray – but couldn’t quite find the time to talk to the DREAM Act supporters who wanted to thank him in person. Hatch says he remains supportive of the DREAM Act, but acknowledges other things have to happen before it could be passed. Trib

*Riots are consuming London for the 3rd night in a row.  Some see it not as a protest, but an opportunistic crime spree. Scary. Fox 13

Senator…Matheson?

July 13, 2011

Public Policy Polling (PPP) recently surveyed Utah voters on potential Senate match-ups in a general election. They found that Matheson could be a serious contender in a race with either Hatch or Chaffetz. The polling – by one of the most accurate companies out there – found that in a head-to-head competition, Senator Hatch and Congressman Matheson would start out virtually deadlocked, 44-45. A race between Chaffetz and Matheson shows a 5 point advantage for Matheson – 42-47.

The polling also shows approval ratings of under 50% for both Republicans – 46% for Hatch, 43% for Chaffetz – but a whopping 59% for Matheson. Matheson gets almost all of the Dem vote, a heavy majority of the independent/unaffiliated vote and STILL manages to capture 23% of the Republican vote against Chaffetz and 20% against Hatch.

To quote PPP, “If Matheson runs it will certainly be the most national attention a political race in Utah has drawn in many, many years.” It also highlights room in the Senate race for another GOP contender, someone like Senator Dan Liljenquist. Senator Liljenquist reformed Utah’s pension and Medicaid programs and has saved the state billions in just 2 years. He could make this race even more interesting than it already is.

Daily Fix, March 18

March 18, 2011

The House defunds NPR, Chaffetz wants the troops out of Afghanistan, Mike Lee is making a mark, Medicaid does pay for many student births and bouncy balls fall from heaven.

*The House on Thursday passed a bill to defund NPR.   The GOP-backed measure, sponsored by Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.), passed 228-192. One Republican voted present, and seven voted against the bill. No Democrats supported it.  The bill has only a slim chance of becoming law, as both Senator Harry Reid and President Obama oppose the measure.  The Hill

*Opposition to the war in Afghanistan has grown in the House, but not nearly enough to call for an end to it.  A bill directing Obama to have troops out of Afghanistan by the end of the year garnered only 93 votes.  Utah’s Jason Chaffetz was one of 8 Republicans voting for it.  The war in Afghanistan is now the longest in U.S. history, having run over 113 months. The Vietnam War lasted 103 months.  “The president needs to define success in Afghanistan. I think he has failed to do so,” Chaffetz told The Hill after the vote.  “A politically correct war is a lost war,” Chaffetz said. “At the present time, we are playing politics.”  The Hill // SL Trib

*Meanwhile, a government shut-down looms as both sides dig in their heels. More than the dollar amounts of the cuts are the policy statements – defunding Planned Parenthood (which Harry Reid says is unacceptable), restrictions on funding for climate change and more. For Democrats, who’ve already gone further on spending cuts than even they expected, the legislative riders are a step too far. They can compromise on trims, but not on principles, they say. House Speaker John Boehner’s Republican caucus is dug in and divided — with some members prepared to shutter the government in a drive to press ideological battles they have long fought. Stay tuned for more fireworks. Politico

*The Washington Post’s Marc Thiessen defends Senator Mike Lee after a WaPo colleague takes him to task and accuses him of being a lightweight.  Not so, says Theissen who says Lee made his mark and showed himself “a force to be reckoned with in the Senate” even before taking his seat.  Indeed, Senator Lee has forced an open vote on earmarks, put Senators on record in support of a balanced budget amendment and is leading the push to tie the continuing resolutions to spending cuts.  Good job, Senator.  WaPo

*State data confirms what the legislature suspected – Medicaid is paying for a lot of babies for college students. their occupation on birth certificate forms.  In Cache County, home to Utah State University, Medicaid picked up the tab for 53 percent of student births, and in SUU’s back yard of Iron County, 69 percent, state records show.  The lion’s share of those Medicaid-funded births to college students happened in Utah County, home to Utah Valley University and Mormon church-owned Brigham Young University. SL Trib

*And if none of that interests you, well, take a look at what it looks like to drop 20,000 bouncy balls out of a helicopter.  SL Trib

Daily Fix, Feb 11

February 11, 2011

Lots of news today. Medicaid reform meets no resistance, fear of a con-con kills a bill, Lee refuses to back Hatch and Chaffetz on the hot seat for his cot.

