By Ed Wallace/ May 23, 2017 / Publisher at Utah Standard News
I know that I’m throwing myself into the lion’s den with this commentary, but it seems to me that that the majority of Chaffetz’s supporters are more supportive of ambition, capitalism and self-interest than they are of someone who says ‘I am my word’. One reader said ‘It’s appalling to criticize Chaffetz. He’s an honorable man and has served Utah well.” Is there any public servant that’s really above being criticized by his constituents? In my humble opinion, Chaffetz is done. His ‘Liberty Scorecard’ from Conservative Review puts him at 78% compared to Mia Love’s 50%, Orrin Hatch’s 31% and Mike Lee’s 100%. I also think that being a nice guy with clout is more important to Utah voter’s than honesty, keeping one’s word, and conservative standards.
So, Just when he could have done some good,, he deserts, leaving his many apologists to defend him. And they are out in force. Some say it is a noble act to, all of a sudden, remember that he has a family after nine years away sleeping on his cot (His staffers say he quit sleeping in his cot long ago, but I digress). Others are defending his embrace of capitalism and self-interest. After all, we are a capitalist country, are we not? What’s wrong with ambition? The excuses have now morphed into rumors about death threats and “I’m sure there are other reasons for this that will come out in the future.” I’ve been asked “Why are you offended? You sound like Bernie Sanders.” There are so many reasons popping up for his departure that the truth about this has become an obscure and debatable alternative reality.
If there is one word that could be used to describe Jason Chaffetz, that word could be ‘Ambition’. His ambition is so legendary that his colleges have turned his last name into a verb. To ‘Chaffetz’ means “to throw a former mentor under the bus in order to get ahead, and various prominent Republicans, from former Utah governor and presidential candidate Jon Huntsman Jr. to House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, have experienced what it’s like to get Chaffetzed.”
Chaffetz’s rise in politics was anything but conventional and was undertaken with an eye for publicity, reputation pitfalls and opportunities. One voter stated: “Chaffetz, a former liberal democrat (his step father is Michael Dukakis), switched parties to be more popular in Utah and it’s easily assessed that he has always sought out power, celebrity and money. His new gig at Fox News will not have a following and it will fail… because he is fake.”
Some speculate that Chaffetz is trying to shield his ambitions from investigations going on with the administration and Congress. His work as Oversight chairman focused more attention on him than what he was investigating. After he won that seat in a contentious battle, Chaffetz removed portraits of previous chairmen from his office (Sound familiar?) In 2015, he targeted the Secret Service when reports of agents being drunk while on the job surfaced. The Secret Service retaliated and announced that Chaffetz’s application to join the Secret Service was denied in the early 2000’s. CNN Politics reported that forty-one employees of the U.S. Secret Service were disciplined over leaked information about Chaffetz’s past job application. The director of the Secret Service stated that the embarrassing information about Chaffetz needed to be leaked.
Chaffetz is quick to calculate and change positions to that which is in his best political best interest. Chaffetz tweeted that he “will not support or defend Trump” but that he would vote for him. He was for Donald Trump before he was against him, but would be voting for him.
On April 19, Chaffetz calculated that Congress was a dud for his future and he would not seek reelection. Deseret News reported that he wanted to stay until his term as Oversight chairman ended in 2020. Four weeks later, being in Congress wasn’t so bad after all. A day later, he flipped again and announced his departure as Utah’s representative.
There are expectations and norms associated with quitting. Even a part-time dishwasher gives a customary and appropriate two week notice. If you are under contract, you are expected to honor your end of that contract, just as you expect your employer to honor his. It would be one thing if Chaffetz was leaving in disgrace or for health reasons, but that’s not the case. He believes that he has better things to do with his time than to honor his contract with his constituents. No one forced him to run last November. No one forced him to run his mouth off to his colleges about his better and more lucrative gig at Fox. We had a word for that where I worked and it refers to the back end of a body.
One friend commented to me: “Let me see if I have got this right. You claim to be conservative… yet you are pretending to be offended (a liberal habit) and are upset that Mr. Chaffetz is pursuing his right to be a successful capitalist! You sound pretty anti-capitalism pro-feigned offense to me. ie, you sound like Bernie Sanders.” I replied, “There is no integrity or honor in this. Yes, I am personally offended by any violation of my trust, especially that of an elected representative. An honorable man does not become successful by screwing over the people who made him successful. Even though usury has become a pathway of success, that doesn’t make it right.
Honesty is a virtue that few politicians have. There’s nothing wrong with wanting more money. The way one goes about getting it, and the people who are ignored (Utah Citizens) make the difference. I think that he was beginning to make a positive difference and working to change things. This is why he was elected. I was actually hopeful that he would take a stand and become part of the solution. I have little respect for someone who runs from his responsibilities and betrays his constituents trust. I would have no problem with him finishing his term in an honorable way.”
He planned for years to be a public figure. He executed his plan. He was successful. He repeated the success. He is in a position to make a big difference for Utah and the nation. And then in just a few months in has a change of heart. He knew full well what he was getting into.
