City Desk

New Utah Rep Against D.C. Congressional Vote

Jason Chaffetz, a Republican about to take Utah's 3rd district congressional seat, says he's not going to support efforts to give D.C. a vote in Congress. So says the Deseret News.

Yeah, yeah—GOP'er against District voting rights; no news there. Why should anyone care what this guy thinks?

Well, the former BYU placekicker is the first member of the Utah delegation to come out against the so-called Davis solution (after now-retired Va. Rep. Tom Davis), which seeks to appease Republican misgivings over handing Democrats an extra House vote by giving the GOP another vote in Utah, which was narrowly screwed out of an extra seat in the last reapportionment. He also replaces a fellow Republican, Chris Cannon, who had supported the Davis bill. (Chaffetz challenged Cannon from the right, running mainly on immigration and garnering George W. Bush's endorsement.)

Chaffetz proffers the constitutional excuse for opposing a congressional vote for the District: "I recognize that taxation without representation is fundamentally unfair. But what should we do? I believe it is possible to give residents of Washington, D.C., a voice without violating the Constitution," he tells the Utah paper, advocating for retrocession. "Giving Maryland an additional seat in the House of Representatives raises no Constitutional questions and gives D.C. residents the representation they seek."

Hmm. So this guy's a constitutional law scholar? A judge, maybe? At least a lawyer? History buff?

Nope. Corporate PR guy.

Flickr photo by wickenden

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  • sara.h

    I'm not sure what's worse, his take on things, or the comments:,5150,705269023,00.html

    i can't believe that "giving the residential areas of DC back to Maryland" is even on the table. I didn't choose to live in Maryland, and I don't want to live in Maryland. I wonder if the commenter who so fervently supports that idea has ever actually been to DC.

  • Nikolas Schiller

    Mike, just about everyone knows that the 1/3 representation route that DC Vote and the DC Democratic Party are currently advocating is not constitutional. Its a waste of time and only further delays equality for the residents of Washington, DC. They should be pushing for Statehood because its the most constitutionally sound route and its what DC residents already voted in favor of.

  • arc

    Jason Chaffetz came out against this in March of 2007.

    This is not new.

    Also, the article incorrectly implies George W. Bush supported Chaffetz over Cannon. That is not true. Chaffetz beat Cannon with less money being spent, and Cannon had the backing of Bush, Senators Hatch and Bennett, and several others.

    Hatch and Bennett, Mitt Romney endorsed Jason Chaffetz after Jason beat Cannon in the Primary. Gov. Huntsman, who didn't endorse any candidate running for this spot at State Convention, or Primary, endorsed Jason Chaffetz for the general election.

    You forget that Jason Chaffetz beat a 6 term US Rep with a volunteer staff. He campaigned with no debt.

    Without the Support of Jason Chaffetz, the bill will likely fail. The democrats need some republicans to support it, and Utah getting the 4th vote was the reason last time.

    Perhaps Jason Chaffetz would be willing to help solve this if his Legal Immigration reforms were passed.

  • arc

    The best way to solve this is to count the residents of DC as part of Maryland for voting purposes. DC would pick up a vote as part of Maryland in 2012 like Utah will.

  • arc

    DC should, for voting purposes, be counted with Maryland. I am not a constitutional scholar, but that seems like the easiest solution.

    Instead of giving Utah the 4th seat that was stolen in 2002, as part of the bill, fix the counting for determining the number of US rep seats, to include individuals, that have maintained residency to vote. This was the problem that cost Utah its 4th seat. Utah wouldn't get the 4th seat now, but it would fix the problem that caused it.

  • al gonzales

    First, Jason Chaffetz is obviously a gay man in a Mormon state, so he has some identification problems. Second, it's not worth a vote for DC if another vote is given to the homophobic Mormons.
    If the people of DC truly want a vote, they will have to earn a vote. Shut down the city for a week or two, & we'll earn a vote. Otherwise, forget it, it'll never happen.

  • arc

    Jason Chaffetz has a very pretty wife and also 3 kids. For starters, you are obviously wrong.

    Utah isn't a "Mormon State". There are more religions in Utah than most places in the US.

    Your attitude about Mormons re: Prop 8, is just bad press. The Catholic Church asked the Mormons to help with Prop 8. Most people around the country, and even in California are for traditional marriage.

    Having a 1 or 2 week shut down in DC with kill any chance of DC getting a vote. It is perceived as anarchy.

  • arc

    "Perhaps Jason Chaffetz would be willing to help solve this if his Legal Immigration reforms were passed."

    That's not going to happen. Jason has ethics.

  • Russ

    So you're saying lawyers somehow have a one-up on people because they somehow understand the constitution better? Hardly. They're often the first to leave it behind.

  • David

    D.C. Statehood is even more directly forbidden in the Constitution than having a seat in the house - D.C. was created for the express purpose of providing a seat for the federal government that was not part of any state. The solution is to pass an amendment that grants seats in the House to every territory that pays taxes with representation being based upon the size of the taxable population.

  • KCinDC

    David, the DC statehood proposal involves shrinking the federal enclave to a small area with no residents and making the rest of DC into a state. It's similar to what happened in 1846 when DC was shrunk and a chunk was handed back to Virginia (which didn't require any amendment). There's no constitutional problem (though the 23rd Amendment would need to be repealed at some point after statehood was granted, but that would be uncontroversial).

  • Casey

    Could your article be more biased? At least try to be objective....

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