Archive for the ‘Jason Chaffetz’ Category

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.

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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

Daily Fix, July 25

July 26, 2011

Let’s cover the political news outside the debt limit debate, since that surely deserves its own post.

*Rep Wu (D-OR) is in trouble once again, this time for an unwanted sexual encounter with a teenaged daughter of an old high school friend. He says it was consensual, she says it was not. He says he’s not resigning, thank you very much – but he probably won’t run again. Nancy Pelosi is still working on draining the swamp by referring him to the oh-so-effective ethics committee that will act swiftly and decisively….oh wait… Politico BREAKING: Wu has decided he will resign from the House after all. CNN

*Yet another Democrat is retiring rather than run in an increasing Republican arena. This time, it’s Mike Ross from Arkansas. Once a stronghold for Democrats – including a governor who became president – the GOP is now well-positioned to sweep all 4 Congressional seats. The last time that happened was the end of the Civil War….. Oh, and he’s another “Blue Dog” that won’t be coming back. Could we add Jim Matheson to the mix? Politico, Trib

*Since launching her bid for POTUS, Michele Bachmann has missed over 1/3 of the votes in the House, significantly higher than the other two House members running for Prez. When reporters asked if she would be returning a portion of her Congressional salary, she had no comment. It does point out the difficulty of running for higher office when one already holds office…hard to campaign full-time and still be a full-time lawmaker. The Hill

*Closer to home, Rep Steve Sandstrom has hired Alan Crooks to run his Congressional campaign. He’ll be running for the 3rd Congressional district (assuming Jason Chaffetz runs for Senate). He will be in a crowded field. Very crowded. Trib

*Sen Orrin Hatch could wield new-found amounts of power if he is re-elected, says Kelly Patterson, director of the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy at BYU. I wonder, though, that if it takes 36 yrs to begin to wield influence, is it more a reflection on the person than the system? I’m pretty sure we’ve seen some remarkable freshman on both a state and federal level. D News

*Speaking of Hatch, he was against, then for, then against raising the debt ceiling. On Friday, Hatch said on Fox Business Network that he suspected there would be a short-term debt limit increase. “And I’m certainly for that,” he said. Later that afternoon, he went on the Senate floor and said he would not vote for any debt limit increase without passage of a Balanced Budget Amendment. Trib He has also praised Mitch McConnell’s plan to give the President carte blanche authority to raise the debt ceiling, calling it ingenious. KCPW, Politico. Congressman Jason Chaffetz called it ridiculously stupid. RightScoop

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, June 20

June 20, 2011

*On Wednesday, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) will release their 4th annual “Rich States, Poor States” and for the 4th year in a row, Utah is ranked #1. Written by Dr Art Laffer, Steve Moore and Jonathan Williams, there is a special shout-out to Utah state Senator Dan Liljenquist for his work on pension reform. The move from defined benefit to defined contribution is now the national model. Deseret News

*Continuing the rosy outlook, today Governor Gary Herbert announced 200 new jobs will be coming to Utah via IM Flash and an additional 500 via EMC Corporation. Fingers crossed that the upswing continues. Daily Herald

*Entrepreneur and tea-partier David Kirkham was profiled in the DNews. Did you know his cars start at $100K and that’s without the engine? Sen Orrin Hatch is on speed-dial. They talk several times a day as Hatch tries to hang on to his seat.

*Speaking of Senator Hatch, a recent Deseret News/KSL poll shows he’s in trouble. Big, big trouble. Dan Jones (Hatch’s pollster) found that only 38% think Hatch should be re-elected because of his seniority. A whopping 59% say it’s time for someone new. If that wasn’t bad enough, that number comes from a pool of registered voters, not just Republicans and certainly not Republican delegates. Ouch. (Unless you’re part of the 60% who is ready for new blood….)In other interesting findings, a Hatch/Matheson match-up in the general is a draw, a Chaffetz/Matheson general election has Chaffetz slightly ahead and a Hatch/Chaffetz primary has Hatch slightly ahead. Tossing a 3rd candidate in the mix could really make things interesting…. Deseret News And you gotta love the picture…..

*Saturday’s GOP convention saw chair Thomas Wright re-elected, then a new vice-chair (Lowell Nelson) and new secretary (Drew Chamberlain). Interestingly, the two new officers are also involved in a lawsuit against the state party. Can you be both plaintiff and defendant? In the other news of the convention (besides that it lasted seven freaking hours), was that the non-binding resolution asking the legislature to repeal HB 116 passed by a narrow margin. DNews , SL Trib, Fox 13, Daily Herald

*Sen Dianne Feinstein and Sen Tom Coburn agreed on one issue recently, but to no avail. Both favor ending ethanol subsidies. However, a recent Senate vote to end the subsidies went down in flames 40-59. Why? According to an editorial in the LA Times, it was “devotion to rigid party orthodoxy [which] trumps common sense even on those rare occasions when Democrats and Republicans widely agree. That’s grim news for anybody hoping for problem-solving by Congress.”

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, March 16

March 16, 2011

You know what kind of time warp I’m in when I keep trying to type “January” in the date line…..Today’s Daily Fix includes some miracle stories from Japan and the first TSA smack – I mean pat-down by the feds

*After Japan’s deadly disasters, rescuers are finding reasons to hope.  A tiny 4-month old baby was found alive and was reunited with her parents, a 70-yr old woman was found alive in her home 4 days after the tsunami wiped out most of the region and a 60-year old man was rescued after being swept 10 miles out to sea.  Yahoo 

*From KSL, we have more on Japan. ”

When natural disasters strike, looting and lawlessness tend to follow. That’s what happened following Katrina and after the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile. But that’s not the picture you’ll see in Japan. Instead people wait patiently in lines for hours for limited groceries and gas. “We’re taught that this world is for the people, and the people are what make this world go round,” explained Miho “Mimi” Ujiie, founding president of the Utah Asian Chamber of Commerce.  Honor. Loyalty. Brotherly kindness. These are all part of the Japanese culture.” Very cool.  KSL

*After several run-ins with TSA over the last couple of years, Congressman Jason Chaffetz had the chance to put them on the hot seat today.  They had to listen to hours of testimony – and lawmakers own personal horror stories before their opportunity to speak to the Congressional Oversight Committee before they had an opportunity to speak.  Perhaps the next committee hearing will feature scanners in the room so TSA personnel can demonstrate how non-invasive they are. Trib


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