State of the Debate

Debate: Jason Chaffetz as the point of contention ...

First Published      Last Updated Apr 03 2017 12:44 pm

'I want Chaffetz out of that seat': D.C. resident starts anti-Chaffetz PAC — Courtney Tanner | The Salt Lake Tribune

"Lynette Craig has a sort-of pet name for Utah Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz: 'would-be despot.'

" 'He doesn't come out to talk to us,' explained the District of Columbia resident, a 40-year-old stay-at home mom, during a recent trip to Salt Lake City. 'He doesn't ask our opinions on anything before he decides to win himself political points by treating us like a punching bag.'

"The 'us' she refers to are D.C. residents who, unlike inhabitants of any other city in the nation, are under direct oversight of Congress, although they have no elected representative or senator.

"Craig says Chaffetz has unjustly interfered with local laws in the district — including the city's measures on assisted suicide, gun safety and legal marijuana. To stop him, she's banded together with a small group of neighbors to create a political action committee (PAC) with a single objective: unseat the Utah conservative.

"In the three weeks since forming the PAC, they've raised $15,000. ..."

Last week, everyone was linking to this unflattering profile of Chaffetz:

The Prince of Oversight — McKay Coppins | The Atlantic

" ... 'I think the people who voted for Donald Trump went into it with eyes wide open. [Chaffetz said] Everybody knew he was rich, everybody knew he had lots of different entanglements … These other little intrigues about a wealthy family making money is a bit of a sideshow.'

"If this is not quite the attitude you're hoping to see in a designated Washington watchdog, you aren't alone. Chaffetz has spent much of the Trump presidency thus far taking flak for his apparent partisanship. In just the past month, he has been booed off the stage by constituents at a town-hall meeting, had his office flooded with angry phone calls after saying on CNN that poor Americans could afford health insurance if they simply didn't buy the latest iPhone, and found himself embroiled in a public feud with comedian Rosie O'Donnell. At home in Utah, he faces an increasingly well-funded and concerted campaign to unseat him next year, complete with a dedicated super PAC and a cast of challengers from both right and left. Their common case against Chaffetz boils down to hypocrisy: How can the same guy who was champing at the bit to expose President Clinton's sins now justify giving Trump a pass? ..."

Today, the ground seems to be shifting:

Chaffetz: Flynn might need to repay 'tens of thousands of dollars' — Kelsey Sutton | Politico

"Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said his committee would be taking action as soon as Tuesday to determine how much money former national security adviser Michael Flynn received in payments from foreign governments, and how much he might be required to remit to the U.S. ..."

Chaffetz: Oversight Committee looking into Flynn payments from foreign governments — Rebecca Savransky | The Hill

" ... 'We have paperwork that's due from the White House, the Pentagon and the State Department today, but we may be doing something later this week related to his payments that he received from not only Russia but Turkey as well,' he continued. ..."

Loyalists head for the exits: Even Jason Chaffetz begins to change his tune on Trump and transparency — Heather Digby Parton | Salon

" ... Chaffetz's talk at the Judicial Watch forum, however, suggests that he's starting to reckon with the fact that the Trump administration is floundering and believes it may be time to take advantage. If he's joining up with Judicial Watch, it's a sign that some of the GOP's most tenacious opportunists have decided that their fortunes lie with the Trump opposition. ..."

This is more of the online reaction to the original Atlantic piece:

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