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Jason Chaffetz: The new boss of D.C.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2010, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Jason Chaffetz didn't just win re-election to be the congressman for Utah's 3rd district on Tuesday night. He became de facto boss of the nation's 27th largest city and its nearly 600,000 residents.

With control of the House of Representatives moving over to the Republicans come January, Chaffetz is most likely to become chairman of the House committee that oversees the running of Washington, D.C. — whose citizens, unlike their counterparts in other American cities, are subject directly to the whims of Congress for their governmental operation.

And, according to Michael Schaffer at Washington City Paper (the capital's alt-weekly), Chaffetz has already made his intentions known about what he thinks about D.C.'s governance: He thinks D.C. home rule (you know, the idea that voters there can actually elect their own city councils) is unconstitutional, he aims to undo D.C.'s approval of gay marriage — and "he thinks an ideal fix for the city's Home Rule troubles would involve retroceding most of the District into Maryland."

Schaffer also argues that Chaffetz will be motivated to muck around with D.C. citizens' rights to curry favor back home in Utah:

"A proto-Tea-Partier, he's mulling a challenge — from the right — against incumbent Sen. Orrin Hatch. That's a situation that will incentivize him to win points with ultraconservatives back home. And for a guy whose constituents are 2,000 miles away, beating up on liberal Washingtonians is an easy way to do it."

On the other hand, Schaffer opined, Chaffetz' ultra-conservative Tea Party supporters "take all that 'Don't Tread on Me' stuff seriously — and might react poorly to the spectacle of their congressman telling other people what do with with hard-earned local tax dollars."

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