Julie Blaney, a columnist at USN and former Utah Legislative Chair stated, “Just when he could have shed light on some of the biggest political scandals in American history, he abandons his post, his constituents and his President! Jason Chaffetz has cowered at this pivotal time when his influence could have helped our president and our country in historic ways! For the first time in over one hundred years, we have been given a reprieve from the constant push to socialism. There is no doubt in my mind that if Clinton had won, it would have been the last election America would have ever had, with the borders open, and no requirement for voting, then the hijacking would have been complete. The people found a champion in Donald Trump and now want him to do the work we sent him to Washington to do. Would it be asking too much to have his party leadership support his good work? It was under Jason’s “esteemed leadership” that his committee burned through 26 million dollars investigating the crimes of the Obama Clinton cabal, the gun running operation and death of four Americans at Benghazi with the evidence sitting in a corner collecting dust. What did they accomplish? A lot of big talk happened, that’s for certain. But in the end, the many crimes of the Obama & Clinton cabal go unpunished. No resolution, no one punished, no special Counsel appointed to investigate and congress made promises but didn’t deliver. The only accomplishment was lots of face time for future political ads and sound bytes for media. Congress failed and Chaffetz was the chief orchestrator. That dog and pony show earned him a spot on Fox News. It always amazes me that people are promoted for failing to accomplish results or keep their commitments.”
One day before announcing in April that he wouldn’t run again, he set up a new company. He told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the business — Strawberry C— may become a reincarnation of his former public relations and marketing firm and said that he doesn’t feel compelled to talk about what he may do after leaving Congress next month.
One of his constituents commented, “I think it lacks integrity to not finish out his term. Yes, quitting early impacts how I feel about Jason, and I have been a strong supporter since before his first primary. How much money will a special election cost Utah as compared to his salary at Fox. I never thought of him as selfish before .”
Another stated: “This reveals cowardice that he will not stay in office as he campaigned to do. I will not support him if he decides to run for another public office in the future.”
Still another, “But he will still pull out that retirement money paid for by the taxpayers even though he quit his job…worked just a few years, for big monthly payments and cash prizes for life, that’s quite the sweet gig, I tell ya whut!”
Maybe the State of Utah and the Republican Party could send the bill for the special election and primary to Chaffetz.
On His FAMILY:
After 9 years representing Utah, we now learn that he’s realized how much he needs to be with his family and that his family has been set aside to focus on his career. This reveals that he has over-estimated his ability to maintain his family. This shows an incredible lack of planning and forethought. He ran and campaigned on serving a whole term and has now broken his word. Basically, his plans and priorities have changes. If it really is about family, why not sell his beautiful Alpine home, buy a modest home and rent a D.C. apartment with his wife. After all, he is an empty-nester. Would that not solve the problem?
And of Chaffetz’s good intentions: “We all have good intentions and life happens. Good intentions don’t involve breaking promises to hundreds of thousands of people. He’s spent 8 years in DC apart from his family and he has a midlife crisis moment realizing he is missing out on them all? There are middle grounds where he could be with family without him quitting 1/4 of the way into his term.”
One of his constituents stated: “I don’t care if it is for money, or because he misses his family. Either way I am disgusted with him, and if he ever runs for office again I will vote against him.”
On His POLITICAL Future
Just because he has deserted Utah citizens and our country, doesn’t mean that he isn’t interested in future contests. Instead, it would be better to interpret this as a sign that he is being very careful in planning his political future. The question is, Will his constituents forgive him and be gullible enough to give him their trust again?
The Washingtonian reports: “Certainly, Chaffetz has not closed the door on future political bids, including for Utah governor in 2020. His campaign site, jasoninthehouse.com, briefly redirected to jasonforgovernor.com (both have now been shut down). Still, he noted he “may run again for public office, but not in 2018. “
Maybe, by 2020, Utahans will forget about the abandonment, the battle between The Governor and Legislature over who control the replacement process, and the cost of an unplanned primary for a near bankrupt (in more ways than one) Utah Republican party. Many conservatives are just ‘fed up’ with the party. The party might not exist in 2020. Chaffetz may have to return to his liberal roots and run as a Democrat.
On FOX NEWS
The Washingtonian, citing two anonymous Republican lawmakers and four House Republican aides, reported that Chaffetz may be planning instead to take on a “substantial role” at Fox as early as July.
“Let’s just say that when Jason told us he was headed to Fox, no one was surprised,” a senior House Republican aide told the Washingtonian. “I know he was gunning for it… Fox was his first choice once he announced his plans not to seek reelection.” “He’s probably one of the most media-capable members in the House,” adds another senior House Republican aide, “just based on total time spent on a television camera.”
An interesting aside to this is the amount of exposure Chaffetz has had in the past 6 months. Chaffetz was a frequent face on the network before and during the 2016 race. One has to wonder if this has not been in the works for a long time.
If Chaffetz ends up on your TV screen this summer, just remember that he resigned his seat after essentially signing a contract just six months ago with the citizens of Utah to serve a two-year term.“Chaffetz is leaving Congress for a job at Fox News which likely pays four times more. He wants to increase his personal wealth before he runs for Governor in 2020. It really is as simple as that.”
So now, Utah will be without representation for at least 5 months while Chaffetz rakes in the cash. And yes, I am offended about Chaffetz leaving early.
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