*Utah’s Medicaid reforms take their first big step forward when the Senate Business and Labor committee passed Senator Dan Liljenquist‘s bill out unanimously. The bill would put into place some anchor legislation to reign in exploding costs. The bill prioritizes managed care over fee for services, it limits growth and ties it to the state budget, it establishes evidence-based standards of care and sets up a Medicaid rainy-day fund. KSL

*Rep Brad Daw’s proposal to call for an Article V amendment convention was defeated in committee. Disagreements abound as to whether the Article V process is the same as a Constitutional convention. In an interesting twist, the Eagle Forum opposed the bill, but almost all of the very conservative Patrick Henry Caucus supported it. Trib // Des News

*The Utah House blog addresses feral cats ala Colbert and providing more echo chamber, they link to several legislators who blog. Vox Populi

*The Utah Senate approved legislation Thursday banning the possession of spice and so-called Ivory Wave, aka bath salts, both substances that lawmakers say are being abused by children. It appears there is no limit to the creative ways one can find to abuse oneself. Des News

*As expected, the State School Board backed away from recommending that the School for the Deaf and the Blind be closed. Trib

*Back in DC, Senator Mike Lee pointedly refuses to endorse Senator Orrin Hatch in the 2012 Senate race – but also says he won’t endorse anyone else, either. The Hill

*Congressman Jason Chaffetz has a watchdog group up in arms about his sleeping arrangements. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington sent a letter to the Office of Congressional Ethics on Tuesday requesting a formal investigation of at least 33 House members who supposedly sleep in their Capitol Hill offices during the week, all of whom are men. “If members didn’t want to find housing in Washington, they shouldn’t have run for Congress,” said the head of the group. I must have missed the part where holding federal office requires paying DC rent or taking on another mortgage. Trib

*According to Politico, Jon Huntsman Jr is hiring for his Horizon PAC, which will build the infrastructure for a campaign. The first two hires (both McCain veterans) are “communications advisers”

Tim Miller, 29, was a Glover Park Group director of public affairs for the past two years, and was lead digital strategist. In ’07, Miller was Iowa comms director for McCain. Jake Suski, 27, was adviser and spokesman for Chris Dudley’s campaign for Oregon governor; deputy comms director for Gov. Schwarzenegger; and comms director for Rick Snyder primary race for Michigan governor. Suski (a Matt David guy!) worked for Terry Nelson and was a regional finance director for the McCain primary campaign. He’s in Portland for a few more weeks, then back to Cally for a bit.

*And if none of that interests you, check out some of the Valentine’s Day ideas for you and your sweetheart this weekend. SLC About.com

Daily Fix, Jan 27

January 27, 2011

New research suggests Speaker Lockhart may do a better job than her predecessors, Chaffetz gets a sweet spot on the budget committee and UTferalcat joins Twitter.

*New research coming out in the American Journal of Political Science finds that women that get elected have more political skill because of the discrimination they’ve had to overcome to win office. Sharon Stucki says Speaker Becky Lockhart’s new role is reflective of that. Her personality will appeal to men and her example will encourage more women to participate in politics, she says. KSL

*Employees of the Springville Herald, Spanish Fork Press and Nebo Reporter were told their papers were shutting down yesterday of the changes about 1 p.m. Wednesday, after what will become the papers’ final editions had already gone to press. Eight employees were laid off as part of the changes. More proof that newspapers are a dying breed? KSL

*Congressman Jason Chaffetz has snagged a sweet spot on the budget committee with Congressman Paul Ryan. That combination of fiscal hawks has got to be the Dems worst nightmare. Chaffetz.gov

*Rep Curt Oda’s bill re: feral cats has spawned a new Twitter account. UTferalcat is quite witty. Here’s an example: “I am worried about the feral community. Killing feral cats breaks up families. Isn’t Utah about family?”

*Speaking of that bill (HB 210) Stephen Colbert postulates Oda may be on his way to Washington after proposing this bill. Colbert Nation

*And if none of that interests you, then just do your civic duty and go vote for Jimmer Fredette for the Lowe’s senior class award. Senior Class


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