Best Congressional Meddler
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah)
When Chaffetz arrived in Washington last year, he won notoriety by choosing to sleep on a cot in his office rather than rent an apartment. Chaffetz’s humble accommodations are presumably meant to reassure his constituents that he won’t be corrupted by Beltway extravagance, that his true home will always be in Utah’s 3rd District. But you’d think Chaffetz, as the ranking Republican on the District subcommittee, would express some curiosity in the city he unfortunately gets to oversee. Chaffetz stands out from his colleagues with an especially unctuous willingness to turn local issues into fodder for his conservative constituency. Last May, he justified his plan to disrupt the recognition of gay marriages in D.C. with a curious rationale, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. “People in Salt Lake City are paying for the operation and government in the District of Columbia,” Chaffetz said. If Chaffetz is right that federal money means federal interference in city laws, then Eleanor Holmes Norton needs to figure out what laws she wants to tweak in Orem, Provo, and every county and city that ever took a federal dollar.